Friday, May 29, 2009

Martha's Freedom Train

This blog is to announce that I have a middle grade book coming out soon. In a few weeks, I'll reveal the date and time for a fun party (probably in July) to celebrate this event. Following is a brief description of the book.

With help from the Underground Railroad, Martha (age 12) and her parents escape slavery. When they find an entrance to a station hidden in a hill, they finally feel safe. Mamma has caught pneumonia because of the rainy weather and the cold rivers and streams they crossed. Papa learns about a wagon train of Mormons traveling west, and he takes Martha to meet them. Her heart almost breaks when he insists she go with these strangers. Martha encounters many exciting adventures. She helps put out a fire, and after Martha falls asleep beside the trail, they accidentally leave her behind. Upon reaching her destination, Martha wonders if she’ll ever see her mamma and papa again.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crazy Eight

Just when I’m getting comfortable and think everyone has forgotten about the fun games of tag we played as children, someone tags me again. This time Nicole caught me and I guess I have to be a sport and do this.

Here be Da Rules:
1. Mention the person who tagged you.
2. Complete the list of 8's.
3. Tag 8 other bloggers.
4. Tell them they have been tagged.

And here are my answers:
Eight Things I Look Forward To:
1. Getting my next book published
2. My mother leaving the hospital
3. Holding my new book, Martha’s Freedom Train
4. A writing retreat
5. Not owing anyone any money
6. Good health
7. Time to write
8. Going on vacation

Eight Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Got up an hour early
2. Visited my mother at the hospital
3. Had a meeting with the case manager at the hospital
4. Went to lunch with my brother and sister
5. Checked out a rehabilitation center for my mother
6. Went to work for a couple of hours
7. Read some of my emails
8. Collapsed into bed

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Go along ways away
2. Have more writing time
3. Have more time everyday to do what I want
4. Find someone to publish my next book
5. Travel to new places all the time
6. Have no bills
7. Have enough money to travel
8. Have no weeds in the yard

Eight Shows I Watch:
1. News
2. Perry Mason
3. Murder She Wrote
4. My Three Sons
5. I don’t know what else is on. I don’t start watching anything until after 9 pm
6. This is a hard question and I have no answers.
7. A good movie if there is any on.
8. I don’t watch much TV because I’d rather write or read.

Eight Friends I’m Tagging: I have no idea who has already been tagged so some of these may be repeats.
1. Karen Hoover
2. Mary Greathouse
3. Jane Sills
4. Janice LeFevre
5. Joshua Perkey
6. Jenn Wilks
7. Daron Fraley
8. Trina Boyce

There you have it. Have fun. Crazy eights!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Treasured Memories of My Mother

A few years ago, I was asked to give a tribute to my mother in a Relief Society Meeting. Some of these things I’ve already talked about, but following is what I wrote at that time.

My Mother is Great! Following are some of the things she has taught me.

M MEMORIES are important. Our family did things together to build good memories. One thing we did was travel together. Some of the memories were very spiritual because my parents went to see and visit Temples. Some of the memories were fun – seeing beautiful sights and camping with scouts. My mother was always willing to entertain my friends. She had birthday parties for me and other parties, as I grew older. She built many happy memories for me.

O OPPORTUNITITIES await each of us. I was encouraged to participate in all activities that came my way. I was taught to look for opportunities to serve others.

T TALENTS need to be developed. She always taught me to develop my talents. I took violin lessons, dance lessons – tap, ballet, hula and acrobats. I was encouraged to act in plays, sing, and to speak to audiences. My mother didn’t want me growing up being frightened of being in front of other people as she was. I really believed I could do anything I wanted if I just worked at it. She was always there to see my performances.

H HELPING me with challenges was always a top priority. She taught us to help one another. It didn’t matter if we were boys or girls we worked in the house, on the car and in the yard. We helped one another and helped both our mother and father.

E ETERNAL families work together and play together. We did laundry together with an old wringer washer. We hung clothes on the line. We cleaned our rooms and helped keep the house clean. We made candy together. We sang together. We played games together.

R RESPONSIBILITY was given to each of us at an early age. I did housework and fixed dinner before my parents arrived home from work. I did dishes before leaving on dates. I was taught if something is worth doing then it should be done right.

S SERVICE was taught by my mother’s example. She was a teacher in primary. Every week we walked not just a block or two but much farther to primary. My parents served as dance instructors in mutual and they served as stake missionaries. The most unusual time of service was when my mother and I both served at the same time as Relief Society presidents in our own wards, which met in the same building. She has taught me you are never too old to give service.

Our destiny is to become QUEENS for all eternity – forever, and ever and ever! My mother will certainly be a QUEEN FOR ALL ETERNITY.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Families Are Important

My parents always took time to visit with their parents, and brothers and sisters. They also attended all family reunions. They felt that extended families were important and we should all know all of our aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Sometimes we travelled long distances to attend these reunions. My mother’s family on her father’s side (Koyle) had reunions every year. Because of this, we know that side of the family. Her mother’s side (Jex) only had reunions occasionally. My father’s family (Smith) rarely had a reunion and his mother’s family (Ellison) had them when I was younger.

Have you ever thought about how many relatives you really have? Maybe you don’t have as many as I do. It seems all my relatives had large families, and I must have hundreds and hundreds of relatives. Out of all those people, I hardly know any of them. The sad thing is – the only time I see them is at funerals and sometimes at weddings. I think it’s sad that we don’t take time to visit one another at other times. All I have left on my father’s side is cousins, and on my mother’s side, she has one sister-in-law and one brother-in-law left here on earth.

Because to my parents families are important, I also think they are important. I’m glad that by example they taught me this important concept.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Mom Taught Me To Iron

My youngest sister described it well when she said that she couldn’t see any point in hanging clothes up to dry outside just to gather them off the clothesline, take them into the house, and then put them on the table and sprinkle them with water. She asked, “What was the point of doing that?”

I have to agree, it did seem pointless. I am however, grateful that my mom did teach me how to iron without putting more wrinkles into the clothes than were there. Eventually I learned every little detail of ironing. I could even do the difficult part, pleats. There have been times in my life when I was glad I knew how to do this, and do it well.

Now, this is a skill that I try to avoid. Mostly because I hate doing it, so I spend time looking for wrinkle free clothing. To me it doesn’t matter if I have to spend more money getting them that way because as far as I’m concerned it saves me time. Everyone who knows me well knows that my time is important to me.

I guess there once was a time before wash and dry clothing, and a time period when it was necessary to know how to iron if you wanted to look nice. I’m glad my mom taught me how to do a good job of ironing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Mom Taught Me How To Store Food

From the time I was a young girl, our family always worked together to make sure we had plenty of food stored away for the long winter months ahead. Each of my parents grew up on a farm in the early 1900’s, and I’m sure they learned to plan ahead from their parents.

For us, the canning season started in June with cherries and didn’t end until October with the grapes. When I was little, I can remember picking the cherries off the stems, so my mom could wash and put them into bottles. My mom patiently taught us each step in the canning process. Our age determined what she allowed us to do. I was much older before she permitted me to stir anything on the hot stove.

Some of the fruit we grew and some we purchased at fruit stands. Occasionally people would share their crop with us. I loved the cherries and peaches. They were easy to can and tasted wonderful.

Like my parents, I also learned to store food. Sometimes it was the only way to survive. It was a work I enjoyed, and one we were always glad I did. It didn’t take us long to know that this was one way for a young couple to survive.

I never liked to can pears and I’ve always been glad that my husband doesn’t like them so unless someone gave us pears I never had to bottle them. Every year we had so many apricots given to us that after a few years we declined because we were sick of them. Now that the children have left the nest I don’t do much canning. Looking back over the years, I’m grateful for a family that worked together canning food.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Our Family Spent Time Together

Long before the church encouraged Family Home Evenings, our family was spending quality time together. We studied scriptures, prayed, and played with one another.

Every summer we had a family vacation. My parents didn’t believe in leaving the children home alone or with relatives. We all went together. After seeing the movie, Home Alone, it’s a good thing they took us along because I have a mischievous brother. I can only imagine the trouble he would have caused if left alone for even a weekend.

When I tell this next part you have to remember this was in the days when there were no seat belt rules. My dad packed the car so the back seat was flat, and we children could sleep as they traveled in the dark of the night. I don’t know why we always left on vacation in the evening, or even sometimes while we were asleep. Many times, we children didn’t even know we were going on vacation until we were well on the way.

My younger sister tells of a time after I was married that they were ushered into the car late at night. The only thing my parents told them was they were going to go see a man. My husband and I were living in California, and my little sisters had no idea they were coming to see us.

I’ve wondered many times why my parents didn’t tell us we were going. Maybe they didn’t want us asking for days when we were going to leave, or maybe they just liked surprising us. My children always knew when we were going away because I spent months planning where we were going, and what we were going to do.

As we were riding, we played games and sang. My parents took us to visit many National Parks. Dad loved the outdoors. We also went to see the Temples that were within driving distance. They would go on a session at the Temple and we children would wait in the visitor’s center.

Sometimes we spent our vacation camping with the Boy Scouts. Our family had our own tent, and my dad allowed us children to hike with the boys. We always had a good time.

After I was married, with a family of our own, my parents invited all of us to go with them one year in a motor home. My oldest son is only about 3½ years younger than my youngest sister. The thing my children remember the most about this vacation is their grandpa singing I Found a Peanut, and other songs all day. He never ran out of songs to sing.

I’ve always been glad that my family spent time together, and they taught me to do things with my own children. Because of this lesson taught, my children also enjoyed many fun vacations as a family.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Mom and Dad Taught Me To Dance

After I was old enough for mutual, the bishop called my parents to be dance directors. They were the best. Every week they would be there to teach us new dances. At first, some of the kids rebelled, but soon they found it was fun. We didn’t always have to hold each other’s hands and dance a waltz. We learned round dances, polkas, and even square dances. Soon kids from across town were joining our fun dance nights.

At home, my parents practiced the dances, and they practices teaching by having my brother and I learn the dances. They wanted us kids to have fun and learn to dance. After we learned the basic stuff, they taught us harder things such as the Tango. Now that some of the boys had learned to dance, school dances weren’t so bad.

I’ll always remember the night that my brother and I were able to go to Salt Lake to dance at the U of U football stadium for The All Church Dance Festival. It was a wonderful experience to mingle with all those other people from all over the world. We all knew the same dances, and we all danced in unison. I’m grateful that my parents cared enough to teach us dancing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Mom and I Were in a DUP Choir

I haven’t always kept a good journal so sometimes I have to go by memory. This is one of those times. I don’t know how many years, but for several years, my mother and I belonged to a DUP (Daughters of Utah Pioneers) choir. We practiced at the Pioneer Museum in Salt Lake and only performed in the summer. I did make one small journal entry in July 1975 saying the DUP Choir sang at a luncheon where President Kimball spoke.

It is a tradition that after they choose the queen for the Days of ’47 (commemorating the pioneers coming to the valley), she and her attendants speak in sacrament meetings. The main purpose of the choir was to travel with them to various wards and sing during the meeting. I’ve noticed in recent years these girls share their own talents by singing or playing the piano.

At first, our choir wore pink pioneer dresses and later we had a turquoise dress. The songs we sang were the same ones the pioneer sang back in 1847.

One place we went almost every year was the home ward of President Monson. I still remember the first time I met him, and his friendly smile.

I’ve always been grateful that my mom encouraged me to participate with her in this choir. I love to sing, but singing in a choir wasn’t usually her choice of things to do. With a small family at home, I probably wouldn’t have done this without her persuasion.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Mom Is A Prankster

My mom loves to play jokes or pranks on others. She still has a collection of dishes that brought numerous chuckles from others throughout the years. The one my husband hates is the leaking glass. During our high school years, he once drank from it while attending a party at our home.

Besides the glass, she has a fork that bends, a spoon that has a clear seal over the top so no one can pick up anything with it, and another spoon with a bug on it.

While my father was alive, as soon as dinner was finished, every new guest at their home had to go through an initiation process. My mother would ask the new guests to go into the living room with her, while the others stayed in the family room. Meanwhile, my father would pull on a long red robe, take a shoe and sock off from one of his feet, then sit in a chair at one end of the room. He would put a crown on his head, cross his leg and place a ring on a toe of his bare foot.

When he was ready, my mother would blindfold one guest and take them into the family room. She would have that person kneel in front of my father and he would tell them they had to kiss his ring. My father let them kiss a ring on his finger and then hid the hand behind his back. My mother would take the blindfold off the guest and all they would see was the ring on his toe. The entire room would burst into laughter at the look of surprise on that person’s face. They would repeat this process until my mom had brought all the new people into the room.

Up until a year ago, my mom continued to have her famous parties. Everyone loved to come to the potluck dinners, where they could visit and play games. I know many people in our area have lots of fond memories because of these evenings in her home. I'm sure I got my love of parties from my mom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Mom Taught That Commitment Is Important

By example, my mom taught me to follow through on things I commit to do. If she had a church calling, she did her assignment. When she promised someone she would do something, you could count on her. She didn’t go back on her word.

As a young girl, I can remember walking for more than a mile so my mother could teach primary. That was before the block program the church now follows. Primary was immediately after school, so on that day she would be waiting for us children by the entrance to the school and we would begin our long walk. It didn’t matter if it was snowing or extremely cold, we still had to go because someone was counting on her to be there to teach a class.

When I was primary president several years ago, I often wished that some of the teachers could have been as devoted as my mom. Many times, teachers failed to show up to teach their class leaving the children with no teacher.

Knowing someone is committed to keeping his or her word is an important quality. It doesn’t matter what you say you will do, even something as simple as taking a cake to the church for a funeral is important. What would happen if everyone forgot to take the food they promised? What would the people eat? I know my mom always did the things she promised.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Persistence Is Important

My mother told me that I should never give up, and I should keep trying until I succeed. I learned that I could apply this in all areas of my life. It doesn’t matter if I’m in school, church, working or at home, I need to aim high.

When I was in high school, algebra seemed especially difficult. I didn’t like the class and couldn’t see any reason why I had to learn it because I was sure it wasn’t anything I’d ever need to know. Many times, I heard, “If it’s worth doing, you should do it right and never give up.” I didn’t dare quit or I would have been a big disappointment to her. I also have never used algebra since I finished the class, but at least I’m not a quitter.

She pushed me in learning to type and encouraged me to try harder, and to type faster. She was determined that by the time I was out of high school I would have office skills so I also enrolled in shorthand and accounting.

I know that no matter what I do, I haveto do it well, and I can never quit. Persistence is important.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Mom Taught Me To Cook

My mother loves to cook and has always prepared delicious meals. As a young girl, I frequently helped bake cookies after school. She knew I loved doing this so she’d wait for my help. My favorite cookie was the soft chocolate chips that almost taste like cake. I’m including the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 c shortening
1 c nuts
1 2/3 c sugar
2 ½ c chocolate chips
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 c flour
¾ tsp soda
4 tsp baking powder
2 c milk
Mix shortening, sugar eggs until creamed. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder, soda and mix again. Add chocolate chips, nuts and milk. Mix well. Bake on cookie sheet at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes.

In the evening I was encourage to help prepare dinner. By the time I was in my early teens, I could prepare an entire meal by myself. That was a good thing because by then she was working and didn’t get home very early.

Some evenings, my mom would suggest that I have my friends over so that we could make candy. She regularly told me about the honey candy and taffy pulls they had at her home while she was growing up.

I’ve always been glad I could cook a good meal. I love experimenting and trying new things. Being in the kitchen and preparing a good meal is very satisfying.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Mom Taught Me To Love And Respect My Ancestors

As a young girl, we visited grandparents and relatives almost every Sunday. To both my parents, families are important. Every summer we attended several family reunions so we could become acquainted with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins.

After my mother found out her ancestors had purchased and settled Martha’s Vineyard, it was her dream to go there. In 2002, my mother and I flew to the east coast so we could visit that island. During that trip, we also visited the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where our Pilgrim ancestors, William Brewster and Henry Sampson settled in 1620.

In October 2007, even though my dad is gone, my sister and I wanted to meet his distant relatives, so we took our mother, and attended a family reunion in Virginia. The Agee family escaped persecution in France and came to the American continent about 1690, settling in Virginia. Those who planned the reunion, arranged for the entire family to go to the old Huguenot, Manakin Episcopal Church, which was a small white chapel with stain glass windows.

I’ve always been fascinated as I listen to stories about my grandparents who crossed the plains with the early Mormon Pioneers. I come from a long line of pioneers and admire each of them. My mother has spent many hours collecting each of their stories and putting copies into a book for each of her children. Because of her efforts our family knows about our heritage.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Mom Serves Others

My mother was on the National Board of the Daughter’s of Utah Pioneer’s for 17 years. She attended and was in charge of many conventions. When she had to go out of state, I sometimes went with her so she wasn’t driving alone.

She then served as the assistant historian for four years and then as historian for ten years at the DUP Building in Salt Lake City. Next, she again served as assistant historian for several more years. During this time, she worked a couple of days each week helping other people locate pioneer histories.

She has been on the Days of ’47 committee for over 40 years. For several years, my sisters and I have helped her with her obligations by serving on her committee. She attends meetings every month and always gives her support to all the Pioneer Celebration events going on every July.

I can’t begin to add up the hours she helped these two organizations. She never received any pay for the time spent doing this service. It’s her way of helping the community, and paying tribute to the pioneers. She loves helping, and always does her best.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Mom Taught Me To Quilt

When I say quilting, I mean real quilting, not the kind that you do by machine or the type where you tie the quilt. My mother takes a small needle threaded with thread to match the fabric and uses tiny stitches going in and out of the fabric as she follows the designated pattern. Her stitches are so little that you can hardly see them.

Although my mom didn’t succeed in teaching me to use a sewing machine to make clothing I did learn to quilt well enough that she’d let me help. If you used enormous stitches, you were never included again in her quilting projects.

Besides quilting, all the girls in my family learned to put a quilt on the frames. My mother has a special way to put it on and you have to do it her way. She is particular and wants everything to be just right. Not everyone is included in my mother’s quilting bees.

Sometimes my mother pieced together her own quilt blocks. I didn't learn to do this because it requires sewing on the machine and I don't sew a straight seam. When these pieces were sewn into a quilt I was excited to help with the quilting.

If you receive a gift of a quilt from my mother, you know its high quality work. Even the binding has to be perfect. She made beautiful temple quilts for her grandchildren who were married in the temple.

Quilting is difficult and some people probably think it’s not worth the effort. I, however, am glad my mother taught me this skill.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Mom Is A Perfectionist

Once again, her example has taught me well. We just aren’t perfectionist in the same things. As you can tell from other blogs, she is a talented seamstress. I’m sure there was never a bride that was more proud of her wedding dress than I was. Every stitch, whether by machine or hand, was perfect. I’m going to include a picture so you can almost see the care she took as she created this piece of art.

I knew if my mom made my wedding dress it wouldn’t be plain looking, she would add plenty of sparkle. She included tiny buttons and lace to the sleeves as well as on the bodice, and took extra care to make sure the collar stood up just right. I felt like a queen in this dress.

She taught me that if I was going to do something, I should do it right. She didn’t just say this to me, she showed me by example. She was never successful in trying to teach me to sew. The harder she tried, the more I hated the very idea of sewing. There are many times I find myself trying to achieve perfection because of her example. She pushed me to aim high, and because of this, I don’t settle for just anything in life. I try for the best.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mom Is Brave

I’ve heard many stories about when I was a baby, and how brave my mother was. When I was only six months old, we moved to Nevada into a tent on a mountain near Cherry Creek. One day, she held me while standing on a bed as my dad and grandpa chased a skunk out of the tent. Maybe that doesn’t sound brave to you, but just the fact that she was holding me and still in the tent and not down the mountain a few miles is brave.

Once when I was on a trip with the wilderness committee we camped for the night near Leman Caves. Shortly after going to bed, I heard a noise and when I turned on the flashlight there was a skunk under the table going through the food. Another woman and I immediately crept away and spent the night sleeping in the van instead of our sleeping bags. My mother didn’t teach me to be brave, or maybe I was too young to remember.

The other story told to me was that one day a lizard was crawling across the ceiling of the tent. My mother stood watching it and as it got over the crib, she grabbed me as it was falling. It would have landed on top of me. No wonder I hate the sight of those creatures.

I don’t remember either of these incidents, but it still demonstrates how brave a mother is and shows they would do anything for their children. When you are hurt, they pick you up and take care of you. They comfort you when you are sad. I think mothers are supposed to be brave, and mine is no exception.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Use Your Talents To Bless Others

Matt. 25: 15-16, 20, 22, 24-25, 28

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
• • •
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
• • •
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
• • •
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
• • •
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

My mom was a great example of the above scripture. Her greatest talent is sewing. I don’t know anyone who does as good a job as she does. She enjoyes it, and has a knack for knowing what to do. She doesn’t just do what is necessary. She goes the extra mile and makes sure it’s perfect. Every seam has to be straight, there has to be extra frills, and nothing but the best is good enough.

When my brother, sister and I took dance lessons, they asked her to sew our costumes for the yearly dance reviews. I can’t imagine how she ever found time to sew three costumes for each tap and ballet dance we performed. If we each only had one costume change, that’s six costumes. Usually there were more dances, because sometimes we did solo or duet numbers besides the group performances. I’m sure I have no idea how many hours she spent doing this for us.

My mother taught me that we should develop and use our talents to bless others.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Mom Taught Patience

Many years have passed and I still remember a special costume, A Christmas Tree, made by my mother when I was in the third grade. She showed patience as she sewed the crepe paper branches to the green dress, and attached wires so they would poke out the way a tree does. I also had to learn patience waiting for the costume to be completed. Every day I’d run home from school to see it the outfit was ready. I was sure she’d never finish it on time.

Her stitches were perfect. Nothing could be wrong even if it was only a child’s outfit for a play, and I would only wear it once. She took as much care in making it as if she was making a piece of clothing that I would wear to school. We saved the outfit for many years. I’m not sure where it went, but I’ll always remember the beautiful Christmas tree and the way I felt when I wore it. My mother taught me that I was important, and helped others see my value.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother Encouraged and Supported Me

As a young child, while living in Orem, I was encouraged to develop my musical talents. My parents enrolled me in private lessons with a violin teacher Mr. Childs. He lived on the other end of town, which was a long ways away from us. Sometimes my parents drove me there and sometimes I rode the bus. I took lessons from him for a couple of years, and then our family moved to Spanish Fork.

There I joined the school orchestra. My parents never missed coming to any of our concerts although I’ve often wondered how they could endure liestening to us, because I thought we sounded awful. As the years passed and I started high school, the quality of the concerts did improve. It was encouraging to look out and see my mother’s face watching me as I prepared to play.

My parents enrolled me in dance classes and encouraged me to participate in school and church functions. Because of their support, I often participate in various activities. I can honestly say that whenever I committed to act in a play, dance, sing a solo or play a violin number my parents were always there watching me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One Lesson I Learned From My Mom - Cleanliness

My friend Karen has given a challenge for those in our Author's Incognito group to blog every day for the rest of May about 25 Lessons Learned from Mom in honor of Mother's Day. I know I've neglected this blog page for the past month, so this will get me back here writing every day.

I'm not going to list the things my mother has taught me in order of importance, because I haven't had time to list all of them yet. Instead, I'm going to tell about them as I think of them. I usually learn most from watching someone.

As a young child, I remember I could always bring someone home to our house and know it would be clean. My mother kept an immaculate house. Someone once told my father that they thought they could probably eat off the kitchen floor because it was so clean. Every week she mopped and waxed the floor. When we children came home from school many times we would find newspapers spread across the floor. That meant we had to be careful because mom had just finished cleaning the floor.

Besides keeping the house clean, she also taught us to keep it clean. We all had chores we were expected to do daily and Saturday was spent with everyone doing their share.

Everyone helped with the laundry on Saturday, because it wasn't a simple job. The old washing machine was pulled into the kitchen and filled with soap and water. A rinse tub was brought in and filled with hot steaming water. After the clothes were washed and rinsed we put each piece through the wringer into a basket and then took it outside to hang on the lines to dry.

As a child I didn't appreciate all the hard work, but as an adult I've always been grateful for the lessons my mother taught. I learned how to clean house because of the example of my mother.