Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Tell a Story About Your Mother

It is Saturday night and I missed not participating in last week’s theme. We were on a ship and internet speed really isn’t conducive to writing blog posts!

Randy Seaver’s theme this week touches on Mother’s Day:

1)  Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in the United States, so let’s celebrate that!

2)  Tell us a story about your mother’s life – what did she do during her days while you were growing up?  Did she work outside the home?  Did she volunteer for a school or organization?  What hobbies or interests did she have?  It can be any time in your childhood and school years.

My mother, Doris Priscilla (she hated her middle name!) Adams Sabo was a stay at home mom until I was six years old and in the first grade. We lived at 49 Summer Street in Passaic, New Jersey downstairs from my Nana. It was built as a two-family house and my dad was born here.

There was one bedroom, a living room, kitchen and one bathroom, along with a big front room that had no closet in it that became my bedroom.

Nana in front of the house, c1950

The “front door” was up the steps just to the right of this photo. The window in the photo was in my bedroom and the porch wrapped around the house to the left of this picture. There was a second door, which was the entrance to the downstairs living area.

As we only had one family car, and my father used it to go to work, my mother did many of her errands on foot down to the corner to catch a bus or waited until the weekend when she could drive the car to the A & P Supermarket on Main Avenue.

Our kitchen was small, with a sink along one wall and the washing machine – an old wringer washer – in the corner. I distinctly remember being told to keep my hands away from the wringer. The “dryer” was the clothesline in the backyard. Mom wasn’t too fond of ironing and we didn’t have much closet space so clothing that was out of season remained un-ironed in a basket in the pantry, which was actually a small room insulating the house from the back door. My mother is standing at that door in the first photo.

We also had a refrigerator with a small freezer in the top. I think it was a Kelvinator and I remember how my mom hated defrosting the freezer. Pots of water would be boiled and set into the freezer to melt the ice. Eventually, chunks of ice broke free, making Mom quite happy that the job was done for a few more months.

I don’t remember much about the time at home before I started kindergarten, but Mom was taking care of me and running the day-to-day chores while Dad was working.

I do remember the day in May 1957 when Mom and I walked to #10 School to register me for kindergarten. I was very excited about being grown up enough to go to school. She was 7 months pregnant with my brother and when the teacher asked if I had any siblings, I proudly announced that I was going to have a brother in July. I guess I wasn’t interested in having a baby sister and Mother Nature cooperated.

Mom stayed at home for another year after my brother was born and then accepted a job as a secretary in a local company that made copper rollers used for printing fabrics. She worked for the same company for many years – until she retired – and was soon promoted to office manager. Her boss, the owner of the company, was flexible with her work hours so if my brother or I was sick, she could take care of us. During school vacations, Nana watched as she lived upstairs.

My mother loved to play bridge, a hobby she and my dad took up with friends who lived on the street because there wasn’t a lot of extra spending money and all that was needed was a deck of cards.

Mom’s best friends were Rita and Marianne, who both lived across the street and had children my age. Friday night was bridge night and they alternated playing at our house or in Rita’s or Marianne’s apartments across the street. Marianne and her family moved to New York about 1960 and Mom lost contact with her. Now almost 90 years old, Marianne was found on Facebook and we reconnected after almost 60 years! Rita and her husband moved to Wayne a couple of years after we moved there, so she and Mom remained lifelong friends. Rita predeceased Mom by four years and I know she missed her.

By the 1980s, Mom played also played in the American Contract Bridge League and apparently was a pretty good player. She tried to get me interested in the game, but the only thing I remember was being forced to sit at the table for a lesson on how to bid. I asked a few questions and then bid something outrageous, which annoyed Mom no end. She asked what I was doing and I told her I had the AKQJ and 10 of spades. She didn’t believe me, looked at my hand and was astonished that I really did have those cards. Needless to say, bridge never became one of my hobbies.

In spite of the bridge fiasco, Mom was always there for me growing up. Even after she worked outside the home, she ran the household and kept the family on an even keel. It’s hard to believe that she’s been gone for eleven years. She is very much missed.

Thank you, Randy, for this week’s challenge.

Happy Mother’s Day to Everyone!




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