Sunday, December 12, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 59

#59– “Make sure you have plenty of beds for family.”

 (Happy 10th Birthday Sweet Granddaughter Syd)

I’m not sure why, but it galls me when I have to admit that I’ve adopted one of my mother’s particularly weird idiosyncrasies.  Do you ever wonder why nasty words like gall, which is a “tumor-like growth of burrowing insect larvae,” and “the greenish, profoundly bitter-tasting fluid in bile ducts,” aren’t profanity? I didn’t think so, but back to beds and mom’s idiosyncrasies.

My mom’s genetic makeup evidently included a “not enough beds” code. Perhaps it evolved from generations of bed sharing by too many kids. I don’t know, but whatever the reason, we had beds all over our house. They were in the bedroom like normal homes, but each of our bedrooms contained at least two full-sized beds. There were also beds on the porch, beds in the living room, and even beds on the front yard. All predicated on mom’s eternal hope that all her chicks (kids) would come home with family in tow.

Let’s see, if everyone was home at the same time, which would be mom’s five kids, their five husbands/wives (total, not each), and their fourteen kids (total, not each) – that would be 24 people (not counting mom). If everyone slept two to a bed, that’s 12 beds. So mom’s logic wasn’t really that off I guess. However, (1) No doubt to mom’s dismay, I don’t think all 24 of us were ever in mom’s house at one time, and (2) That’s probably a good thing, as parricide (killing a close relative – my new word) would have undoubtedly occurred.

I should admit that the beds on the porch and front yard were mostly about the heat of summer and no air conditioning. Central air wasn’t common in our neck of the woods, and the “swamp cooler” wasn’t turned on unless it was so hot the pavement was still liquid at midnight. Click on Read More Below...

When mom wouldn’t let me turn the swamp cooler on (too expensive to run), and it was still too hot on the front porch, we’d drag the mattress out into the front yard, hoping to catch a stray breeze. I’d wake up the next day my eyes nearly swollen shut from mosquito bites.

#59 is a genetic propensity too strong to fight. I too am always plotting ways to lure my kids all home at the same time, which necessitates more places to sleep. The hubby and I have resisted the temptation to buy a big house to accommodate the onslaught that may never happen, and contrary to my childrens' belief, I try very hard not to pressure them to “come home.” Plot yes, pressure no. We recently bought a couch/bed for our “lounge,” formerly the office. And we keep “blow up” beds, “just in case.” But the fact remains that with only two bathrooms, regardless of whether you can stack beds in every spare space, showering and going potty become an issue.

In truth, the bottom line of mom’s lesson #59 is to not ever let anything get in the way of family getting together. It is a lesson I respect and a gene I’m very glad I inherited. So mom was right, make sure you have plenty of beds for family.


  1. The few times I've driven by Momy's last house in Iraan, it looks so much smaller than when I was a kid. And one of the first things that comes to memory is just what you talked about. As I'm driving slowly by and sorting through memories, I wonder just how there was enough room in that house for the beds, couches, chairs and dining table. Somehow it all worked and we always had a space to call our own :) Lynda Marie

  2. I remember once when visiting Mommy Wade and you, taking a nap on a bed in the living room near the swamp cooler. The noise of a cooler was like a lullabye that put me to sleep. It was so hot out that everyone took a nap just to escape the heat for awhile and I felt lucky to nab a spot so close to the cooler.