This past December, I marked the 20th anniversary of my mother's death. That day of her passing is a sad one every year, but huge milestones like 20 years feel even worse. I still miss her every single day.
This photo of her was taken in 1953, probably right before she and my father were married. The house, in Elmont, NY, belonged to my Aunt Helen (my father's sister and still kicking at 95!) and Uncle George.
Here are some things I learned from my mother, Carol.
1. Always postpone ironing for as long as possible. I mean, seriously, none of us will run out of things to wear, so wait for the pile to become enormous and then spend most of a day doing it.
Seeing as I rarely iron at all, I think I've pretty much followed her advice here.
2. The family should eat dinner together every night, at the kitchen table.
This is an old-fashioned tradition that I still believe in and do to this day.
3. Never go to someone's house for a visit empty handed.
I live by this rule. When invited for dinner, I either bring a requested dessert or a bottle of wine. If the
host and hostess say "don't bring anything", I bring a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
4. Life is too short to drink instant coffee.
This goes without saying. Instant coffee isn't worth the time it takes to make it.
5. Play Mah Jong.
Well, she taught me how to play, but I've never lived anywhere where other people knew how to play and
one can't play Mah Jong alone. With regret, I must confess that I've never played with anyone but her.
6. When playing the slot machines, always make the maximum bet. How would you feel if you hit
a jackpot and you only had 1 quarter in the machine? Pretty stupid, I imagine.
When in Las Vegas, I follow this sage advice. Usually it means I lose my money faster, but hey, why take
My mother was a wise, wise woman, wasn't she?