December 4, 2010

40 Questions to Ask Your Mum

Mother and Granma Maudie in front of mother’s car. 1939.

We inch toward the holiday’s here. Perhaps this quiz I acquired from Equanimous, on OD, is a tool that can add a new view to my holiday season. I haven’t got the time to do all 40 questions right now….acting as the mum, but I’d like to sneak one or two in.

40 things to ask your Mum

Me mum is dead. She died right after I graduated from college. She also didn’t tell many stories….or if she did, I don’t remember them. As the mum of two and the grannie of 14, maybe some of these small notes will stick in some family members imagination. Remember, I answer these from the viewpoint of my childhood.

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Ballet dancer. Ice skater….didn’t everyone. I never took into account that I was remarkably a non physical person. I couldn’t dance, and I certainly couldn’t stay upright on skates. I couldn’t even catch a ball. If I tried to play a game, I always got hurt and usually ended up on crutches. PE was not fun for me, and to compound my awkwardness, I was always the tallest person in all my classes. Only when I joined the army were there friends that were taller.

2. What was your favorite clothing, food and toy?
I had a dress for first grade that was a green plaid with a white collar. It was NEW. That was a very important thing. Later in 1954, mother took me to Marston’s to buy the required clothing to attend The Bishop’s school. I had become such a problem in the local school system that she hoped her friend the head-mistress could fix me. I received a grey dress with covered buttons down the front, a matching belt, and a lovely plaid scarf to go under the collar. There was a pencil skirt in a heather wool, with a gentle grey green two piece wool sweater set to go with it. My first heels too. Gloves, stockings, hat, all new. The uniforms all used. I was not asked back. They had no tools to deal with learning disabilities, and I understand that they still cannot deal with them today. There was a gentle terra cotta plaid, wool dress I bought for myself in Indianapolis much like that grey dress in styling. Oh, how I loved it.

Toy: LaLa the rag doll…which I tried to wash a few years ago and she came all apart. She’s up in my closet in a box now. A stuffed dog or sheep too. A bear with a big felt, gold colored G on his chest. It was my cousin Jerry’s bear, but he really became mine when I took him to Bishops with me and I became a Gold. The clay worlds I built at my grandmothers.

Food: There were few favorite foods as food made me sick, but there was a wonderful salad at the silver dollar that was great and pancakes and waffles always sat ok. I can still duplicate that salad today.

3. What was your favorite song and movie?
No favorite song until Mother bought me a 45 record player and several sets that included Peer Gynt, South Pacific, and two more very classical things. Movie? I was taken to see Snow White once, but I loved “Around the World in 80 Days.

4. What was your most longed-for Christmas wish?
For a three speed, light-weight bike. I got a one speed Schwinn with a tank, a horn, a light, and it weighed so much I couldn’t move it.

5. What scrapes and bruises did you have as a child? Always. Elbows and knees. I’d just run across the front yard and fall. And I’d break my glasses too. Still scrapes and bruises even now.

6. How did you and my dad meet? Was it love at first sight? We met at Fort Eustis on base. What a handsome man. Dashing. Artistic with his Speed Grafic camera attached to his hand. Mother approved. Big fancy marriage at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg VA. Two kids. Our marriage lasted ten years. And the Geezer. Lust at first sight. Gee…handsome, dashing, awfully quiet…and good at all sorts of things. We have been together for 26 years of laughing together and sharing sobriety and friendship.

7. Tell me about your Dad's first car?
Gunny had a Model T that he named Gooberita. There are many pictures of Gunny and his friends around that car. After mother got her engineering degree, in the heart of the depression she drove an Encyclopedia truck. She received a 1939 Olds Coupe from Gimpa when she married Gunny…with a bench backseat. When Gunny returned from the war, we inherited his father’s 1941 DeSoto when he grew too ill to drive. Dusty plush. Achooooo. Mother painted it maroon with a brush.

8. What was your pet's special trick?
No pets…..briefly as a child I had a dog named Pancho, but one day he vanished and mother said he was stolen. He whined too much, and he damaged the back door trying to get in. As an adult both G and I have had a long line of adopted half feral cats. We have none now as we are allergic to their fur. Achoo.

Gunny and mother after their wedding at St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, 1939.


  1. Very Interesting Read! Keep going lots more questions to answer. My mom never answered questions either, she had her reasons.

  2. You have such a wonderful memory. I wish I could recall as much detail. I do remember some favorite clothes like a beautiful white sateen cotton dress with printed figures on it also store bought) and how sad I was when I reached age 11 and I was too big to wear it and my sister got it.

  3. Nice idea but my mom only talks about how awful I am.

  4. Ive heard the stories of how my parents met, they drove to Georgia to get married, and it was 5 yrs before they had my sister...I would like to know more about those 5 yrs.

  5. This was a fun post. I'm glad I've got my mom around still to ask questions which I have.

  6. My mom still lives in the small Iowa town where she was born and raised. It's amazing what stories a square mile can hold.

  7. I am going to use these questions with MY mom! Great questions, and very interesting answers! My DH was fascinated by the car in your picture. And I love how your mom and grandmother are dressed, so very nice! My grandmother was always perfectly dressed, even on a work around the house day. I miss her so much. I wish I had asked more questions of her, then.

  8. My mom tells us stories -- I think she realizes with her go the connections to all of our beginnings...Just the other day I was asking questions and quickly writing her answers down. and even at my age, I find it comforting to hear the stories of my childhood.

  9. I'm so glad I 'interviewed ' my Mum before she left for the States aged 90. When I asked her about her pregnancy aged 18 she said,'I don't think we should talk about that Pat!'
    I managed to convince her she had nothing to be ashamed of and we had a really interesting and enlightening chat.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...