Mothers Loved Us Differently Back Then, I Guess


Growing up, I swam in The Cow Pond where snakes roamed freely amongst the bovines, where I was serenaded by frogs of every size and ability, and where I made my way to the deep end with God knows what squishing up between my toes. Mother had a rule that the maid had to go with me to The Cow Pond, and looking back, one can’t help but wonder if she made the rule to make sure she’d have a witness who would put her hand on a Bible and testify to her of my certain and undeniable demise. There were no swimming pools in the entire county at that time, plus I had outgrown the bathtub and hadn’t read enough books to think otherwise, so it was A Very Good Day when I could get the maid to take her hand out of the starch box long enough to accompany me to The Cow Pond for a swim.

We are a hardy bunch with longevity genes running strong, and every cat who’s using up one of her allotted 9 lives reading this will turn green with envy when I tell you that I survived not only The Cow Pond, but riding bicycles without a helmet; drinking water straight out of the garden hose; a bicycle with no brakes (my birthday present one year. Kinda’ makes you wonder, doesn’t it?); getting hit by a car; roller skating without knee pads; taking the stray cat for a ride in the car (Take your time. I’ll wait.); eating raw cookie dough; sleeping in the back window of the car on road trips; swimming in The Cow Pond, of course, but I forgot to mention that I didn’t wear sunscreen; and, in the case of my brother, one particularly memorable Alberto VO5 hot oil hair treatment that I’ll tell you about later. Right now I need to go shopping for a Very Special Mother’s Day card.

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This week I made a guest appearance over at Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s blog and talked about what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. Bop over and say Hey if you’re a mind to.


  1. Margaret B

    No cow pond where I grew up, but I too am a survivor: making snow forts all afternoon in below-freezing temps; learning to ice skate without a helmet or padding (the snow suit was enough); eating mud/snow shepherd’s pie (the snow for potatoes, of course!); roller-skating without a helmet or padding; riding a bicycle (no gears) 10 miles and back on a country highway just to visit friends; Girl Guide Camp in canvas tents, leeches in the lake, and making breakfast on an open fire using only 1 match…”You’ve got to eat a peck of dirt before you die” and “You could fall on a bar of soap in the bathtub” were two of my mother’s favourite expressions. Yep; we’re a surviving generation! So…why did some of us grow up to over-protect our kids? (Not I but…)

  2. Linda K Sienkiewicz

    You truly are a survivor! Luckily I was never hit by a car, but my favorite treat was licking the bowl when my mom done mixing a cake. Raw egg? You betcha! We made snow ice cream, too, with raw eggs and fresh snow from the backyard.

    Thanks for posting the link to my blog. You did a wonderful job telling us all What, How and Why!

    • whollyjeanne

      You made snow ice cream? I’ve never known anybody who lives up north who’s ever even heard of it, let alone made and eaten it. Color me impressed, Sugar. And licking the bowl? That’s THE BEST! We call it “good”. As in “Want some good?” (Yes, there’s a story.) As for the What, How, and Why – I thank you for inviting me to be a part of it. I’m thoroughly enjoying all the posts. Creative process has always fascinated and captivated me.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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