When we were kids, mom and dad sent us to bed when we wanted to stay up. When all was ‘clear’, we would sneak and get things like marbles, baseball cards, plastic army men. Mom and dad believed in ‘communal sleeping arrangements’ three boys in one room. We had a bunk bed, I was on the top, Ed was on the bottom, and Bob had a separate bed four feet away. I remember getting rubber bands to shoot at Bob, but he was well ‘armed’ as well. The war was on, and we had a great time, until mom or dad would come in and spoil the fun. As usual, they always came in when we didn’t expect them.
We had good times, there wasn’t a lot of money. Dad was making $164.00 preaching in Dallas. We got $.25 weekly allowance, spent wisely on 5 cent Bubble gum, and 5 baseball cards, which we collected). We chewed the gum all day and at night (when we remembered) we stuck it on the bed post, hoping that someone had not stolen it by morning. Sometimes we forgot to take it out at night, and mom had to cut it out of our hair.
Dad didn’t mind giving us work around the house and yard, pulling weeds, planting rose bushes for mom, laying flagstone, pulling bushes, cut the grass, pick up after our selves, clean our rooms, wash the dishes, dry the dishes, wash the car, clean the garage, empty the garbage. So, we asked “How about an increase in our allowance?” Dad would say, “You don’t pay rent son, I’ll put it on your bill.”
Mom was the ‘house doctor’. She had special cures for most things. If we skinned our selves, she would get Iodine, and rub that yukky brick red stuff on the cut (Iodine). She would say, “This is going to hurt a bit.” (Wrong!!! It hurt a lot!!!) She would blow on it till the pain went away. Then put a band-aide on it and off we would go. We always went to “Dr. Mom” for everything, from skinned knees and bruises to splinters and burns. She always knew what to do. Her cure for almost everything was a hug and a kiss. We were amazed how that helped. Mom was also the ‘house defense attorney (most of the time), when we wanted something from dad. She was our mediator, and sometimes defense attorney. We didn’t always get what we wanted, but somehow, we always got what we needed.
I was the first of three boys in the family, mom lost two other baby girls prematurely, we had three adopted sisters, that were loved the same. Now, mom and dad are gone, one brother (Ed) and sister (Charlene) have passed away. This leaves Bob, Sandi, Tammy and myself. As we grow older, we reflect back when we get together on the times we had with mom and dad and laugh and cry.
We remember mom and dad praying, and reading the Bible to us. They would read things like, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck”
Proverbs 1:8-9. Through the memories, and their teachings, they are still with us.