Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara Larry

Mom Goes To Work

 Dad’s stomach had been bothering him a lot so he went to the doctor who told him he had bleeding ulcers and told Dad he should give up his second job, working for Grandpa Junior, to help with the stress.  The few dollars he got from working for Grandpa were missed so in September Mom got a job working full time as an administrative assistant in the Business Office of the Institute of Ford and Agricultural Sciences, or just IFAS, Department at the University of Florida.  Mom and Dad would go to work together in the morning and come home together in the evening for the next twenty-five years.

It was strange to come home from school and not have Mom home.  Because we were still young, Mom had a young college girl watch us from when we got home school until her and Dad got home from work.  With Beth not yet in school, our next-door neighbor Agnes Cannady took care of Beth until Brenda got home from school to watch her until Mom and Dad got home from work.  For Beth it meant that she didn’t grow up like Brenda, David and I having Mom always home with us. 

Even with Mom working full time, she would always have dinner ready at six pm, something I didn’t appreciate at the time.  Mom and Dad would come home together after working at the university and, while Dad would turn on the TV, sit on the sofa and watch the evening news, Mom would be in the kitchen making dinner.  Brenda would often help Mom with dinner, peeling potatoes or making the toss salad that we had most every meal.  I liked helping in the kitchen and would sometimes help too but the kitchen was so small that there wasn’t room for three.  Five minutes before dinner would be ready Mom would call out to David and me, “Come set the table.”, and one or both of us would put napkins, silverware, salt and pepper shakers and plates on the table.  When all was set Mom would call us to dinner and we would be seated around the table and a prayer would be said with our heads bowed and eyes closed.  More often than not, Mom would say the prayer, those times Dad said the prayer he would always say, “Thank God for supper. Amen.”, which afterwards Mom would have a look on her face and roll her eyes.  Mom would sometimes ask, “Who wants to say the prayer?”, and one of us kids, well Brenda, David and I, as Beth was too young, would sometimes volunteer. I didn’t much like to do it, but Mom made us feel obligated to do so, at least every once in a while.   I once took Dad’s approach and said, “Thank God for supper. Amen.”  I was peeking through half closed eyes and bowed head at Dad and saw him smile. Mom then said in an exasperated voice, “You can do better than that.”, as she looked at Dad, but she didn’t make me say it again, but letting me know next time I had to do better.

We always ate “family style” with the food brought to the table in dishes which would be brought to the table which after the prayer would be passed around for us each to put some on the table.  There was always enough to go around, and once everyone got a portion, we could have seconds if we wanted.  After dinner Dad would go back to watching TV and us kids would help clear the table of dishes, put any leftover food away and help wash the dishes.  Brenda, David, and I had a rotating schedule with one bringing the dishes from the table to the sink which then another would wash, and the third would rinse.  With dishes done, either David or I would take out the trash if needed.  

Updated: 02-23-2024

7th Grade