"Maybe a video or something educational?"
"No, that’s not it," she said.
We wandered the aisles until something caught her eye, a laser gun with flashing lights and 15 different high-pitched sounds.
"This is perfect," she said, beaming. "My daughter-in-law will hate it."
****** ****** ******
The above is a joke of course, but some things said jokingly have some truth behind them. I was a very young and ignorant son-in-law at 17. I cracked some mother-in-law jokes back then, and I loved my MIL to death. Susie was one of the sweetest ladies that ever lived. That lady was one of the wisest, frugal and most loving ladies I have ever known. She was always very tolerant of me.
I smile in wonder at that lady's ability to ‘stretch a dollar’ without advertising it or hurting her family. She worked all her life (from 10 yrs old) in the cotton mills of Belmont, NC. She nursed several of her 7 children at break-time from the 'spinning room.' When the older kids could bring the baby to the mill.
I have said it before, but as I get older and look back I am always amazed. Susie managed the family income for over nearly 50 years (She died at 61 years of age) she had 3 houses built. and paid for them. Her starting pay was around a nickel an hour, most she earned was $1.25 an hour(est). Average hours worked was 59 a week. Her husband Wiley earned about 2 cents more an hour to start.
Those houses cost about $250 a piece, but that was a fortune. Susie was what I refer to as a Christian Lady. I cannot remember a negative word she said. That sweet lady was no gossip, she had better things to do. Her life was not easy from birth.
She was born to a family that ‘worked on kin-folk's farms’ in eastern North Carolina. Susie’s dad left her mother and several children to fend for themselves in the early 1900’s. They lived in a makeshift tobacco barn and worked in the fields until her mama heard of work in the cotton mills in Belmont. We have no idea how they traveled the 200 miles, Sherry figures by bus, because that is how they traveled. Sherry’s family never really owned a car, her mom and dad never were licensed to drive. They walked or ‘caught the bus’.
Sorry for the length of the post that grew from a joke. I am amazed how little Sherry and I, know of details of our family histories.
Featuring Susie Geneva Hawes Harris 1904-1965