Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 66

Photo is of my mom, 1937. I have the hat she has on in this photo!

#66 – “Put bells on your doors so you can hear when people come and go.”

During a recent trip to New Mexico to see a good friend, I noticed that she had a string of bells on her front doorknob, and mom’s #66 jumped into my memory. When I mentioned to my friend that her bells reminded me that my mom had told me many times to hang bells on my doors as a security measure, my friend replied, “I just hung them there because I thought it looked cool. I never thought about it as a security thing.”

When I was growing up, people didn’t lock their doors in our little hometown of 1,200 people, and probably still don’t. When you arrived at someone’s house you just opened the door and walked in, hollering something like “Hello the house?” or “Woo hoo? Anybody home?” As the saying goes, we didn’t get a lot of strangers in those parts, so whoever walked into your house was going to be someone you knew. However, probably because she had a feral child (me) and lived alone, mom apparently wanted a little more information about comings and goings, and it worked like a charm, or perhaps I should say like a chime.

I remember hating those dang bells on our doorknobs because I couldn’t sneak out or into the house. Mom always knew exactly what time I got home from a date, all because of those bells! No matter how hard I tried, I could not open the front or back door without setting off the alarm bells! And it wasn’t like I could just remove them! Mom would either hear me, if she was home, or notice they were gone when she got home. It was a low-tech yet failsafe security system.

So mom was right, if you want to know when people are coming and going at your house, hang a string of bells on the doors. Besides, it’s a nice welcoming sound that reminds me of the bells on the doors of old shops! Tinkle, tinkle!

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