The pesky arc, part I

When I was younger, I wanted desperately to be different from my parents. And I am. The dog lives inside and climbs on whatever furniture he wants, for example. Our cats are decidedly more indoor than out. My husband and I don’t have a perfect marriage (does anyone?), but it’s very solid. I’ve never owned a car for less than 5 years, and I’ve never bought a new one.

Then there’s the truth: I am very much like my folks. My house will always be “lived in” (that means messy). I am stubborn, just like my dad. Though I’m hesitant to ride on a boat with my father (a few really bad experiences scared me off), I love the water.

I love books and reading, like my mom. I was in her attic the other day and found the boxes of books that lined every house we grew up in. The original blue woven color of Nancy Drew mysteries were some of my mom’s first books, and she passed them on to me.

Mom dragged my brother, sister, and I to the organic health food store when we lived in Athens, Ohio in the mid 70s, long before such things were considered cool. When she tried serving us whole-wheat pasta, I reminded her (as only an 8-year old can), that “spaghetti is white!” And let’s not even talk about the time she tried to give us spaghetti squash with marinara sauce

Cold cucumbers soaked in white vinegar were my favorite snack after playing outside on a hot summer day. I still remember mom showing me how to pick cucumbers carefully, so my hands and arms didn’t break out from handling the plant’s prickly stalks. My mom was no gourmet cook, but she knew good food.

Now, I only eat whole-grain pasta, and I love vegetables. I’ve never craved sugar-coated cereal, except for a brief college obsession. All because of my mama.

Next up: The Pesky Ark, Part II: Mom’s Summer of ‘64 in Nashville

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