Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My sister -- Deborah Rose -- and roses.

My sister, Deb, has been with me for a few days, and boy have we been talking about those things we did as children and then as we grew out of our time in Runnemede. 

We were visiting my daughter, Becky, yesterday, and my grandchildren just sat at the table at dinner time and wanted us to tell more and more stories about when we were growing up.

Things like having only one bathroom (like they do), and how we survived four teenagers, one bathroom, and a water ban because of filling up the cesspool too fast.  We didn't get sewers put into the town until the mid- to late-50s.  Before that we all had cesspools which when they got full, had to be emptied, which cost money we didn't have, so we were very limited in our water consumption.  Our baths were taken in two inches of water in the tub (it was a beautiful clawfoot bath tub), Deb took her bath, I took my bath, and the boys bathed together.  By the time we got the sewers put in, the boys were getting to an age where they were going to have to take baths individually as well.  And, of course, our baths were on Saturday night, as I've mentioned before. 

And we talked about my mother and her garden and her roses.  Just today, my sister brought into the living room a vase of roses which I had put in her room for her to enjoy.  She placed the vase on mommy's piano.  And I mentioned to her that they looked a lot like the "sterling silver" rose my mom loved so much.

There's a story there:  My mom wanted a sterling silver rose bush very badly.  I think I was about 10 or 11.  And of course it was just too expensive for her to think of spending money on something as frivolous as a rose bush, when her children needed shoes, food, clothes, etc.  I mean that bush was a whole $12.  Well, around May 15 she received a package from Jackson Perkins and it was a sterling silver rose bush.  My dad had gotten it for her for her birthday.  She was so very happy he had done that.

And that rose bush flourished under her care and produced many beautiful roses of a gray/lavender hue.  Smelled great, too, not like the roses today.  Am I the only one who has noticed that roses don't smell like roses any more?


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