Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Did Your Mother Love to Do?

This week, Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Did Your Mother Like to Do? is a great follow up to last week’s Mother’s Day challenge to share some photos:

What did your mother really like to do in her work or spare time?  Did she have hobbies, or a workshop, or did she like cooking, or reading, or watching TV?

Doris Priscilla Adams Sabo

My mom had many activities that she liked to do throughout her life. She was always an avid reader, from the time she was little until she passed away.

Mom, left, with Aunt Barbara, c1926

She also loved to swim and, in her younger years, swam a couple of long distances, just for fun:

Mom, left, in San Diego during her service in the WAVES

Mom loved her years in the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II. She worked as a secretary and was stationed in San Diego after her training (was it called boot camp for the women?) in Oklahoma.

She kept in touch with her Navy friends, mostly at Christmas, for quite a few years.

Mom, Second Left
Fun in Tijuana???

Mom and the Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, c1980s

While my mom took good care of my dad, brother and me, cooking and housework were not her favorite activities. (Actually, they aren’t mine either!) I remember the wringer washing machine sitting in our kitchen in Passaic.

You can’t see the wringer washer in this photo, but it sat low in the corner to the right of the stove, underneath the cooking utensils hanging on the wall. I only have vague memories of it, but I remember it sitting there and being told in no uncertain terms to keep my hands and clothes far away from the wringer when the machine was going.

Even after we moved to Wayne and had a washer and drier that looked, and worked, like a modern machine, Mom still didn’t take much to doing the laundry. By that time, I was old enough to be doing quite a few chores to earn my allowance and doing the laundry (and accompanying ironing) were two of the ways I could earn spending money.

Mom had one more lifelong hobby that she absolutely loved – playing bridge. I have no photos of her, but she and my dad used to play with friends every Friday night when I was growing up in Passaic. My dad liked the game, but didn’t love it like Mom.

I have memories of her looking for the Goren on Bridge column in the daily newspaper and carefully clipping each tip, saving it for future practice.

By the 1980s, Mom played also played in the American Contract Bridge League and apparently was a pretty good player.

Summer was Mom’s favorite season because it meant spending time with the family on Little Sebago Lake in Maine and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. It was a tradition begun in the 1940s, long before I was around and Mom continued spending a week with her youngest sister until the last couple of years of her life when she felt she couldn’t make the drive anymore from New Jersey to New Hampshire.

Lastly, Mom was a definite night owl (the complete opposite of me) and loved TV shows and movies. I don’t know how she did it, but she got my brother and me up each morning and off to school before heading to work each morning. That happened after staying up to watch Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Sometimes, those shows were followed by the late or late, late movies!

That pretty much sums up Mom’s favorite things to do. Thanks Randy, for this week’s challenge.






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