One of the very first “Easter’s” that I remember being a part of – was back in the 1940’s. We had moved into the North Saint Louis area and lived very close to the Carter and Linton Avenue bus line- but if it were not available – instead of just waiting – we would walk on down the hill to Grand Avenue and take the Grand Avenue Trolley Car to Olive Street. When we got off the “Street-Car” – we were in the “MID-TOWN” area and there were all kinds of good shopping.
At that very location “Grand Avenue and Olive” – we left the Street-Car and went right into the biggest “Woolworth’s 5&10 Store” – only a few steps – at that corner – and so many sweet and enticing “Smells ” – you just knew that they had something good and you would want it! This was the place that my MOM was going to get all of the “EASTER” Surprises’ – for my two brothers and me. When we were traveling on the STREET-Car – my MOM was whispering in my ear what her plans were and that everything that she was getting – would need to be a big surprise for little Denny and Tommy – I would get to see when I would help her put it all together – but that I would have to act very surprised, too!
Since I was the eldest and always right there to help – I was LUCKY – that I would get to know how and why – before things happened. And – of course, I have always been able to act surprised – as I guess I was just so surprised just to be born – if you see my baby picture – you would say the same thing – “she looks very surprised to be born??”
While we were in the “Woolworth s’ 5&10”- My Mom took us throughout the store – just so I would know where she would be doing her shopping and so that I would not be in that area – when she was buying and having the “Easter” stuff wrapped. Everything that she was getting – baskets- candies- little yellow chicks – Chocolate bunnies and eggs – and lots of special items that she thought we would like – but all – must be a surprise to my brothers. So when she had everything wrapped and bagged – my Mother came to the place she told me to be with my brothers – and then, we left the store.
We caught the Grand Avenue Street-car and traveled back to Carter Avenue and we were in LUCK – to catch the Bus going up the hill. Once – home we played and when evening came had our dinner and my brothers went to bed – and then the “FUN” started for me! My Mother started with boiling water to “HARD COOK” eggs – then she had some small dishes with different colors of egg dyes – and when we had all the eggs ready – that would be the time for me to do the coloring. There was some kind of a clear color pencil that my MOM told me to write my brothers names on the eggs and draw some designs or lines around the eggs and put those aside till it was time for the coloring??
This is where I was really surprised – After I dipped the eggs in a dish of color – whatever I wrote on the egg began to appear – and since I had done this – my MOM said that all this was done by the “make believe” – “EASTER BUNNY” since it looked just like his writing We had so much “FUN” pretending to be the “EASTER BUNNY” – and so when this was all ready with the baskets and everything put in the surprise place – there was one more thing to do – to make it really look just right??
Since I usually got up before anyone in the family I tip- toed through the house and found my MOM – she was in the kitchen putting on the coffee for her and DAD. Mom took me to the front door and opened it just enough – so that a very nice “pre-tend” “BUNNY RABBIT” could come in and out with our baskets and everything as MOM had it all laid out – just as if the “Bunny” did it – “HIMSELF!”
So, I ran as fast as I could through the house to my brother’s bedroom and woke them up and had them get out of bed just as they were and come look – at the “Front Door” to see that our front door was left open – just so the “BUNNY” could bring all of this good stuff in – just for us! They just could hardly believe what they saw – each of us had a basket full of good stuff – plus all of the hard colored eggs that I made and they were so “HAPPY” – as we never had anything like this happen before. We all tried to figure out – “How did that ole “BUNNY” get into our house with all of this nice stuff – – just for us???”
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Today, while I was doing some bathroom cleaning – I got to thinking – “Why or when did I first start to think that I had to be the person to do the heavy house-hold cleaning???” Then it dawned on me – it was something that I just thought that I had to do – after seeing the movie “SNOW WHITE!”
Today – the movies that are supposed to be so good – I just hate to have to say – do not motivate me to do anything – but to turn them off. To me there just isn’t anything worthwhile – unless you are from a planet that does not know how to get in bed – first you have to take off all your clothes! The other half of the movies teaches you how to commit any and every crime – especially if you are the type who wants to kill and murder everyone. Almost forgot the language – in one word its – rotten!
What ever happen to making a good movie to inspire and motivate people – especially young children! So – that takes this old “GRANDMA” back to the 1940s – when I watched the “SNOW WHITE” movie – and I must have been right at the age of seeing what you should do – to help out in your home – and that was to fill a bucket with water and get down on your knees and start scrubbing the floors. That scene sure made a big impression on me – because that is exactly what I planned on doing.
My MOTHER was a couple of months pregnant and she was not feeling too good – some days she would stay in bed a little longer than she would normally do – as there were the three of us children – and I was the oldest. It just seem to me to do what I could to help when and where and keep an eye on my little brothers – no sense in causing problems – as everyone knows – everyone feels better when there is complete harmony in the home.
So, one day – when my MOTHER was staying in bed – and I thought that she was completely asleep – I filled a pail with water and got the scrub brush and cleaning cloth – just like I saw “SNOW WHITE” do in the movie – and in one corner of the Kitchen – down on my knees – I started to scrub the floor – wipe up and start another spot. My Mother had good ears – she knew that I was doing something – so she called me – “Mary Ellen what are you doing?” My answer was, “OH I’m just doing??” And then – he said, “WHAT are you doing??” “I’m doing just like “SNOW WHITE” did in the movie – I’m cleaning!”
Evidently, being down on my knees and scrubbing the floor was not a job for me – because my Mother came to the kitchen – just to see what I was doing??? Well, my Mother sat me down – said that she appreciated me cleaning the floor – but she will do the heavy cleaning – that I was supposed to be playing and other things at my age – that to clean house will come later on – maybe when I’m older. So, to please MOM – I went and got my “nurses’ play-kit” and started being the nurse to my brothers – giving them candy medicine and taking their temperature and wrapping up the arms in bandages – as they must have been heroes – since we were still at WAR and there was a ribbon hanging in the front window of our house with a “GOLD STAR” – our DAD was still in the service.
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Every FAMILY – has one important thing that they usually do every SPRING and FALL! Have you already guessed what it is that we did??? We would drive up to OHIO – that is where my FATHER is from – and his FAMILY wanted to see all of us – as , we little KIDS were being born and as – we were getting older.
The very first trip that my FAMILY took – was when I was about seven months old. My MOTHER told me about the trip – so many times – that I feel that it was just as she described to me. The back seat of the car was set up special – just for my comfort. The open area where you would put your feet is the area that my DAD put the suit cases and added some other items that they needed to change my diapers and extra baby stuff – but to level it so that the basket that I was to travel in – would sit still and level.
This basket that I was to travel in – is the very same oval laundry basket that we had when I was older – and every time that we would be doing laundry – my MOM and I would reminisce about the traveling and – how good of a baby I was – when traveling long distances. When you are little – I feel that it is good – if – what you are doing – is making good memories – that both you and your parents will always remember – and really enjoy talking about later – till the last day you are on this earth.
My MOTHER – would tell me that when they put me in the basket in the back seat of the car – they had to really be ready to start the car and get it moving. If they still had some packing of stuff – to put in the trunk or anything that would delay the car from getting on the road – “I would sing out loud and clear – for the whole wide world to hear me!” Seems that I just was not about to lay back and keep my mouth shut – either you get this show going – or you will be hearing from – “your back-seat driver” – and that was me!
When my MOTHER would tell me about the trips and all of what went on – she sure enjoyed re-telling me all the stuff we did – on the way up to OHIO and back down to Saint Louis. That is why I feel it does one good –internally to remember the good times that we have- – as so many of us have enough bad times – – but, if we would only remember more of the good times – maybe we would not have a so many bad times???
What I enjoyed most – – was hearing about – me! I bet that there were times that they wished that I was not in that back seat – just from the way I know – some kids act when they are cooped up too long – and where they are not wanting – to be??? Over all – my Mother would say – that I was the “best baby” to travel with – because for hundreds of miles of driving – they would not hear a peep from me. “BUT, if we had to make a quick stop – just the second that our car stopped – then, I would scream so loud – there was nothing that I wanted – and nothing that I needed – but if they would start the car – moving – I went right back to sleep – and I would sleep soundly until the next stop!” “Keeping that car moving – then I was in HEAVEN – I would travel without disturbing a soul!”
Since I have had my own children – there has been times when I have heard of children – that would be babies – under six months old – who just could not or would not sleep in peace for the new parents – that is and unless they all got into the car and drove around the block a couple of times – just to get the new born baby to rest quietly and fall to a sound sleep!
Are you “ALL” ready to take a long trip with the newborn baby?? “It will be FUN for all – I know!” “PROMISE!”
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You can hear people on the “talk-radio” programs – and tell you things – that are almost unbelievable – about their “Gambling” problems! Yesterday – this lady called – her voice was as if she was on her last rope of LIFE? She sounded like she was in the depths of hell – she was in “need” – as her husband was throwing the little bit of money they had – down the drain.
When I was a little girl – back in the 1940s – we were told that what we heard was to stay at home – no matter what someone might ask you – “You are not to repeat what happens in your home or said in your home!” Then, when we were in the Orphanage – when a visiting Sunday came around and my MOTHER had ask me what I did there for work and play – I told her exactly – and what I had told her – had upset her – so much that she typed a letter to the “Courts” in Saint Louis – and as a little girl – I learned firsthand – HOW and WHY – it is important to keep your mouth shut!
There must be an unwritten rule of what one can – and cannot talk about to the whole world. In other words – “You cannot hang out your “dirty laundry” for the whole world to view!” Just thinking about this unspeakable rule – I believe that is – what is causing a lot of our problems – those – which we have today! Without letting people know what is going on – and trying to get help to solve the home problems – is wrong for each “person” – HOW – can we ever expect to FIX the Problem without the right kind of of help? We need to get at the “TRUTH” of the situation and learn by self discipline – only getting to the real “TRUTH” will we ever seek and receive guidance from the Almighty – the Father of all TRUTH!
Getting back to the lady on the radio – she was telling the radio host – that she was on disability social security – that their Television and one of their telephones was cut off – due to none payment – and that they are behind on their mortgage payments and she does not know what to do??? The radio “HOST” asked about her husband – ‘Does he work?”– “NO!” “His unemployment payment ran out and he is supposed to learn something about a new type of job to do – and that will not bring in any money soon,” Also she added, “Whenever he gets any money he stops by the “Gambling” places and spends all his money. He will spend any large amounts of money on “Gambling” as fast as he can!”
The “HOST” ask her – “Does he have a gambling problem?” “Maybe an addiction???”She then and almost in tears said “YES” – “and he tells me that he will “WIN” and he will then double up on the amounts he bets – but he never gets ahead in any of his “GAMBLING” – and I just do not know what to do?” Of course the listeners can tell that the “HOST” is getting disgusted with all of these negative ways of this lady in all her and the husband’s living and so “NOW” what can he do – but to offer to pray for her – as this program has no way of sending her any financial help – as her husband will only take the cash and blow it!
Just before getting off the “air “ with the “HOST” – the lady said, “I knew that he gambled before we were married – but I always thought that I would be able to help him in some way or the other – to cut down or stop “GAMBLING!” Well, that was the last straw – the “HOST” could not take any more of this – he just finished with saying he would pray for her – and asked her to do the same – but to try and get some professional help – and do something – go somewhere immediately to the agencies that are set up for these kind of problems – NOW!
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In the 1940’s – and – when I was in an Orphanage – every year the Orphanage had two big celebrations to raise money. The first celebration was always on the second Sunday in June – and that was their “Centennial Anniversary Celebration” and the second celebration were held – always on the second Sunday in August. This time it was called their “PICNIC Celebration” and each of these celebrations included food, drink pony rides, and all kinds of “gambling!”
The Alumni men would start building all kinds of booths almost two weeks ahead of these occasions – as each of the Catholic Parish Churches would have auxiliary men and women to work these booths – some of these booths would be set up for – games of chance – some had quilts and other items handmade with raffle tickets to purchase – some booths had shelves filled with all kinds of white elephant items all numbered – and they would also have some useless consolation prizes, for those who spent lots of money and won nothing.
Well – I would ask my Aunt Irene for a quarter – so that I could see if I could WIN SOMETHING – at this booth where they have large jars with lots of slips of paper with numbers hand-written on and folded – these slips with numbers would match some item of the shelf??? These were the days when I had 20-20 vision! I would look in that large “JAR” and pull out a couple or so of these folded slips of paper and pick only three from my hand. “You” – know what I was doing! ?? I was picking out those slips of paper with writing on – as I knew – even when I was about nine years old – those were “WINNERS!”
It was not too long – that some of those “senior citizens” working that booth – caught on to me. So – they put writing on each and every piece of paper in the “JAR” – so that – for those of us kids – who figured on a for sure “WINNER” were stopped in our very young tracks! So, at that very young age – I did learn a very important message – you cannot “WIN at another’s man’ game!” Later in LIFE – I have purchased a chance or two – that is I paid out some of my hard earned money for a chance to WIN – and I never ever won anything! The lesson for me was – if it is for a good cause – just give them a couple of dollars – and know that it is only a “DONATION” – that it might do someone some good – as I will never WIN – that is clear and I understand – that only great harm will come to those who go overboard with their “GAMBLING!”
Sometime ago, and this was in the newspapers and on radio – as it happened in South County Saint Louis, Missouri – a young Mother of several children and a good Husband that worked every day was addicted to “GAMBLING” – and in the NEWS – that she was so addicted – that she spent all of her time “GAMBLING!” – In her trying to recover some of the money she had lost – she started to “double up” on the “GAMBLING” – NOW she was borrowing against her home – to where she could not get any more money from the bank. Then the money she had in her checking account to pay the entire monthly bills – she gambled it away. Now there was nowhere to get any money – and when she received the “BANK NOTICE” that they were to meet her at her “HOME” to pick up the keys – she with all of the bills and notices she received – got into her car – drove and park it on a deserted “shopping lot” and shot herself and died in the car!
When I had heard about this – I just could not figure out –” why” no one knew what she was doing and or HOW to help her???”GAMBLING” is just such a wicked thing – and to let “IT” get such a strangle hold on you – when you are so young – and then for you to always keep thinking your next bet will be the “BIG WINNER” – when in reality we all know – there – just is no way that – that will ever happen!!!!
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The “SUN” is out and shinning and it is even a little warmer than yesterday – so it must be the 1st day of SPRING! Just to know that SPRING is here and that the temperature is warming up – makes me feel like I’m ten years younger??? Does the change of weather at this time of the year – make you feel like -NOW – is the time to start doing all those outside projects , that you have been planning to do – but the weather just was not cooperating??
A bright day – full of the good ole SUN and the yard is calling – to me – come on out and look at all you are missing – just by your staying inside, all day??The other BLESSING – is that we have the “Day Light Saving” time here and that means – more time to start and get the outside project done in a day’s time, especially when you have helpers – those that like to help do what you do and have FUN doing something – just to be able to inhale all that fresh and clean air!
Yesterday – I had heard someone quote something that “Henry Ford” either said quite often or something that he had coined as an important remark to get his workers or investors inspired with him – when he was undertaking a new project, “I’m going to do it!”
So, after hearing that – I just said to myself – “I’m going to do that” – “I’m going to remember – that whenever I am thinking and or planning on a project – that I will have to get myself all stir up in a highly positive way – especially in the brain – that this project is going to be done – because I’m going to do it!”
How’s that for talking to yourself – motivating and getting all these lazy “WINTER” bones in the mood to get everything in the right order to march outside with all the tools that I need and if there are any helpers who would like to have some FUN – just to see what we can do – well when you see me outside working – If you want to help and feel like helping – just come already to do some outside work – where we will all have FUN!
Within the next week – I will be putting together all the stuff that I will be working with – and will have it all ready to immediately do the outside work – as to just get outside and stand around without all of the preparations being taken care of first – I’m afraid that someone would call me a “slacker???”
The most important thing that I am going to start – will be to take some special vitamins – some of those that build up the muscles and strength – as I sure do what to keep up with my helpers – and of course be able to spend the full day outside and hopefully finish – what we started??
If I left out anything – that you might think of that I should do – remember that I just happen be – oh well…– “I’m all ears!!!”
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