A Sixties Mom’s “True Love Ways”
The refrain from Buddy Holly‘s “True Love
Ways” (recorded October 29, 1958) -- Throughout the day our true love ways will bring us joys to share with those who
really care—epitomizes that special breed of mothers—“A
Sixties Mom”…Back in the early sixties when most moms were career housewives, my mom got up at five every
morning to make my father’s lunch. This did not entail
slapping a slice of bologna between two pieces of Wonder bread glued together with mustard. A true love way to
the nth degree, she’d either whip up a frittata; peppers and eggs; sausage, peppers, and
mushrooms. Then she’d generously stuff the contents inside two sandwiches made from thickly
sliced Italian bread. Next, she’d dole whatever he was having into torpedo rolls for our school lunches
while my sister and I set the table for breakfast.
Once my mother sent the three of us on our merry
way, she washed and dried all the pots n’ pans and dishes before tackling housework and doing the laundry. Those
of you who read the trilogy, “The Wringer,” “Towing the Line,” and “The End of the Line” know this was a task
only a sixties mom would undertake as a true love way. Since my mom didn’t drive
at this juncture in her life, she had plenty of time before my father came home to lounge on the couch to suck
up a soap—Guiding
Light, As the World Turns, or The Edge of Night—but always found something to keep busy instead. This could have run the
gamut of raking the entire yard, mowing the lawn with our manual mower, or perchance standing on a ladder to
wash windows that required her to remove or reinstate the storm windows.
Another one of my sixties mom’s true love ways was
to surprise us by baking a cake from scratch or out of a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines box
of my favorites was “coconut surprise”—not so much for the coconut, but the little bits of rainbow candies that
melted in your mouth. I also liked when she surprised us with Pillsbury rolls fresh out of the oven to accompany
On an off day, my mother’s true love way took to
her Singer sewing machine where she designed doll clothes for Barbie without needing any patterns. During the
change of seasons I couldn’t wait to get home from school to see how she decorated my bedroom with its
coordinating bedspread and curtains.
A sixties mom’s “true love ways” were unique to a
decade where housewives ruled the roost while fathers were the sole providers who brought home the bacon.
Oftentimes, these gals succumbed to the latest gizmos and gadgets peddled by door-to-door salesmen like the
Fuller Brush man or Avon lady when it was generally safe to allow doorbell ringers into your
home. Occasionally they visited neighbors and enjoyed conversation over a cup of coffee during
the early afternoon. Mostly, a sixties mom’s true love ways manifested themselves in the attention she lavished
on her family.
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