Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sharing By Aunt CB Kinsella

To share is to care! Every family has learned the fine art of sharing or else the wrangling caused by selfishness has driven mother right around the bend! (And perhaps father also!)

In my family, we shared pretty much everything-- beds, clothes, money, food and candy, especially candy! I’ve no idea when it began, I just know that every candy bar we were given, we divided into 8 pieces! (This was not counted for our weekly loot, these were individual pieces that went into the candy box). Hershey bars were especially prized, they were twice the size of today’s and scored to be broken into separate pieces. These were then carefully placed under each upside down plate as we set the table (It didn’t happen very often!). Once Daddy bought a five pound bag of candy corn, and two pieces under our plates went a long way!

Aunt Lil’s girls were also brought up to share, so if we ran short of socks, shorts, etc. while we were visiting, we just used those of the cousin whose clothing fit us. In fact, Aunt Lil made much of the fact that, when Gladys and I were still small babies, (we were only a month apart in age) my mother had left me with her while she visited a friend.

When feeding time came, Mom was not yet back, and I was crying along with Gladys. So she hoisted one baby in each arm, bared her breast, and fed us both! Gladys and I always felt that made us true sisters if not twins!

Thus, when we shared a piece of lemon pie in the church basement, after Aunt Lil’s funeral, we thought nothing of it. Joyce Henderson’s mother, working the food table, saw us and said, “Oh, get another piece, we have plenty of pie,” but we explained that this was our way to grieve together as we’d always shared.

What we did not then know though, because we’d not yet read our Grandmother Kate Youngs Baker’s dairy, was that we were really responding to what was in our genes! The earliest reference to Byron Baker, about a year before their marriage, mentions going to a dance party where she ended up “sharing a plate of food with B”!!

Picture One: Sylva, Ruth, Leona, Esther, Arnon, CB, Doris, Gladys, Phyllis, Harold—Taken 1931
Picture Two: Aunt Lil, Gladys, Esther, Sylva, CB, Leona, Phyllis, Ethel—Taken 1960
Picture Three: Lucille, Gladys
Picture Four: Byron Baker, Taken 1885
Picture Five: Kate Youngs Baker


Pat said...

Thanks, Ma, for this terrific story.

Of course, you did not mention another famous story about sharing--You and Aunt Doris sharing the toilet seat as young girls, and then MANY years later, attempting the same feat!

Love you,

Sue Kinsella said...

This reminds me of the huge box - seems like it must have originally been to deliver a washer or dryer - that used to come round to our house each year when i was a kid. It was filled with clothes from Aunt Esther, Aunt Doris and others. Mom would sort through the clothes and call us in to try on this or that. When she had pulled out all that seemed to fit her kids this year or this season, she would put in the clothes we had outgrown and send it on for other cousins to search through to find "new" clothes to wear.

I have always found it odd when people here have said to me, very hesitantly, something like, "I have a sweater that doesn't fit me anymore that I think you might like. Would you mind if I give it to you?" As though they're afraid I'll be insulted at being offered hand-me-down clothes. Little do they know that to me it feels like family.

I have a dark rosy-purple soft jacket that a friend gave me years ago. Some of you will know the one I'm talking about because I still wear it often. I will admit, though, that I was a bit deterred when Alex told me that one of his friends thought it made me look like Barney! Oh, well - isn't Barney's song all about family, too?

Mom/CB said...

Gosh! I never thought about sharing the toilet seat with Dottie! Can not believe that I forgot that of all things! Especially when , as adults, Doris and I were so proud of the fact that we once could!! and yes, at a Taylor reunion we did ry it again , with NO luck!
Also forgot that we 4 Taylor girls used to share a box of maternity clothes! Went from Ruth, to Es, to Doris to me and in between to whichever one who was next in line. I know that Barb shared in it with us at least once or twice altho she was smaller. The rule, any worn out clothes discard and any new ones include! I was happy to toss in Salvation Army box when I fnished my "task" We were raised on church rummage sales clothes though, so a box of clothes from someone was like a trip to the department store to us!!