Thursday, November 19, 2009


Charline Elaine Squier with her future husband...and my dad!

My mother Charline Elaine Squier was born today, and I will tell a little about her.

First, she was beautiful.

Second, she was STRICT.

Before she died I told her, "Mom, don't feel bad about any of the times that you spanked me. I deserved all of them."

She smiled and said something like , "Oh, for Pete's sake!"


Mom used a lot of interesting words.

She was full of idioms.

"I'll be cow-kicked!

"For crying out loud!"

"What the Sam Hill is that?"

"Son of a sea crook!"



"Jumping Jehoshaphat!"

{On consulting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, it seems clear that the name of the king of Judah (which also occurs in several other spellings, most commonly Jehosaphat) was used in the United States around the middle of the nineteenth century as a mild oath, a euphemism for Jehovah or Jesus. The phrase Jumping Jehoshaphat is first recorded from Mayne Reid’s Headless Horseman of 1866, but is probably older. It seems to have been in the tradition  of exotic imprecations that Americans of that period were so fond of,  with the repeated initial sound greatly helping its acceptance.}


She liked to read Mysteries.

She liked Mickey Spillane a lot.

She always said, "You and your brother like to read books with all those big words.

I would disagree---but as always---she was probably right.



Mom was a rebel, and I think she was somewhat wild when she was growing up---or at least that's the impression I got.

She went to a Catholic High School and was frequently caught smoking in the girl's bathroom.

She asked that a pack of cigarettes and a lighter be put into her coffin, and she got her wish.

Many years later when I lived at home between jobs, she sometimes had 3 or 4 cigarettes lit at the same time.

I think she wanted a cigarette accessible in different places of the house so that she didn't have to carry one around with her.


My fondest memories of moments when my mom was her sweetest is when the whole family packed up and went camping in the mountains, always at the same spot, since my Grandfather had permission from a rich buddy to live on a patch of land between National Forest boundaries, inches away from a river.
At first, he and his collie Freckles lived in a big tent, then they moved into a small trailer...
without electricity!
Mom scrambled eggs with thick slices of potatoes---salted and peppered.

The cool, sweet, pine-scented, mountain air...the loud purr of a flowing river...made breakfast even more delicious.


Mom and Dad didn't fight much, and so my life and the lives of my two brothers and one sister were happy 


Mom got angriest when I fought with my brothers.

That's when I got whacked.

For other misbehavior, she mostly scolded with loud words, or made her dire warning:

"You kids stop it or I'll get the belt!"

I never got hit on my arms, legs, or head.

She always aimed for my butt, and she wouldn't start "spanking" until I was still.

"Move your arms! I only want to hit your butt! Stop moving!"

When I started to cry because I was afraid of my "beating" she'd say,

"Stop your crying before I give you something to cry about!"

And my favorite was when she said, "You kids stop that now, or I'm coming down there to beat it out of you."

Mom's "IT" came years before Stephen King's.


I was well-behaved in school.

Mom's rule:

"You'll get IT if I ever get a call from your school!"

She never got called.


I know my mother loved me, even though I didn't get many hugs and kisses.

And after a slobbering, sickening, sour-flavored kiss from my 2nd Grade teacher, I didn't like kisses much anyway.


I was 23 when I was once again "between jobs", and needed to stay at home.

My hair was down to my shoulders.

My mom said, "Mister, if you're going to stay here, you're getting a haircut!"

She took me to the barber shop and watched as my long locks fell.

Happy Birthday Mom!

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