Archive for May, 2012

Guest blog Meanest Mom in the World

“The Meanest Mother”      I had the meanest mother in the whole world.  While other kids ate candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich.  As you can guess, my supper was different than the other kids’ also.      But at least, I wasn’t alone in my sufferings.  My sister and two brothers had the same mean mother as I did. My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were on a chain gang.  She had to know who our friends were and where we were going.  She insisted if we said we’d be gone an hour, that we be gone one hour or less–not one hour and one minute. I am nearly ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us.  Not once, but each time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased.  That poor belt was used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy’s pants.  Can you imagine someone actualy hitting a child just because he disobeyed?  Now you can begin to see how mean she really was.    We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath.  The other kids always wore their clothes for days.  We reached the height of insults because she made our clothes herself, just to save money.  Why, oh why, did we have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?     The worst is yet to come.  We had to be in bed by nine each night and up at eight the next morning.  We couldn’t sleep till noon like our friends.  So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break the child-labor law.  She made us work.  We had to wash dishes, make beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things.  I believe she laid awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.      She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.      By the time we were teen-agers, she was  much wiser, and our life became even more unbearable.  None of this tooting the horn of a car for us to come running.  She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates and friends come to the door to get us.  If I spent the night with a girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really there.  I never had the chance to elope to Mexico.  That is if I’d had a boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused to let me date until the age of 15 and 16.  Fifteen, that is, if you dated only to go to a school function.  And that was maybe twice a year.
Through the years, things didn’t improve a bit.  We could not lie in bed, “sick” like our friends did, and miss school.  If our friends had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home from school.  Our marks in school had to be up to par.  Our friends’ report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for failing.  My mother being as different as she was, would settle for nothing less than ugly black marks.       As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put to shame.  We were graduated from high school.   With our mother behind us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the pleasure of being a drop-out.      My mother was a complete failure as a mother.  Out of four children, a couple of us attained some higher education.  None of us have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate.   Each of my brothers served his time in the service of this country.  And whom do we have to blame for the terrible way we turned out?  You’re right, our mean mother.  Look at the things we missed.  We never got to march in a protest parade,  nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a million and one other things that our friends did. She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.       Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three children.  I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my children call me mean.       Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest   mother in the whole world.
written by Bobbie Pingaro (1967)

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Mondays with Melitas – May 7, 2012

A SHORT STORY                                                                                        MAY 7, 2012

JoAnn Yett is a friend of mine from golf at Indian Springs.  At her behest, I wrote and gave a “little talk” at her Sam’s Club Samboree gathering which was held at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds up in Lancaster.  She has been the head honcho of this group for awhile.  It was February 8, 2011 The “little talk” was about the Forster Family in Early California , then on to some of my personal life to the present day.  I had the audience mesmerized — it could’ve been they were simply asleep — since I droned on for about an hour.

Next morning, as we checked out trying to make a quick getaway because it was colder than a bygone with the north wind blowing a gale and struggling to get into the car, I noticed a young man walking towards us from his car.  He wanted to know if he had heard right at the checkout desk when I said “Forster” checking out because that was his last name also.  He was Daniel Forster, so we jabbered back and forth about where we were from — he was from back east somewhere, and it didn’t  register in my brain although I was only 92 + 10 months at that time.  Or maybe the wind blew it in one ear and out the other.  Or maybe the batteries were dead in my ear plugs.  I gave him two of my cards:  one has the picture of me at 5 years old, the other with me at 90 years old with address, email information.  Then off we drove south towards home and warmer climes.

Now fast forward to May 4, 2012, and I am looking through my email, and there is one from “grandma.”  I know a gobs of grandmas, so opened it, and after a cursory look, I thought “oh, oh, this could be one of those emails where some fake relative wants me to send money immediately.”  However, as I backed up and really concentrated on what was there, it wasn’t that at all.

Grandma’s name is Mary Forster Reber, telling me how her brother, Robert Forster, was telling her about his son, Daniel Forster, running into me and giving him 2 cards, and he had only recently given them to her, and she couldn’t  wait to contact me to see if we might be related.  Her family has been hanging aroundAlbany,Minnesotafor years.  And my family has been hunkering aroundMexicoandSouthern Californiafor over 4 centuries.

Here’s something else to add to this tale of relatives(?)  My older sis, Emery, had a daughter named Claire, and she married a guy by the name of Paul Reber.  Now Mary Forster Reber’s husband can get into the act.  I don’t know where Paul was from.  He kinda acted like a guy might act fromMinnesota. But what do I know? — I don’t even know a guy fromMinnesota.

I’m going to send Mary a copy of my “little talk,” and she can read it as she goes to bed, and she will absolutely have the best sleep of her whole life.


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Noticing Synchronicity – by Daily Om

Noticing Synchronicity Interconnected Experiences


Things happen in our lives for a reason, even if that reason is not clear to you right away.

When events appear to fit together perfectly in our lives it may seem at first that they are random occurrences, things that are the result of coincidence. These synchronous happenings, though, are much more than that, for, if we look at them more closely they can show us that the universe is listening to us and gently communicating with us. Learning to pay attention to and link the things that occur on a daily basis can be a way for us to become more attuned to the fact that most everything happens in our lives for a reason – even when that reason is not clear right away.
When we realize that things often go more smoothly than we can ever imagine, it allows us to take the time to reflect on the patterns in our lives. Even events that might not at first seem to be related to each other are indicators that the universe is working with, not against, us. This idea of synchronicity, then, means that we have to trust there is more to our lives than what we experience on a physical level. We need to be willing to look more closely at the bigger picture, accepting and having confidence in the fact that there is more to our experiences than immediately meets the eye. Being open to synchronicity also means that we have to understand that our lives are filled with both positive and negative events. Once we can recognize that one event is neither more desirable nor better than the other – they all have an overall purpose in our lives — then we are truly ready to listen to the messages the universe gives us.
While we may not be able to see everything in our lives as being synchronous, we can certainly use hindsight to be more aware of how the universe guides us. This sense of wonder at the mysteries of the universe and the interconnectedness present in our lives will help us see our overall ways of being and will in turn make it easier to work more consciously towards our spiritual evolution.



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The beauty of time…

Many times in writing we look back upon our childhoods and examine pictures.  We look at and wonder what we were thinking and who we have become.

What are those things that have made you who you are?  It is something to look at and examine and write about our beginnings.

Grab some pictures and write what you see and what you remember!

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The beauty of family

 One of my students this year is Diane Gore, otherwise known as DD.  If you have attended a class with her you know you are in for a treat.  She says some of the funniest things.

Several weeks ago DD invited me to the home of her sister and brother-in-law, the former Governor of Alaska.  I was served fresh Alaskan Salmon that was caught by them!  I have to say that I have never tasted a more delicious piece of fish!

A few weeks after that wonderful dinner I was invited to attend dinner at the annual GG Weekend.  The GG weekend stands for Gore Girls and these are the nieces of DD.  Every year they trek to Palm Springs from all the different parts of the world in which they reside.

Since DD has been loving her memoir classes she wanted me to meet her family.  I was thrilled to meet each of them and we had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Italia.

All of the Gore girls were amazing, one of the Gore girls represents the state of Alaska as their state senator, Lisa Murkowski.

The GG Weekend represents family with lots of laughter and fun.  I now know why they all guard this weekend and look forward to it each year.  To connect with family is something unique to each of us.

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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