Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mom loved her big car

Tonight, I called AAA and had them jump mom's car so I could get it out of the garage.  Poor car--not only was the battery dead, but one of the tires had gone flat.  I had the oil changed and the state inspection done in November.  There are exactly three more miles on the car than there were when the oil was changed--from when I drove it home. 

The car is in pristine condition; it's a 1998 model purchased in 1997 and has 36,115 miles on it (yes, that averages to less than 2500 miles per year).  It was the typical "little old lady who only drove the car to church on Sunday" car. 

In mid-90s, she got a wild hair and sold her 10 year old Seville and bought a Honda Accord.  I had one and it was a great car--a great car for me, not her.  She disliked it almost immediately.  She planned to give it to me after a couple of years, so that she could buy another Cadillac.  Sadly, a drunk driver t-boned her one Sunday morning as she was on her way to church.  The car rolled and the driver fled the scene.  Luckily, she was unhurt (See?  Honda's are great cars).  The car, however, was totalled.  No car for me!  Mom got her new Cadillac, even if it was definitely not the way she wanted to get it.

In November 1997, the pearl white Sedan de Ville came home to live with her.  Boy, in its day, that was a car!  I felt so posh driving and riding in it.  We went on several memorable vacations in that car, she and I.  It has always been a good car; not quite as maintenance-free as my Hondas, but pretty good.  And mom loved it.  She liked that it was a big car.  It was easy for her to get into and out of.  It was big and safe to drive.  And, best of all, even though it was the size of a boat, it drove like a dream and had more get-up-and-go than 10 Hondas put together.

Even though she didn't drive much anymore, she could still drive, and was a good driver.  Whenever we went somewhere together, I was always her chauffeur.  All those vacations, the trips to Oklahoma for Christmas, and more recently, even trips around town, I drove.  Her ring tone on my phone was the theme song from Driving Miss Daisy
After mom passed away in January, I started calling the car my my mom's "pimp mobile."  I would never have called it that within her hearing distance!  When I was in Oklahoma for her funeral, my dear cousin's son--who is quite the card--jokingly offered me $500 for the car.  I checked for the value and laughingly declined.  In April, when I went up for Easter, he again asked about the car.  I told him that it had a dead battery now; negotiator that he is, he offered me $300 for the car.  When I said that it had a flat tire too, he immediately changed the offer to $275.  That kid will own the world one day!

After much soul-searching and debate, I decided to donate the car to charity.  They are coming tomorrow to pick it up.  I hope that Mom is watching and approves.  I am finding this process very emotional; I've stopped and bawled about three times tonight.

Goodbye dear "pimp mobile!"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What we save

My mom and dad were born in 1928 and grew up in the Great Depression.  The idea of "saving" was ingrained--at least in my mom.  She saved zip-loc bags (washed them and reused them); the same went for frozen dinner trays, plastic water bottles, plastic grocery bags, wrapping paper, string, and any other thing that could be reused, or used for a different purpose.  Today, we live in a throw-away society, but in the earlier part of the 20th century, people kept everything because they might need it and not be able to get more. 

I suppose you could call Mom a "pack-rat"--or today's favorite term, "hoarder"--but at least everything was very organized and clean!  She never let her saving get out of hand, like the people you see on those television shows.  There was no trash and no filth, but I have found every available spot filled with stuff she saved. 

It's interesting to me what people, even my own mother, find important enough to save.  Everything my mom saved had some intrinsic value.  She was especially keen on clothing.  She saved most of my father's shirts, thinking that she would wear them.  She also saved many of his coats and jackets, again thinking that she would wear them.  She saved the old lenses from her glasses.  She saved magazines that she liked:  Decorating and Craft Ideas from 1974-1979, American West from 1968-1975, assorted Country magazines, and assorted Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines. 

Now, before you think I'm criticizing, let me tell you a secret--I'm right there with her!  Oh, I don't save plastic zip-loc bags or plastic bottles, but I'll save just about everything else (except newspapers--never been a newspaper saver).  I had a closet full of clothes from the 80s--until a friend staged an intervention!  Now I have a closet full of 90s and 00s clothes.  I collect stuff; if I have more than two of anything, I'll add to the collection. 

Another amazing fact about my beautiful mother who saved everything:  she saved money too!  She had enough gumption and determination to get my dad through college and professional school on one very small salary. 

Lastly, I love looking through the things that made her her!  It's like a little peek into a time capsule and what made up her world.  The best part is finding things I made for her--she kept them because they were important to her!  It makes me feel good to know that she loved me enough to keep all my tokens of love, no matter how small.

And so, in continuation of my vintage offerings, today's are as follows:

Every lady needed classy white gloves!

These were for putting over your curlers while you worked around the house.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vintage recipes

Found these above mom's stove.  Except for the first picture, everything belonged to my grandmother, who passed away in 1968.

Holiday recipes from the Garland Daily News, November 1970

Spry's veal birds and crispy taters!  What's a "veal bird?"

A recipe on the back of a Canton Bank counter check

Sliced sweet pickles, on Motor Parts and Machine Co. letterhead.  What does "make brine to carry an egg" mean?

Three of the many fruit cake recipes that my grandmother had.  She must have loved fruit cake!


Olive-stuffed flank steak from August 1954

My mom always said that my grandmother was a wonderful cook.  She certainly had some interesting recipes!


After hearing about the virtues of the store, Home Goods, through their television commercials and several blogs, I was eager to see the store and all the home goodies they have.  Major disappointment!  The store had many half-empty shelves, and besides that, they didn't have anything particularly cute or special.  Maybe it was just the store I went to.  Have any of you ever been to Home Goods?  What did you think?

Poquito has a dim view of stores that don't live up to their billing!