I was cooking an egg this morning and started to think about my mom’s name for a fried egg. She’d ask me if I wanted a runny egg, or a dunky egg with my toast. She called an umbrella a brelly; the remote was a clicker my suitcase was a grip. Instead of cock-eyed, she’d say crock-eyed, etc., etc. I know there are more I just can’t think of them now.
I too developed this habit with my children. I always asked if they wanted pannycakes, or doddies (doughnuts) for breakfast. I pronounced the ‘t’ in ballet. I still wonder if they want to take the ‘vator (elevator) or the stairs, and whether they want me to turn on the tube (tv). When they fly in I’m picking them up at the ‘port, and when we go travel it’s on a vaca. And instead of swearing when they were little I would say, ishkabibble or ay caramba…I guess I was practicing my Yiddish and Spanish? Who knows?!
When I was a kid my dad used to wake me up to the song, “Good morning to you, good morning to you,we’re all in our places with sun shiny faces, and this is the way to start a new day”. Drove me bananas! Not to burden my kids with that one, I used to wake them up with, “Up and at ’em, Atom Ant!”. I don’t know how that one started, but I used to do it enough that they will never forget it, nor ever want me to repeat it!
I’m sure all families have their own language and habits that they develop over the years, sometimes without even realizing it or knowing how ingrained it becomes in every day speech. I think I was in my early 20’s until I knew how to order a fried egg sunny side up without pointing at the picture in the menu!!
My mom and pop 1954
Cold temperatures, like we’ve had today, always seem to put me in the mood to putter around the house. Today took me into the basement to dig through boxes that I haven’t looked at since we had a flood down there four years ago. (I know what you’re thinking, but my excuse is out of sight, out of mind!)
New Year’s Eve 1960’s with my aunts
One of things I came across was a plastic tub full of photo albums with snaps from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. There were the usual vacation photos with my awkward 14 year old self, long pigtails and glasses with ginormous lenses, holiday gatherings in glorious black & white and lots of badly taken pictures of my childhood home. What dawned on me as I was strolling down memory lane was how everyone in these pictures has, how can I say this, passed to that great puffy cloud in the sky. I’m trying to be humorous here because it’s really quite sad to realize that everyone that was a big part of my life for many years is gone.
My extended family was quite large when I was a kid, and we got together a lot for all kinds of occasions, but one thing was pretty noticeable at these things; I was one of only three kids in attendance. For whatever reason this older generation didn’t go forth and multiply, and with my parents both being in their 40’s when I was born back in the 1950’s, my family members were, without exception, already past middle age when I was little. As a result I got along much better with adults than kids my own age when I was young.
So I’ve started to think about all the good times we used to have and all the memories and stories I used to hear from this lost generation and I’m thinking that I really need to write and catalog what I remember so that all is not forgotten.
It’s tough to be the last of the lot, but I’m so glad that I was a witness, and took a small part in the “good ol’ days”. They were a fun bunch, and my only regret is that I didn’t have them around when I was an adult so we could have shared a few highballs together!