Friday, February 17, 2012

And a plant in every pot

My mom used to give free history lessons at almost the drop of a hat. They were the best sorts of lessons since she was sharing parts of her life with me. Over time each story became like an embellishment to the facts I was supposed to be learning in my history classes. The experiences I was reading in my books were the day to day experiences that made up her life.

I learned about Hoover, Roosevelt (FDR), and Truman because programs and platforms set by these former presidents had had a very real impact in my family's life. My mom worked for the WPA, had ration coupons, and had several male relatives who were drafted or enlisted during WWII.

She shared her Republican perspective throughout her life. Taught me that there were two sides - at least - to every story. And that governmental/political change usually had a delay to it. Decide something today in the Oval Office and it's months 'til it is felt in the community.

She felt that Hoover got a raw deal and shared that he promised "a chicken in every pot", but wasn't in office long enough to fulfill the promise. She was sharp witted and able to make her point in a way that was often disarming. You didn't realize you were being lured into a story until you were somewhat immersed and, well, you needed to hear the ending of the story!

I suspect that she'd be laughing if she heard or read the title of my blog today. That's just the sort of person she was. She would have been glad to know that I had really listened to her stories and that I had fun playing with the words.

Oh, by the way, for those of you who asked, the name of the plant in this pot is Aeonium "sunburst".


  1. Stories from our relatives (i.e., ancestors) are underrated. I loved it when my grandfather, Matteo Mimmo, would tell me about how he got on a boat from Italy that took a week to get to New York. Twice. He went back once, then finally stayed. The second time, the boat was called "The Columbus."

  2. There's a healthy bit of irony in the ship's name. Why did he go back to Italy and why did he come back?
    My husband's grandfather came to the U.S. twice. He came to the States, went back to Poland and was conscripted in the Russian Army. After a time he returned to the U.S. Complex histories with never ending variations contained in so many life stories.