Mother at Christmas
Mother at Christmas


This is a picture of my mother around Christmastime.  Christmas was always a little brighter when she was around.  She had a ‘heart of gold’ and a disposition to go with it.  Wherever we lived, be it palace or barn, it was always better when she was there.  She made it ‘Home’ wherever we lived, so I can never think of home, without thinking of her.

For Photo Challenge

Developing your eye, #1

Been Away for A While

Lady on her new climber
Lady on her new climber

My computer has been out of it for a while now so I have not been able to post for several days. Hope I am not forgotten by my followers! I will try to get some posts out in the near future. Thanks to all who follow me and of course new followers are always welcome.

See you all soon.



My grandmother, even being from the old country, Ireland, quickly took on some new ideas from her adopted country.  Although she kept many of the customs of her past, like wearing long dresses to her ankles and these were mostly  dark colors in paisley prints.  Her shoes were always black with low heels, like nurses used to wear.

The one thing she insisted on was that we, her grandchildren call her “Mom” and not “Grandmother”.  She did not want to be considered old, so as a result, we had to call my mother, “Mother”, not realizing how different that was, especially in the United States, where most people call their mom, “mom”.

We, of course, thought nothing of it at the time but as we got older, it seemed a bit odd.  Not that we ever objected to it or even said anything about it.  Until we were adults and friends would sometimes remark about it being a little strange.

Mom’s husband, my grandfather, was called “Pop” by both his children and his grandchildren.  That always seemed odd to me, even as a child.  But I do not remember ever questioning anyone about it but I do not think he cared one way or the other what we called him.  Mom usually set down the rules about these things in her house and among her family.  You disagreed with her at your own peril.  My mother took it all with a grain of salt and I followed in her footsteps.

To Be Continued.



My grandmother on my mother’s side was an old-fashioned woman.  I remember as a kid going to visit her and my aunts, who still lived at home. My aunts were Anna, Wynne and Alice, the youngest.  They were working girls, staying at home to take care of my grandmother and going out to work.  Anna and Wynne worked in the silk mill and hard work it was, so I’ve been told by my mother, who also worked there when she lived at home.

My grandfather, died as a result of the “Black Lung”, as it was called, from working in the coal mines.  So Grandmother was left as a single mother at an early age with eight children.  That was a time before there were any Unions in the mines or any union benefits.  Grandmother had to struggle to keep the family together.  So the older children were taken out of school when they graduated from eighth grade and sent out to work.  Then they helped the younger children to finish school and some of them even went to college.

Aunt Cecelia and Aunt Alice being among the youngest, were sent to Teacher’s College to become teachers. The both got a good jobs teaching at a local Junior High School.  They of course, made more money than the other children.   Aunt Alice also had handsome boyfriends courting her on a continuing basis, as she was a good-looking woman with a sparkling personality.  I think she was the tallest one in the family also, at least by my calculations.  I think she was about five foot, nine inches in her bare feet.

Mother took us many times to visit my grandmother, especially in the Summer it seemed, and we usually enjoyed ourselves.  We kids always got treats and were allowed to go out in the big backyard and run around with our cookies and lemonade.  My grandmother always wore long dresses to her ankles and the colors were always dark.  She wore her hair in a bun, so she always seemed older even when she was not that old.

She was from the Old Country, Ireland.  She lived in County Mayo, southern Ireland and was a staunch Catholic.  She came to the U.S. when she was fourteen with her mother and her sisters and brothers.  Her father had come first and got a good job and settled into a nice house in Northeastern Pennsylvania, coal country, before sending for his family.  The Coal Mines were to play a large part in both my grandparents and my parents lives.