My Mother’s Gloves

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My mother was a very fashionable woman. For years she was a Colonel’s Lady. She was President of the Officers’ Wives Clubs in at least three cities and two foreign countries. She modeled on the side. She was the epitome of grace, poise, and beauty.

We won’t talk about what a disappointment it must have been to have a galloping elephant of a daughter. (No kidding, I went to finishing school in Switzerland – lasted six months. Plus, I attended two charm schools that lasted three months each. I was taught to walk with a book on my head, how to sit without looking at your chair, and how to descend a staircase in a ball gown. Still shaking my head about those lessons.)

But back to Mom. In addition to being gorgeous, my mother was sweet. She was NICE in all caps. She thought about other people. She also made chores fun. (Unless you count cleaning my room. Yuck.)

One chore I still remember was massaging my mother’s gloves.

Mom never went anywhere without kid gloves. She washed them every month or so in this solution that preserved and cleaned the leather. The only problem was, as they dried, the leather became like desiccated skin. You had to massage them for at least an hour to get that supple kid leather appearance back.

I do not know how she did it, but it was a chore that both my brother and I wanted to do. It was boring and difficult and your hands hurt when you finished, but we both vied to be the one to massage the gloves.

Kind of like massaging the margarine. When we lived in Canada the margarine came in a plastic package with a dye pack of red in the center. In order to change the color of the margarine from white to a more pleasing yellow you had to puncture the dye pack, warm the margarine in your hands, and sit there and massage it. It was another one of those chores that was boring, repetitive, but that we both wanted to do.

We must have been very deprived back in the day.

Isn’t it funny the memories that punctuate your childhood? My mother’s gloves sort of epitomize her to me. Also her style of parenting. I think she was part fairy princess.

How about you? Do you have odd memories that bring back your childhood?


5 thoughts on “My Mother’s Gloves”

  1. My grandma crocheted and in the spring would wash and starch all the doilies and pin them on the floor all over her house to dry. She never let anyone help, couldn’t do it to suit her. I have the tablecloth from her that won a state fair ribbon back in the early 60’s. Only time I used it was on my bridal table.

  2. I remember snapping beans, shelling peas, and cutting corn off the cob at my grandma’s home in East Tennessee.

    My husband’s grandma told me how margarine came with those dye capsules and one would have to mix it in. Guess it game that way in the US in the 40s and 50s.

  3. Nothing to see here – we can all move along.

    That is not exactly true – but pretty darn close.

    I massaged the oleo too.

  4. I also did the massaging of the oleo. My. Grandmother ate that and my parents and I ate butter. Also I had the job of
    giving Gran her
    “Tony” permanents. She was the only grand parent I ever
    knew. Many Pleasant. Memories


  5. I loved that story Karen. You obviously loved your Mother very much. I have those kind of memories too. Mine are more of in the summertime in South Alabama how we all sat around shelling peas or cutting okra. My Mother, Grandmother and sisters would sit in the living room with a bowl between our legs and a brown paper bag to the side watching the Soaps. We grew up so different.

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