My mother born in the great depression and they lived on a paltry farm. If rocks had cash crops they would have been millionaires. She was the 5th child in a family of ten. My grandmother was often overwhelmed by that many children, and so much work she would leave for periods of time. This meant my mother became a surrogate mom to her younger brothers and sisters. She cooked and cleaned like it was a religion.
At 13 Mom was sent away to a convent for further parochial education. She was sent 30 miles away because there was no Catholic school for her to attend. Although a short distance by today's standards, visits home were rare. She knew no one except for one nun who took her under her wing. She earned keep by setting the table and doing the dishes nightly. After one semester she was brought back home. "They gave me no explanation why they sent me there, and no explanation to why I returned." She went back to resume the workings of the house. Despite all of this my mom graduated high school with honours at 16 and went to Normal School, ( Which was what they called teacher's college in those days)
By 17 she had her first job in a one room school. With her licence and her freedom, she drove over back roads like a 'a bat out of hell.'
After 10 years of marriage and 6 kids she resumed her education and got her bachelor of arts degree the same year I graduated from college.
The best advice she ever gave: Never believe a man when he says we will just lie down and talk.
-Deb Kimmett, Writer, Performer, Improvisational Specialist and Second City Veteran