I still remember one of mom’s life lessons… “Clean your plate!”


By Bill Derby

When it came to the dinner table, my sister and I were expected to eat everything on our plate, no matter what it was. Mom cooked the squeal out of any pork product and, I have to say, her pork chops were a little on the tough side. We couldn’t leave the dinner table until our plates were clean.

I found myself sitting alone many an evening looking down at a green gob of broccoli, spinach or other vitamin-filled side dishes. I soon learned to fling a couple of pieces of uneaten pork chop behind the washing machine to finish sooner. But that quickly stopped after a few weeks of a bad odor coming from behind the washer. Mom asked me how in the world the pork got behind the washing machine. At eight years old it was easy to act and look dumb responding, “Mom I just don’t know how that could have happened!”

From then on she sat and watched me clean my plate every meal. She was really a great cook but just not on pork chops.

I have included these mom lessons before but it’s always fun to remember what our moms taught us.

Things I learned from my mother

1. My mother taught me to APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me about RELIGION. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me about LOGIC. “Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me about FORESIGHT. “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

6. My mother taught me about IRONY. “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

7. My mother taught me about STAMINA. “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

8. My mother taught me about WEATHER. “This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.”

9. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

10. My mother taught me about the CIRCLE OF LIFE. “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

11. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. “Stop acting like your father!”

12. My mother taught me about ENVY. “There are millions of children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

13. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. “Just wait until we get home.”

14. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. “You are going to get it when you get home!”

15. My mother taught me about MEDICAL SCIENCE. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

16. My mother taught me about ESP. “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you’ll be cold?”

17. My mother taught me about HUMOR. “When that lawnmower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

18. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

19. My mother taught me about GENETICS. “You’re just like your father.”

20. My mother taught me about WISDOM. “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

21. My mother taught me about SHARING. “I’m going to give you a piece of my mind!”

22. My mother taught me about FEAR. “One day you’ll have a child who’ll do the same things to you.”

I also found this interesting quote from a classy southern author I thought was very descriptive about our southern gals.

As Lee Smith, a southern author puts it, “The biggest myth about Southern women is that we are frail types—fainting on our sofas…nobody where I grew up ever acted like that. We were about as fragile as coal trucks.” Coal trucks in platform heels, perhaps.

“Happy Mother’s Day!”


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