i beg your pardon…
{scintilla day 3}


Talk about a memory triggered by a particular song.


I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometimes….

It’s winter and I am on the couch reading. I don’t remember the name of the book, one of the countless number I devoured as a child, possibly one by Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Carolyn Haywood, or Louisa May Alcott.

I have no idea where my brothers and my sister were at this moment, perhaps I was home sick from school. It’s just me and my book and my mom and her dust cloth. Lynn Anderson serenades us and my mom sings along. She has a pretty voice, my mom, and she sings as if no one is listening.

The smell of Lemon Pledge drifts through the air.

I feel safe and warm and cozy.


My mom cleaned our house from top to bottom every single day when I was a child. Dusting, vacuuming, mopping. Every. Single. Day. She also made our beds, given that none of us could ever achieve the “you could bounce quarters off that” requirement with our bedspreads. I look back now, and I don’t know how she did it, how she kept up with it all. I don’t know why she did it. Well, that’s not entirely true, I know she did it because she loved us.

We all had our own little chores to do, but they were small things, taking out the garbage, drying dinner dishes. My mom did all the rest, cooking dinners, ironing (everything, including sheets and underwear), and all that cleaning.

My dad worked hard, too. Trick shifts they called it, rotating his schedule between A, B, and C shift every three weeks. One week 7 to 3; the next 3 to 11; the next 11 to 7. He never caught up on his sleep, never had time to adjust to staying up all night and sleeping during the day, because the very next week it would all be reversed again. There were many nights when he fell asleep at the kitchen table, which, of course, we all thought was hilarious.

My parents both came from not-so-perfect childhoods. Truth be told, that’s quite the understatement. But they both worked hard to give me and my siblings a better one. Writing this now, it all sounds a little bit Leave it to Beaver-ish. And in reality, it wasn’t. As we all got older, things changed, times changed. Like all families, we had our ups and downs. But just the fact that this was the goal says a lot. And I’m certain that it was far, far better than the childhood that either one of them experienced.

They each gave everything they could to their children, always. And that is still the case today.


All it takes now is a Lynn Anderson or Loretta Lynn song, and I am back in a clean, cozy, lemon-scented world, my mom’s voice playing over me like a blanket. And that’s a pretty good place to be.

So smile for a while and let’s be jolly…

10 Responses to “i beg your pardon…
{scintilla day 3}

  • Skye Says:

    What a wonderful memory, but even moreso, a wonderful foundation to come from.
    I admire the love & dedication it takes to create in that way.

  • Stereo Says:

    A lovely childhood memory and appreciation of your parents who sound like they loved and worked hard. Cleaning a house top to bottom every single day? Your mum gets MAJOR props. Major.

  • Kathryn Dyche Dechairo Says:

    Scent and songs can be wonderful memory triggers. Sounds like your parents are pretty special folks.

  • edna million Says:

    I loved this vivid slice of memory. I can just smell the Lemon Pledge. And laughed because I remember that song well from childhood too, but what I remember is my brother and I yowling along with it offkey because we hated it and the country station my parents favored played it all.the.time!

  • honey Says:

    cheers to lemon pledge, imperfect parents, and music.

    as always, a thoughtful post.

  • Michael Says:

    A lovely childhood memory and a key to your temperament, if not your housekeeping requirements.

  • Frida Says:

    I love that song it was one of my parents favorite songs. Wonderful colors and such a beautiful rose.

  • Jason Says:

    what a beautiful memory. It is things like these that make you the wonderful and caring person I know you to be.

  • Robin Says:

    Today is Mother’s Day in Ireland, and your post reminded me of what an honor it is to create a home where children “feel safe, and warm, and cozy”. (Your mother’s housekeeping puts mine to shame though!) I’m sure you’ve made your parents proud!

  • Marie D. Tiger Says:

    A wonderful warm memory of moments lived. Touching. Big respect to your parents, trying to give children something better than you yourself received is a big goal. These words are a lovely way to show appreciation.

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