Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week’s mission was:
1) Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in the United States, so let’s celebrate that!
2) Tell us a story about your mother’s life – what did she do during her days while you were growing up? Did she work outside the home? Did she volunteer for a school or organization? What hobbies or interests did she have? It can be any time in your childhood and school years.
3) Write your own blog post about it, or write a comment on this post, or write a Facebook post.
My mum didn’t work outside the home when I was growing up. When she married dad, he was a widower with 2 young girls, and she went on to have 6 daughters of her own (one died young), so she was kept busy looking after all of us. She also didn’t drive.
Growing up, I had eye troubles, and I had regular appointments at the Royal Ear and Eye Hospital. Mum used to go with me. We would walk to the bus stop on Mitcham Road, catch the bus to the Mitcham railway station, a train into the city, and then a tram out to the hospital, and then back home again.
When I was younger, there was a strip of shops around the corner from us on the corner of Quarry Road and McKeon Road. These included a grocer, a green grocer, a butcher and a milk bar. Mum would walk around there to do the shopping. Later, after these stores closed (they weren’t able to compete with the new supermarkets), dad would do the shopping on the way home from work on a Thursday night. Thursday was pay day.
We had a big yard, with plum, apricot, nectarine, apple and lemon trees, and we also had a vegetable garden that dad tended, so mum was able to get fresh fruit and vegetables from the back yard as well.
For cooking, mum and dad had an electric stove, as well as an older wood stove. Most of the cooking was done on the electric stove, and the wood stove was mostly used over winter to keep the house warm. To begin with, we only had the refrigerator with the top freezer, but later mum and dad bought a chest freezer as well. Mum had an electric washing machine, but also a double laundry tub, with a section in the middle where the clothes could be squeezed dry, for hand washing. We had a rotary washing line in the backyard where mum would hang out the clothes to dry.
With so many girls in the house, mum did have help with the housework, and my older sisters would help look after the younger ones. I was the youngest, so I earnt the nickname the “Artful Dodger”, because I always managed to get out of doing the household. My only job was drying the dishes.
Our bathroom had a shower over the bath, and a sink. The toilet was in the back of the house, past the laundry.
When mum was growing up, her aunt Amelia rang a dressmaking business, so mum was taught dressmaking. She made many of our clothes growing up, and she used to have an old treadle sewing machine that was kept on the back verandah. She also had an electric sewing machine. She made my wedding dress, as well as my bridesmaids’ dresses.
Mum was the coach of our netball teams, and would also umpire some of our netball matches.
Mum would also help out in the school canteen. On the days she was working there, we were allowed to buy our lunch. This was usually a meat pie, a jam donut and we sometimes would buy a Razz – a frozen raspberry drink. The rest of the time, we made our own lunches, which was usually a sandwich (most of the time tomato and cheese), and a piece of fruit (usually an apple).