Author: Zuniga, Nancy

Thanksgivig Ruminations...Or, I've Become My Mother
Taking a few moments out from a day of frenzied cleaning in anticipation of our Thanksgiving houseguests' arrival to jot down some thoughts that have occurred to me as I've gone about my housekeeping chores. One thought that resonates loud and clear is that I have, indeed, become my mother! My dear, departed mother, rest her soul, had many stellar qualities, but impeccable housekeeping was not one of them. As a child, I took great delight in teasing Mom on those occasions when I would return home from school to find the thin omnipresent layer of soap scum conspicuously absent from the bathroom sink, and would ask, "Who's coming to dinner?" This riled Mom no end, mainly because there nearly always WAS someone "coming to dinner" when I asked that question. I still recall her glee on one occasion (and I believe there was only one), when I asked the dreaded question and she replied "Hah! I fooled you! No one is coming to dinner.I just cleaned the sink because it needed cleaning!" In later years, Mom even posted a refrigerator magnet which proclaimed defensively, "My house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy!" Words to live by?

Mom was far from being a slob; She simply had better things to do with her time, and with her life, than obsess over housework. She would much rather be visiting with her friends, devoting time to her many volunteer activities, or, most of all, playing her beloved grand piano than scrubbing soap scum off the bathroom sink. Go figure. Bluegrass content: Mom had just turned 80 when, in 1992, I picked her up from her home in San Francisco and took her to her first and only bluegrass concert, to hear the Vern Williams Band perform in Half Moon Bay. My mother was particularly impressed with Ed Neff's fiddling. I can still see her tapping her toes, turning to me with a smile during a particularly lively rendition of "Sally Goodin" and commenting, "He's really good!" Mom never grew too old to appreciate new experiences. She traveled ALONE to India in 1995 to fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing the Taj Majal. Half-a-year later, she was felled by the stroke that eventually claimed her life. But what a life! When we sit down to our Thanksgiving feasts next Thursday, we'll probably take some time to recall past Thanksgivings including those shared with loved ones now departed. I started the reminiscences a couple of days early this year, when I cleaned the soap scum off my bathroom sink today. Yes, I've become my mother. And I'm not the least bit sorry. Enjoy friends, family, and music while you have the chance. The housework can wait.

Posted:  11/28/2005

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