OWED TO MY MOM: RUBY LOVE (DULAN) on Her 88th Birthday

by her Daughter Gloria Dulan-Wilson (c) 2/22/2011

Today's my mother's 88th Birthday. She was born on George Washington's Birthday, so when we were kids we always had his day off from school and we celebrated it like it was her holiday -as indeed it was (even though she had to make her own birthday cake); we always tried to get her something - Daddy used to take us shopping until we got old enough to do it for ourselves.

So celebrate with me and my family


Ruby you may be the baby
That you got all the wisdom and love is no maybe

You nurtured us when we were small
You stood behind us through it all

You and Daddy were a heaven of a team
You made love and happiness more than a dream

Whenever we thought we could do things in any old way
You put us in check without delay -with dire consequences to pay

You taught us fashion, style and etiquette
You gave us a foundation we'll never forget

You taught us how to be a good mother
You passed the same wisdom to our baby brother

And when things tried to get you down
You not only got up, you actually rebound(ed)

You come from a tough genetic code
Black and Cherokee will never erode

No matter what they throw your way
You let them know you're here to stay

Mom I truly hope I have all your genes
You've shown me what eternal youth means

You don't just take things and make do
You transform them and make them new

What I've learned from you, the world is just finding out
They have yet to deal with what life is about

I just wanted to let you how much you're a treasure
How many things I recall with pleasure

And now that you're celebrating birthday 88


Mom these are just some of the things I remember from growing up with you, Brenda, Warner, Sylvester, Daddy, Grandmom Cornelia, Grandaddy Enoch, Granddaddy Silas, Grandmom Zady - and all the other wonderful Oklahoma childhood memories:

I remember you made us fresh popped popcorn in a skillet. We each had our own bag and would eat it by the fistfulls
I remember your making us oat meal from scratch and putting raisins and cinnamon and fresh butter on top.
I remember fresh whole wheat toast, bacon (yes I used to eat pork), plum jam, and one egg over easy for breakfast before going to school.
I remember you used to put Vaseline on our legs, arms, hands and forehead so we wouldn't be ashy going to school.
I remember putting lemon rinds on our knees and elbows so they wouldn't be rusty (a trick I taught my daughters)
I remember you reading us fairy tales before going to bed
I remember blowing a bubble gum bigger than my head, and when it popped it got in my hair and you had to cut it out
I remember Brenda and I sitting on the front porch with root beer and shaking it up so it would foam up and run over the top of the bottle on to the porch
I remember Brenda and I blowing bubbles into the milk to make it foam up and run over - we really did get into a lot of stuff, didn't we?
I remember playing dress up, and getting into your clothes, with your high heels, hats, gloves, and dresses. We used to parade around the house and pretend to be you.
I remember you trying to teach me how to draw; fortunately Brenda was really a genius - my stick figures just didn't really make it.
I remember my first pair of high heels - you bought them for me because I was in the glee club, and I would have been the only girl without heels.
(I was 13 - remember - you surprised me with them).
I remember your making cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, biscuits, yeast rolls, and EVERYTHING from scratch (I'm a great cook, but I could never bake like you -- all my pie crusts turn out harder than the pie pan).
I remember that old scrapbook that you used to collect your favorite recipes - and your old BETTY CROCKER cookbook.
I remember you sending me to pull a switch off a tree so you could get me for something I had done; and the warning not to come back with some dried up old twig.
I remember sitting on Grandmother Cornelia's front porch swing down home; and your catching buffalo fish so we could help clean and fry them - MMMMMM good! (and buffalo fish is still my favorite fish)
I remember wearing big straw hats in the summer time, because Grandmother Cornelia said the sun was bad for our skin;
I remember mosquito nets at night so the mosquitos wouldn't be able to eat us up alive
I remember her millions of cats.
I remember great grandmother Suzie (your dad's mother) who lived in the shack (her choice) down the road; and Grandmother Cornelia taking her food to eat; she had a 3 legged cast iron pot in the front (she scared the beejeebers out of me).
I remember Grandaddy taking us into Ardmore to get soda-pops and Cracker Jacks with the real prizes in them - and everybody greeting him with respect
I remember Grandmother Corneilia's hand made birch bark furniture; cactus lining the front gate; the gully in front of the house, the china berry tree; and her fresh made preserves.
I remember that fantastic sepia picture with the oval frame of Grandaddy on the wall - he was soooooooo fine - with those sunny brown eyes, and that part in his hair (I wish I knew who stole that picture, I'd track them down and get it back).
I remember Grandmother Cornelia having Brenda and I pick the grey hairs out and put them in a bowl so they wouldn't come back (old Cherokee superstition - you never throw hair away, the birds might find it, like it, and begin swooping down on you for more of your hair to build their nests).
I remember siting and watching while she braided her hair in two long plaits that she parted on either side of her shoulders.
I remember the hot comb and getting my hair "straightened" - of course I've been natural now for three + decades - but I did look cute with the styles you gave me.
I remember playing hop scotch on the drive way; jump rope, hide & go seek (where we counted by fives) playing jacks; and my first day of kindergarten
I remember making paper dolls and designing outfits for them; I remember keeping them in a cigar box.
I remember nursery school with Ms. Sonders, and being scared to go because they used to tell us that the Big Bad Wolf would get bad kids, and I wasn't sure if I was good or bad - you told me I was good, and not to worry.
I remember you making lunch for scratch for Daddy when he worked at Tinker Air Force Base - sometimes he would have to leave at the crack of dawn, and we didn't see him again until late that evening.
I remember sitting and watching cartoons with you on the old black and white TV - your favorites were Heckle and Jeckle and Woodie Woodpecker.
I remember watching silent movies with you; and all the old classic movies - to this day I'm still an old movie buff because of you.
I remember listening to such greats as Lloyd Price, Billy Eckstein, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, and so many others.
I remember you and daddy taking us to the Black owned theatres - the Jewel, the Eastside and the Aldrich, where we would go and see the movies of the day - or Black oldies like Stormy Weather, Bronze Buckaroo, Cabin in the Sky, etc.
I remember sitting on our front porch on N.E. 7th Street, and eating fresh picked cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce from your garden (that I helped plant).
I remember Ebony, Jet, Sepia, Tan, Crisis, and other Black magazines on our coffee table; and we had to read them
I remember Black history books, and participating in Negro History Week pageants - and having to collect stories about Black accomplishments (of course back in those days, we were "colored" or "Negroes")
I remember swinging from a rope swing on the Lucky Bean Tree, and building a tree house that actually lasted until the 90's - wow!
I remember getting to lick the bowl after you had made a cake or muffins from scratch.
I remember how good it smelled when you were making a roast or something in the kitchen.
I remember the fact that you were such a night owl that you would actually vacuum at 3 in the morning; I figure that's why I'm such a natural night owl myself.
I remember you and daddy making sure we spoke proper English; didn't split our infinitives, didn't talk flat, and didn't say "ain't". The penalties were to repeat the sentence over and over until we got it right.
I remember when you sold your part of the land Granddaddy and Grandmom left you so I could go to college.
I remember flash cards, and how we practiced until we learned our math, spelling and other lessons using them.
I remember when we used to stay with Grandaddy Silas in Luther, Oklahoma, and loving the smell of the woodburning stove, and being afraid of the outhouse (where a Black widow spider had spun a web over the seat).
I remember you used to make preserves; and that Grandmom and Grandaddy would send us up a gunny sack of pecans, that Brenda and I would almost eat in one sitting (of course a gunny sack is 100 lbs, but that's how much we love pecans).
I remember Grandmom would make us dresses out of flour sacks and send them to us - they were very pretty.
I remember Grandmom making doilies and roosters, and other stuff from crocheting; and those spectacular quilts she made at the quilting bees.
I remember Uncle Buddy, Aunt Mary, Aunt Trecia, Aunt JoAnn, and Aunt Eula - Billie Jean, Yay-Yay and Ronnie; and cousin Joe Jr. (who I had a crush on); and I remember riding on the front of Grandaddy Enoch's horse.
I remember jumping on fish gills to make them pop; and taking a magnifying glass to catch ants on fire.
I remember all those awful herb teas Grandaddy used to make to help stay well; and standing on the front porch, in the sunshine while you tried to get me to take cod liver oil (yuck) followed by an orange - the oil always came back up before I could take one bite of the orange - and you'd just make me take it again until I finally got it down (yuck again).
I remember your Singer Sewing Machine and all the wonderful outfits you made for Brenda and I. It was the machine I learned to sew on. It always fascinated me how you could transform a piece of fabric into such elegant creations - and you still have one of the most fabulous wardrobes going.
I remember how, in our home, birthdays were always celebrated.
I remember how you opened our home to all our best friends; how you tried to guide the kids in the neighborhood; how our yard was the neighborhood community yard.
I remember roasting weenies in the Back yard; camping out under home made tents;
I remember playing baseball, foot ball, acrobats, and all kinds of crazy stuff in our yard.
I remember skin-the-cat; turning flips, pole vaulting over the ropes, and making mud pies; johnson grass that was taller than we were, catching and mounting butter flies - all in our back yard.
I remember how you were always two jumps ahead of me in whatever crazy scheme I was cooking up or mischief I was getting ready to get into.
I remember Easter egg hunts in the yard; dressing up for Easter, participating in the Easter and Christmas pageants; and Father/Daughter dances.
I remember Juneteenth Picnic celebrations at Lake Olberhoster; and eating so much I got sick.
I remember getting chicken pox in my hair so nobody knew I had it until it was almost over; and I remember having mumps only in one cheek.
I remember your sending us to the library on Saturday mornings after chores; and my buying tons of books from Aladdin's book store - I was the resident book worm
I remember all those wonderful photos you had of you and Daddy when you were kids - you could have been a fashion model; he could have been on the cover of GQ -
I remember how beautiful you and your sisters were (and Aunt Mary and you still are).- and how each of you had married very handsome men - they really don't make them like they used to.
I remember your making my favorite German Sweet Chocolate cake every year for my birthday. No one makes it like you.
I remember Pecan Pie - peach cobbler, apple pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie, Ginger Bread hot out of the oven with fresh whipped cream, topped with peaches - right!
I remember my favorite ice cream was and is Black Walnut; followed closely by Rum Raisin, with a Chocolate a close third.
Peanutbutter Brickle from scratch, with real peanuts in it!
I remember when I was in the NAACP Youth Council, and we were sitting in, you did like it but you supported us anyway. You and Dad always warned us about how vindictive rednecks were (sorry, had to go there;those were dangerous times indeed).
I remember how you kept your cool no matter what was going on - you handled it - you were unflappable; but always on point. You saw thru b.s. like nobody's business, and knew how to call a spade a spade - literally. My friends and I used to say that you put the best detective to shame.
I remember my best friend Tessa having to beg you to let me off of being grounded so I could go out after something I had done. She always promised I would be good, and never do it again - you knew better. But you let me go anyway.
I remember drawing and design houses for you from the ideas you had in your head - you truly had a knack for those kinds of things - the home you have now is proof of your insights.
I remember your wisdom in telling me to always double check what the doctors tell me, because some of them could not be trusted; a habit I have to this day. It's saved my life many times. It's a habit, thank God, you still maintain, which is why at 88 you are alive, well, kicking and more vibrant and energetic than ever. I hope I have those genes. I'm sure working on it.

Mom RUBY LOVE - I have so many memories. You know I could go on and on and on because there are so many things that I recall from childhood to now that I absolutely treasure.

So I hope this thumbnail down memories lane gives you some Idea of how much I love you and love the fact that you're my Mom.

Stay Blessed,
Gloria Jeanne

I had better close this now....memories continue to come up I could do another whole page LUV2U/ GLO


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