Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Mom was decked for a costume party at The Maidstone Club in the Hamptons and I have a feeling she was sought after by a few men! This woman could do it all - she rode horses well, played tennis with gusto, joined the men for a shoot: whether duck, pheasant or grouse. She swam like a fish and loved TO fish, be it from the deck of a boat or wading in a stream. She cooked what she caught and presented a dish from the pages of Larousse Gastronomique. She thoroughly enjoyed reading, smoking Camel cigs, gardening, sunbathing, and swilling bourbon. Meet The Renaissance Woman in my life - my Mom!
My parents married at 19 while Dad was at Yale U. This event did NOT please Mimi...as an elopment in Tijuana, Mexico didn't sit well with the aristocrats of the East Coast. Aaaaah, young love. No one could stop them. They were a dashing couple and had so much in common. The Korean War interrupted their marriage and Dad's college life. He made it back safely and life resumed. I popped into the world in '55 while Dad was finishing his stint at Yale. My two brothers followed in in 1957 and 1958. The house was a full one - 3 kids, many dogs (bird dogs all), lots of parties. Remember, it was the wild '60s. (Just think "Mad Men," the TV show).
Dad took the train from Connecticut to the City. In the evenings, Mom would have a cocktail awaiting while the kids ate in the kitchen with "the help." They were married for 19 years - I don't need to go into the uglies. Suffice it to say - they were combustible.
Some have asked "why the move to Texas?" Mom's sister, Dear Aunt, had married a Texan. It was evident my mother wanted a new life. To start over. And so she did...in the Panhandle of Texas - from a somewhat luxurious lifestyle to a simple, small life of a single mom with three children. Don't forget the dog and the snake.
Since this is Vava's View (mine!)...I recall that we handled it ok. It was much more difficult for Mom. Her life changed drastically and sadly she was the butt of the rumor mill. Yankees in Texas were odd. Mom hadn't worked in years and now she had to.
The next twelve years were contentious between Mom and I. But, thankfully the last fourteen years of her life our relationship healed and we learned to love one another for who we were. Both such very different women. I'd find her looking at me, shaking her head...and in the kindest way, she'd say: "I don't know where you came from." And I took that as a compliment.