Mom’s birthday is coming up in a few days and whenever it comes around, I always feel the impulse to reflect upon her life a bit. Usually that is through a poem or written reflection – and I may still do that – but I decided to do things a bit differently. So many stories swirl around Mom’s memory that I thought it might be fun to devise a little quiz to see who can separate fact from fiction. All of the questions are true or false. A score of 8 or better means that you knew Mom (aka Grandma Northen) pretty well. A score of less than three means you are probably reading the wrong family’s blog.
1. Mom got her tongue stuck to a gate post once.
2. Karen was Mom’s favorite sibling.
3. Mom lived outside of the United States for a year or two.
4. Mom’s motto was, “If you can’t say something good about somebody, don’t say it at all.”
5. All things considered, Mom had a pretty darned easy life.
6. The first time Mom kissed a boy, she went home and told her mother she was pregnant.
7. For many years Mom had a huge running ulcer on her ankle.
8. When my family lived with my grandparents in Santa Ana, Mom tied my brother Steve to the clothes line.
9. Even though she was born in North Dakota, Mom became a pretty good swimmer when she moved to California.
10. When she was growing up, Mom wanted be a home economics teacher.
Here are the answers. Feel free to add some of your own questions in the comments .
1. True. When Mom was little and lived in South Dakota, she decided on one cold winter day to lick the gate post to see what it tasted like. Her tongue stuck to the post because of the cold and she had to have help to get it off.
2. False. Sister Karen was the sibling that was over at the house the most, but they had a running feud Whenever Sr. Karen left, Mom would always be up in arms.
3.True. At least technically. when we lived in Hawaii in 1948-49, Hawaii was not yet one of the states. It was not admitted to the union until 1959.
4. False. That was Dad’s motto. Mom had no problem expressing her opinion about other people.
5. False. Are you kidding?
6. True. Grandma and Grandpa Wilkins weren’t exactly in the forefront of teaching their kids about sex education.
7. True. Through most of my high school years and beyond Mom had a huge purple ulcer on her ankle that perpetually oozed liquid. She had to keep it wrapped and put ointments on it all the time.
8. False. It was Dave that she tied to the clothes line.
9. False. When they were first married, Mom nearly drowned in the ocean. Dad had to save her. After that she was very leery of swimming at the beach and never really learned to swim.
10. True. Unfortunately, her father made her quit high school and go to work.