Sunday, May 13, 2012
Hmmm, I wonder… Tonight on the eve of Mother’s Day I have spent some time remembering my mother reflecting on my childhood and the time spent growing up in that little ranch style stone house back in West Virginia. I have found myself wondering, a lot. Life sure was different in rural West Virginia back in 1972 for a certain skinny red-headed nine year old boy named Doug. Mother’s Day in 1972 occurred on Sunday, May 14th. ( I didn’t remember that, I googled it) I wonder about Saturday evening, May 13th in 1972. I so wish I could remember but I honestly can’t, so I will have to imagine; but that’s fine, because based upon my memories life was pretty simple back then. I have to believe that the evening started with baths and showers for everybody in the house. Nightly baths were regularity in our house back in the day.
Every evening sometime after sundown, my parents would shower, put on their pajamas and head for the living room to watch television. The Saturday night lineup would usually start with The Lawrence Welk Show and sometimes Hee-Haw followed by The Love Boat and finally Fantasy Island. As I said earlier, times were different then, most homes only had one television and the entire family would gather in one room for the evening and watch the tube together. There were no IPads or smart phones, nobody had to constantly check their Facebook news feed or tweet important updates, it was just the family that was all we knew.
Those Saturday nights were special indeed. In addition to the television watching there were other Saturday night rituals in our house. Like some sort of bedtime snack, maybe a bowl of cereal or popcorn and sometimes ICE CREAM. In many ways I was a mama’s boy, back in the day that was common. Most young boys were closer to their mother; after all, they spent more of their day with their mothers. As my older brother and sister always liked to point out, I was the baby of the family. So, expectedly I would end up on the loveseat next to my mom while my father reclined on the couch, usually snoring halfway through The Love Boat, waking up every so often only to insist “I’m not sleeping”. But not mom and I, no sir, we were sailing off to exotic locations with Captain Stubing and the Cruise Director Julie, on The Love Boat. Usually by the time that “da plane” was descending onto Fantasy Island my mother had coaxed me into “fixing her hair” for her. I was destined to become a hair stylist by the time I was eight-years old, thank goodness for my uncle the pharmacist who rescued me from my destined occupation. But seriously, my mother loved to have her hair brushed and she would sit on the floor for hours whilst I brushed, teased and styled her hair. She was a hard worker, extremely responsive to the needs of her family and household and while we had a good life, as I look back I realize that my mother didn’t have many pleasures or luxuries to comfort her so I am glad that she enjoyed her regular living room floor coiffure.
While my father continued to snore during Fantasy Island, by now he was well past periodically waking up and insisting that he wasn’t asleep, my mom would always say how much she would love to go to Hawaii some day. To which I would promptly reply that one day “I am going to live in Hawaii mom, and you can come live with me.” She always knowingly smiled, obviously realizing that it was nice to dream about such things. And so, I continue to sit here and wonder… Happy Mother’s Day Mom, Aloha.