Monday, July 8, 2019

Mother always told me

I'm looking for some input here. I'm moving along pretty quickly on my Depression-era story. The first draft is basically done, but now is the fun part, where I can start refining the voices of my two main characters.

The book is told from two different points of view: Ava, the slightly older sister, who stayed in the coal town and got married, and her sister, Clare, who married well and moved to Philadelphia.

They've lost their mother, and one of the things they do (separately and together) is remember her words of wisdom. Lillie's advice - good, bad, quirky, or otherwise - is scattered throughout the book.

Here's a snippet:

    Ava shook her head. "This is fine." She sat down heavily on one of the beds. "How did you manage this? You've been with us all week, helping with the move."
    Clare leaned against her shoulder. The baby sat solidly on her lap, reaching up to play with her hair. "I sent Harry home with a list, and Katie and her parents put it together. There are some clothes in the drawers for each of you. I had to guess at the sizes."
    "Oh God." Ava clapped her hands over her face and bent double. "What's happened to my life?" Her voice was muffled, but Clare didn't think she was crying.
    "It's like Mama said," Clare told her. "Sometimes you just have to relax and trust that the Lord knows what he's doing."
    Ava brought her hands down. "God doesn't give you more than you can handle," she quoted in return, "unless he wants to know what you're made of."
    The sisters stared at each other for a moment before dissolving into laughter.

Did your mother (or grandmother) have any sayings they repeated that you still find comfort in? They don't have to be religious (though my characters' mother was).

I asked on Facebook and got an interesting collection, some of which I can probably use, and some of which would shock all my characters (apparently my mother wasn't the only salty one in the bunch). If you have anything to add to the conversation, I'd love to hear it.


Brenda said...

From my grandmother - and the smoke goes up the chimney just the same. (Which I think meant it just doesn’t matter, and I felt like she was saying “whatever”.)
It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. Smile and the world smiles with you. Frown and you frown alone.
“There’s only this much about it...”
Hope they help :)

tess said...

My mom said, "Think 10 times before you spend a dollar."

What ethnicity are your characters?

Different countries have different sayings,
some Polish ones:

A guest in the house is God in the house.
After 3 days fish and guests begin to reek.
Not my monkeys, not my circus.

annie said...

Probably not much use butt my mother and my aunt used to say, "Fancy that." I seems as if they used it in the context of "Can you imagine!" They were first generation Americans from Irish immigrants so that would probably be the origins.

Anonymous said...

My mom used to say"Everybody's a little weird, except me and you, and sometimes, I wonder about you."
Accept who people are and your not perfect either.

paloverdeblooms said...

One of my mother's common sayings was "It builds character" whenever you had to do something you didn't really want to do. She also often said "Write if you get work" when somebody was leaving to go home, to run an errand, to go to some activity elsewhere. That one still makes me smile.

Carol in Denver said...

This one is from my Dad's mother: "Watch your pennies and the dollars will watch themselves." This is wonderful advice!

patsijean said...

My mother always told me "Remember who you are."

SewRuthie said...

Measure twice, cut once.

Sue in MN said...

"Everybody works, then everybody plays." That was to get the chores done in summer (or anytime) without one person having to do it all.
Or my favorite, used on all my kids and my employees, "There's no such word as can't."
Here's one from Dad (when faced with anybody who said "I can't" or "I don't know how.") - "Well, you'll never learn it any younger."

Anonymous said...

Turn off the light when you leave the room

Just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean it’s true (only one time)

Want what you’ve got (the sentiment, forgot the exact words ��)

Cherie said...

Karen, very nice photo!