To call our family nontraditional may be a bit of understatement.
Yes, we were a family of two parents and three kids, but my Mom was not the ‘stay at home’ type. She was ahead of her time in her thinking and in her ‘ways’.
She was determined her children would be college educated. She hadn’t had that opportunity and always regretted her lack of formal education. But she made up for it in many unusual ways. For instance, keeping her mind sharp was essential; therefore we lived with a door in the living room: one end placed in the seat of a chair and the other end on the floor. She took a daily ‘power nap’ on this plank with her head at the floor level and her feet at the high-end. Some believed this provided blood to the brain, thus improving one’s thinking processes. Can’t say that it worked, but it was a great conversation starter for a first time visitor. And since the chair was in front of a large picture window looking out onto the well-traveled street, you didn’t even have to come into the house to get the effect of strangeness.
And she believed in exercise. This was before gyms and marathon races. Her form of exercise was to traipse ballet-style through the house to some imaginary music, stretching her arms, legs and body in graceful movement that she believed kept her ‘juices flowing’. Speaking of juices, she also introduced us to the virtues of vinegar and honey taken daily as a health potion.
I’m reminded of all this after spending a few days in the small town where she was born and grew up. While visiting the public library in this southeastern Oklahoma hamlet, I came upon her high school graduation picture, one I had never seen. She certainly didn’t look like the woman she would become: mother of 3, newspaper publisher, real estate landlord, and the first feminist I ever knew. She insisted we all get an education, she knew we could open any door to the world of opportunity we wanted to enter, and she insisted we not sell ourselves short in our expectations of our abilities and potential.
So, thanks to her, I have an education (some would say that is questionable since my degree is from Oklahoma University), and I am committed to exercise (although not the nightly ballet moves around the house). However, black strap molasses and wheat germ have not made it into my pantry, and chances are they never will. Sorry Mom, but 2 out of 3 tain’t bad!
Does this really look like something you would drink for breakfast?