Taste of Tangerine Tango- Part Two

It’s CyberMonday; the day we’re supposed to shop on-line. Since that’s the ONLY way to get copies of Tangerine Tango Women Writers Share Slices of Life , here’s your chance to be part of the national marketing craze, support a good cause, and get some perfect little gifts.

For this week’s tiny taste of Tangerine Tango, I selected excerpts from essays about parents.  Though I didn’t give the writers any themes, many wrote about lessons and advice received from their mothers and fathers.

From Donna K. Barry’s  “Tending: A Daughter’s Tale”

…From the time I was old enough to walk I spent my early days following Daddy around the yard. Each summer evening after supper, he’d leave the inside work behind and tend the flowers and garden. Never mind that he’d just spent all day working in someone else’s greenhouse – this was the work he loved. We’d putter in the yard together. I’d follow along while he carried buckets of water, sifted composted soil and scattered pink fertilizer around the stems of young tomato plants. I learned the names of every kind of petunia, marigold and tomato. Big Boy, Early Girl, beefsteak, and cherry tomatoes, all went into the garden behind our greenhouse. Tiny tomato sprigs that Daddy had painstakingly started in our cellar from seeds back in March were now brave little plants that grew into bushes under our care. At the end of our gardening, there would always be time for a wheelbarrow ride, then sitting in Daddy’s lap in the cool darkness of the porch until bedtime.

Today, I no longer grow tomatoes, but I have flowers. …

 From my “Fashion Advice from Our Mothers”

I pulled my white skirt from the closet, thinking I better wear it now; I only have a couple more days to do so.  My mother always said not to wear white after Labor Day.  That got me remembering some of   mom’s other fashion advice like be sure to wear clean underwear and don’t use safety pins to fix your bra (sew it!).

I thought how everyone’s mother must have done the same thing:  volunteering opinions, praise, and criticism.  I know I’ve done my share. I asked about 50 women of all ages and backgrounds to recall what their mothers said about fashion.

In the essay, I divided the responses into categories. Here’s what various mothers said about underwear.

“Make sure your underwear is not only clean, but not torn. Don’t want to wind up in an emergency room with shabby underwear. Don’t want to wind up in an emergency room period.”~ MOM

“Mom said “Make sure you don’t have holes in your socks when you go to the doctor.” ~  Adeena

“My Aunt Elaine always told us: Your underwear MUST match.   God forbid if you get in an accident and become unconscious, you will be treated better if your underwear matches. The MD/EMTs will assume that you have insurance!”~ Robin 

“Be sure your bra strap doesn’t show!  Now it’s a fashion statement to show your cool, thin, colorful (or not) bra straps!” Nancy K.

“Growing up in the ’60’s my mom was thrilled if I just covered all the “important” parts and wore a bra.” ~Nancy J.

“Wear a girdle; a jiggly booty is unbecoming. If you have a sheer-ish skirt, a slip is necessary and appropriate. Something I actually still adhere to today.”~ Lisa P.

One friend offered the advice she gives her twenty-something daughters:  “Always wear something sexy underneath even if no one is going to see it.   You will feel fab.  Wear a thong,  you don’t want panty lines.”~Sharon

There’s comments about wearing stockings and condition of shoes, wearing hats, hair, patterns and styles, body shapes, and being ladylike.

From Chris Rosen’s  “The Flapper,” a tribute to her mother.

Born in 1908, Gertrude Smith was a flapper. Barely 5’2” tall, her blonde hair was neatly combed into a Marcel wave ending just below her ear. She told me once or twice, that when she was young she was a “rebel.” Her ancestors were Irish coal-miners, who settled in Scranton, PA. She was widowed three times. Although I wasn’t actually raised by my birth Mother, I visited her often and eventually at the age of eleven moved into her home. I was her last child, and these are some of the things she taught me.

“Signs are for sheep.” My Mother could always find her way in, around, over or under a problem. She encouraged us to think for ourselves, never to take “No” for an answer, and to always hit back harder when faced with a bully. She did not suffer fools at all. When Nell (who was my Foster Mother) and my Mother first met as teens, she was sporting a black eye. When asked how she got it, Nell said, “Your Mother could swear like a sailor.” They didn’t know then that both women would become my mothers…

Curious to know more? Please buy a book or two (free shipping if you order 3!) Remember all proceeds go to Huntington’s Disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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12 Responses to Taste of Tangerine Tango- Part Two

  1. I’m part way through reading these stories. I have laughed, nodded my head in agreement and shed a tear or two of empathy. I love stories and women tell the best stories – stories of the heart. I think this book would make a great gift and I am thrilled that it supports an important cause.

    Like

  2. It’s amazing how we remember the lessons our parents taught us, either by telling us or showing us…

    Like

  3. judy says:

    Loved these two stories!

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Tales from the Motherland and commented:
    Lisa said it so well, I figured I’d let her hold the floor. It’s cyber-Monday, which I may not believe in… but I believe in this lovely, little book. If you’d like to purchase it for someone as a holiday gift, or a sweet hostess gift, read on and hit the links. If you live near me and would like, one, I have copies; just contact me directly. I am proud to be part of this project and grateful that Lisa made so much effort to see it to fruition. Remember, all proceeds from the sales on Amazon, go to Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA). Fits in your purse, and spreads joy at the same time! Thanks Lisa.

    Like

  5. Perfect Lisa! Just “binged” you – or is it “pinged?” It’s Giving Tuesday so I thought I’d share my thoughts:http://mountainmornings.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/charity-begins-at-home/
    ps, there’s no place like home!

    Like

  6. Lisa…I read your post…and hurried over to Amazon to order my copy! I’ll post a review on Amazon as soon as I read it…looks like an awesome book…I’m so proud of you and the others who contributed their stories. 🙂

    Like

  7. Just ordered it! Can’t wait to read it. Love where the proceeds are going.

    Like

  8. Reblogged this on talktodiana and commented:
    I’m part way through reading these stories. I have laughed, nodded my head in agreement and shed a tear or two of empathy. I love stories and women tell the best stories – stories of the heart. I think this book would make a great gift and I am thrilled that it supports an important cause.

    Like

  9. Pingback: Tangerine Tango Taste #3: The Non-Bloggers & A Giveaway! | cyclingrandma

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