“Children, be obedient to your parents in all things…”

Colossians 3:20: Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.

I grew up in the late 50s and 60s – graduating HS in the early 70s. It was a far different time. We walked – a lot. Mom always dressed nice – even her “working clothes” were nice. She always had on make-up and I remember her wearing toilet paper pinned around her head so her hairdo stayed nice all night. LOL. Neither of my parents ever owned “dungarees” or blue jeans. It took me until my sophomore year in HS to get my parents to allow me to wear them, especially to school. The image above pretty closely resembles my family on a weekend or vacation. However, my parents are weird. And our family is weird. And it all hit me today. LOL.

This is how my mom made toast, because this is how her mom made toast. You place that directly on your stovetop and let the bread get all toasty/crusty. The darker the better for my mom! LOL! As I was toasting a muffin this morning, my brain whooshed me back in time. A time when toast was not served warm or buttered, either. The occasional use of Marmite. My folks are from New Zealand and England and they would occasionally use Vegemite, but since that is the Australian take on the goo, they preferred Marmite. All I can say is it is gross…to me. As a kid I would almost vomit when mom put it on my toast. Yuck. I tried it as an adult and it did not improve its flavor. LOL. Another thing the British do is they do not butter their toast right away; nor do they serve it warm…not even close to warm. It is served in a toast stand.

The one above is as close to what my mom had as I could find. I wonder what ever happened to it? LOL. I am sure it was tossed for a more American use of toast, like a warm, buttered stack of toast. Yum. So you would get this cold toast, which basically is a large crouton (that idea cracks me up) and there would be toppings available to choose from.

The photo above reminds me of my youth so much. Cold toast, softened butter in a dish, and some sort of jam or preserves. I grew up loving orange marmalade, especially when my great-grandmother made it. And I have always loved preserves with the seeds from the berries still in it. My favorites are the dark berries – blackberries, for example. And my mom could do 3-minute eggs so well. (My father-in-law would spoil me and my sister-in-law with 3-minute eggs, too. It was so wonderful). What is a 3-minute egg? Absolute heaven.

I adore them so much. And this morning as I was toasting my muffin, I looked across at my stove and just smiled. This is on top of the stove:

My grandma’s 3-minute egg timer. Oh the memories. And it was not until we were teenagers and mom had sort of adopted American ways of doing things, that we had pancakes from Bisquick or cereal. Most of the time it was tea and toast and an egg or two. And that is just kind of weird, but in such a wonderful way. It harkens back to when breakfast was a meal taken with time and family to start your day out. We were all dressed and ready to head out the door; mom was in her dress with her apron and stockings on; Dad would be in a suit with his briefcase nearby, and then she would throw a table cloth on across the center of the table and serve us breakfast like in the photo up top. We would chat about school or dad would share a little about work (what he could share – he worked on the Space program and most of his job was top secret stuff), and then we would take our books and sweaters and head out to school. School started at 9am and was done by 3pm. We had time for breakfast.

When these cereal boxes came out, that changed everything. Not only was it enough for a kid, you did not even have to get a bowl dirty. Mom adapted well to America! LOL! But our family was still weird. We had 3 sets of clothes. One for school and only school. One to play in after school and on weekends. And Church clothes. I think they all started as Church clothes or school clothes and as they wore out, they became play clothes. But we were not allowed holes in anything or to wear anything torn or raggedy. My mom was strict about what we wore. And she ironed EVERYTHING. And I mean EVERYTHING. (Yes, underwear and sheets; even towels were ironed. I learned to iron by practicing on my dad’s undershirts and our sheets and tablecloths). Her entire family had been tailors. So clothes were a big deal for her. After school we had to change and put on play clothes. We could play until 5pm when we had to clean up for dinner. We had to change into clean clothes for dad to come home and us to eat dinner. Then it was shower/bath, pj’s, and bed. By 7:30pm at the latest. Sigh. We did not have a lot of clothes, either. But what we did have, well, it had specific purposes and mom never allowed us to deviate. God forbid you wore school shoes to dig in the dirt or ride your skateboard!! LOL!

Exodus 20:12:  “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

My brother and I love our parents, but we do laugh at the odd way we were raised sometimes. I remember things he was too young to remember and he recalls things I have forgotten. (There are so many other examples of British/New Zealand oddities, but I thought I would stick to just a couple of them). Our parents eventually dressed like everyone else (except for the jeans thing. That did not happen until they were both retirement age! LOL!) and they lost their accents. It used to be so funny to hear my mom call us into the house for dinner, “Mark, Jan, dinner!” but all our neighbors heard was, “Mock, Jahn, dinnah!” because of mom’s accent. She could not pronounce a hard “r” if her life depended on it. Now that they are both over 90 and are suffering from memory issues, the accent is returning. Mom is still a NZ citizen and our “resident alien,” refusing to give up her NZ citizenship even after almost 70 years in the USA. And Mom, when she talks about her childhood, she is often thick with her NZ accent. I like hearing it again. And if I am honest, I like that we were sort of weird; it’s kind of cool. But I also realized that I prefer my toast warm and with lots of melted butter. And I also prefer coffee…shhhh….


1 thought on ““Children, be obedient to your parents in all things…”

  1. Pingback: “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things…” – Trump:The American Years

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