My step mom likes to tell me that if you do help them too much you rob them of their memories.
Hard times are usually the ones we remember most.
Unless you're like me and like to block all that crap out.
I think my rose colored glasses fit me perfectly.
My sister Susan (you remember...the one who writes the dirty shopping lists) can always be counted on to jog my memory about our growing up years.
When I complain about a kid of mine skipping out on doing their chores or not getting the concept of saving or paying bills Susan reminds me that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree...
"Don't you remember?" Susan will ask "that whenever you owed mom money you would tell her she couldn't get blood from a rock"
"And when she asked you to clean your room, you'd hide all your junk in the closet or under the bed and then call her in and show her what a wonderful job you did."
"You're lucky mom let you live to see adulthood."
A bit before Daddio and I married my mom made a move to Arizona. We'd all been invited to join her and her husband.
When we balked at leaving our "oh so very" established lives, she said "you can stay in the house and pay the bills if you don't want to come".
Well that sounded like one hell of an adventure and we took her up on it.
And while we loved the adventure often times were tough....really tough.
A strange thing happened during those times, I came to the realization that sometimes you can get blood from a rock.
So Susan reminds me of a time when a desperate time called for a desperate measure.
We really were dirt poor early in our marriage and for a short time right after our wedding my sister lived with us. One day not long after our wedding she was in the bathroom and started hollering for me to bring her some toilet paper.
We had not one square.
“Ok, how bout some tissue?” she asked.
“Nope” I replied.
”A paper towel?” she pleaded .
“We're out” I reported.
“Wait a minute” I yelled outside the door…I just remembered, I had a whole bag of leftover tissue flowers that you shape like an accordion and puff out, the ones that we’d put on our” Just Married” car.
I banged on the door, it cracked open a bit and her skinny arm poked out, palm up. I placed a couple of the flowers in the center of her hand and closed her fingers around them.
She screamed when she saw what I’d given her.
"Hey" I said "they even have a little string on the bottom to make them easier to hold."
“Freak” she yelled.
We used that bag of flowers to wipe our cans for at least a week…before they ran out my dear sister suggested that they shouldn't be kept in a paper bag on the floor, so she found a pretty basket to put them it.
She always was the classy one.