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My mom was born in 1909 so that made her VERY old-school, indeed! When she grew up, by age six or so, young girls were expected to be able to do basic kitchen chores; to sew on buttons and complete simple mending tasks; and to knit the straight part of socks (moms and grandmoms knit the toe or turned the heel of the socks…which were made for the entire family rather than purchasing store-bought socks). Mom did her best with me but the summer I was twelve, I missed her mark of “competent” by a mile. Besides that, like every middle school girl, I mostly wanted to hang out with my pals. And so she cleverly suggested we have a Tuesday Club.

Mom contacted the mothers of my three close friends inviting the girls to come for four hours on Tuesdays. She offered that we’d have a sewing project, a knitting project and a cooking project each week. The first week, we eagerly headed off to the fabric store to purchase materials for our “baby doll shortie pajamas,” soooooo 1950s! We also got matching yarn to knit our slippers. With the hi-fi cranked up, we delighted in cutting out our patterns and getting underway.

Cooking projects varied each week: homemade bread, sloppy joe sandwiches, frozen fruit salad, chocolate chip cookies. What a sensory delight it was to smell our bread baking as we stitched happily away in the room next to the kitchen. Somehow the lunch we’d prepared ourselves tasted so much better than anything else we could think of to eat. I don’t recall exactly, but I’m imagining the mess we made, the clean-up involved, the sacrificial-house mentality my mother must have adopted!

It was hot and humid and miserable to be outdoors those Houston summer days . . . much like today in Dallas. But how wise my mom was to leverage a natural middle school longing to help me learn what she knew I’d need in Life. When my work is done for today, I’m trying to decide if I’ll sew or knit or bake something yummy. Whichever it is, I’ll be giving thanks for a mother who prepared me for the road long before I was wise enough to know what I’d need.

Anybody for making homemade cinnamon rolls on this hot summer afternoon?