Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

June 15, 2013

Another look at family

Kokomo Tribune

---- — As I go on with my life, I also go back in time to those days when our parents and grandparents — and all the uncles and aunts, as well as all the cousins — were around me, and that is one of the good things of living back in the days of old.

I remember how we visited one another. Joy was abundant, as cousins got together and had fun telling what they did in the last week. Those little secrets we told each other, and the games we played, were a joy to behold. Quietly we listened to the grownups talk about things that were part of the family mold of togetherness, and once in awhile one of the uncles or aunts would get with us kids and play softball or just talk about how it was when they were young.

I had some great cousins, and it was a treat to be able to see them whenever we could. But the visits among us were sort of divided because of the situation of work. Many times someone would be working and so miss all that fun of togetherness.

In the days of old, there was a greater sense of togetherness among families and neighbors close by. We sort of looked out for each other.

When one child did wrong, the ones who witnessed the doing made sure the parents knew before it was spread out to other neighborhoods. When one family had a party or maybe an ice cream happening for their family, other neighbors were asked if they would like to be part of it.

I can picture in my mind how my mother would let the neighborhood kids sit with us on the side porch while she told about how it was and maybe how it would be for us in the future. Mom liked to play a few songs on her piano, and we would just sit there and wonder how this pretty lady we knew as our mother could remember which keys to push to get that pretty sound out to our ears.

Many times when we would go to the park to have a picnic, she would always tell us to stay close to each other so that we would not get lost. And the food she made for the picnics was all in our bellies as we got ready to go home.

Mom had just about all of her time used up when dark came about, but she always had time to give us a big hug and kiss before going to bed.

And when the daylight started showing up through the windows, we knew she had breakfast cooked on the stove. It was a daily chore for us older kids to get up early enough to go downstairs and get the cook stove going with coal and wood, and as soon as that was done, we had to stoke the fire and add coal in the heating stove so that it was warm enough for the rest of the family. We did not mind doing this because we got the first chance of maybe tasting what she was cooking.

Mom could make the best fried mush, and she made great gravy too, as did our dad when he wasn’t at work. The biscuits were mouth-watering, and when you spread some of her canned jelly she had stocked up on those biscuits, there would be a sense of satisfaction that only the love of a mother could give her children.

Mom was a lady in all sense of the word.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.