On this day

I have an expandable business folder that’s filled with “how in hell have I managed to save this stuff over the years” kinds of things. My old Florida driver license (OMG those eyeglasses) and OSU student ID. College lab reports. High school essays with notes from teachers. The journal I kept during a 1973 trip to Europe.

The image on the front of the notecard. If that’s a mule being led up that hill, it’s likely a pretty good depiction of the drapery discussion.

And a letter from my Mom. Maybe at the time I saved it because of the notecard, part of a gift to Mom from one of my cousins who was living in Japan at the time. Rice paper, I assume, silky-shiny cream now browned and a little brittle with age.

Mom had sent me some money–I was in my last year of undergrad at USF–along with a few lines about work being done around the house. Nothing huge, just new drapes in the bedrooms. But Mom had gone through a rough spell health-wise, and financially things had been tough for a while. But by this time matters had improved, and Mom commented that maybe we’d finally turned the corner.

Those drapes, though. She and Dad were so tickled about how nice they looked that they took turns sneaking into the bedrooms and checking things out, “just like two kids.” She wrote that at first Dad hadn’t been too keen on spending money on drapes, but “you know me, I threaten here and there.”

Every time I read those words, I laugh. My folks didn’t always have an easy time of it. There were low points. But some of the day to day things, the little victories, like prodding Dad to get things for the house, only to have him be as happy about the results as was she.

Thinking of you, Mom.