The Midsters Podcast

12. What I learned from my mother... honoring the things they taught us

July 22, 2022 Tish, Ellen and Felicia Season 1 Episode 12
The Midsters Podcast
12. What I learned from my mother... honoring the things they taught us
Show Notes Transcript

This week Ellen, Felicia, and Tish talk about the things they learned from their moms and how those things have stayed with them. Whether you are close to your mom growing up or not, there are things we learned. Sharing stories of their moms made everyone feel so much closer to them and honored their memories.
The hosts encourage our listeners to share what they learned from their own mothers on their The Midsters Podcast Facebook page!

Ellen Gustafson:

We are going to talk about a topic that is near and dear to each of my co hosts to the three of us. And we are going to talk about what we've learned from our mothers. And I think each of us are going to give a couple of things that we we each kind of have carried from our moms, but Fitz, and Feli and I have we've known each other since we were 18. So many, many years. And one of the nice things is we all knew each other's moms. And I think all of our moms have passed. And so that makes this episode even more special to me that we're talking about some dynamic women, we all knew them when they were our age, and we're going to really kind of, maybe take a trip down memory lane.

Felicia Pasquier:

You know, it's kind of funny, when you all brought this topic to me. It really it was difficult for me because I didn't feel I was close as to my mother as you to you. Both of you two were extremely close to your mother's. And I remember thinking we were so different. I don't know what I learned from my mother. So I called my sister I'm like Nana, I'm like, we're gonna do this episode. And I really don't know what I learned from mom. And you know, she was very close to my mom, and she started rattling things off that I completely forgot about and, and it kind of was a very special moment, because it made me realize, although my mother and I were so different. There's a lot that she did that has affected my life and what's going on now. So I'm glad we have a chance to kind of talk to her about our moms in that manner. Or whoever. Whoever had that idea. Thank you.

Tish Woods:

I love that you brought that up. Because when I had mentioned this idea to other friends, they were like, Oh, I'm not a lot like my mom, I think but you still learn something. And we need to honor that even when our moms are different. And just like some of our daughters, well, you don't have daughters, Ellen, but Feli and I do. And you know some things about our daughters are the same, but they're different. And we need to honor what we learned from one another. So I love the idea of this episode. And I love the idea of ministers really sitting back and thinking about how what their mothers taught them has impacted their lives and what they carry on from that. That's right. But before we get on to this topic for today, because I know we're so excited about honoring our mothers in this way. I want us to talk about our obsessions. So Ellen, why don't you start us off with what was your obsession this week?

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, my obsession this week is something that happens every summer. I am obsessed with making a watermelon, feta and mint salad and bright it is amazing. I had one maybe 10 years ago at at a Mediterranean restaurant and ever since then I've kind of been riffing on it myself. Sometimes I add arugula, but the combination of the sweet watermelon, the tangy feta and the fresh mint. It's amazing.

Tish Woods:

So what do you top it with Ellen, what kind of dressing do you put on something like that?

Ellen Gustafson:

You know, you keep it really light. A lot of times I put it on a bed of arugula because I love arugula. But you can put it on Romaine if you'd like or just as habit as it is but just a drizzle of some really nice high quality balsamic and a tiny little bit of olive oil. You just let the natural flavors come through. And try it midsters. You'll be obsessed.

Tish Woods:

That sounds like a chef six summer-y salad. easy thing to do when you don't want something super heavy.

Ellen Gustafson:

You can just have that for dinner.

Tish Woods:

Definitely going to try that.

Felicia Pasquier:

All right,

Tish Woods:

Feli, what's your obsession this week?

Felicia Pasquier:

So my obsession this week came from binge listening to all the old misters podcasts that I hadn't listened to. So I listened to the Bee podcast and I loved it but one of the things that came up was something Ellen got from one of our friends Kathy Kathy P was a manuka honey. I love honey. I put it in tea. I put it in my peanut butter. I mix it but she talked about manuka honey and I think Ellen you said from New Zealand, yes. So I wanted to taste this manuka honey that you were raving about and I ordered it and it was so good. It was so different than anything I imagined it was creamy and soft. And just a really unique take taste so Ellen, thank you for bringing that up during the the beehive podcast.

Ellen Gustafson:

You're welcome faily and don't forget if you have a cold or a sore throat, it has medicinal properties to it too. So make sure you take it with your tea when when you're sick.

Felicia Pasquier:

And if I ever go to New Zealand, my allergies will be under control. According to Tish Exactly. Yes.

Tish Woods:

So our Yes, I love that Bee episode. So I love that it inspired you to try one of those honeys. We also put on our Facebook page, a honey tasting after that episode aired. One of my friends is a honey collector. So it was so fun. And I actually got to try them in Manuka and it is fabulous. So definitely, definitely try that. So we're gonna have links and stuff for that. Now my obsession and Ellen laughs at me because I have this thing with I love like these really pretty fresh scents around me. So I had talked about different ones that I use. But I have been hooked on this cleaning product Fabulouso . So I'm telling you, it is just amazing. I love just mopping with it. Just your your whole house smells like it has been cleaned top to bottom. It holds in the air without being overwhelming. But if you've never tried this, I am telling you if you're having company and you're like oh my gosh, they're going to be here in 10 minutes. And you want your house to smell good. You just pull that out, fly around with it with a mop and the whole place is gonna feel and smell like you have just like scrubbed it from top to bottom. Fabuloso is Fabuloso.

Felicia Pasquier:

And you know, it's pretty Have you seen the colors? It's like bright pink and purple. So keep it away from your children. A lot of kids have tried to drink this detergent, because they think it's a fruity drink. So filters are lovely. Yes, the smell and the colors are lovely.

Ellen Gustafson:

Wow. Fabuloso I liked the name Tish. So I think I'll try it just based on but you do you love your good smelling products. I'll give you that we were about that. Well, guys, I just want us to jump right in. Because I know between the three of us we have some really good stories and some really funny things that we've learned from our moms or maybe we're going to talk about something we've learned not to do from our moms. I'm not quite sure because I don't know what you two are going to say yet. But I thought I would jump right in and just share a quick thing that I learned from from my mom. Her name was Suzanne and my mom loved to have parties, and she would make a picture of Manhattan's or martinis and she would take this very worn ugly board and throw a block of Cracker Barrel cheese on it. And around it. She would put Ritz crackers and there would be her party. She did not clean the house. She did not worry about the house being clean. She didn't think should she have some a charcuterie board? Nope, she's nothing like that ever passed my mom's mind. And you know, she played the piano. And usually after the picture of martinis, or Manhattan's people move to the living room, and there was some music and some singing, and people love to come to my parents house. And they love to entertain. But it was so simple and so easy. And she didn't have any kind of like feeling that her house wasn't good enough or it wasn't clean enough, or she wasn't giving the best food. And I would always stress about that. And always stress like did I have enough food? Is my house clean? Have I made a sharp who to reboard worthy of some, you know, oh, on TV, and I just I just always go back and think like, you know, it's really not about that. It's about entertaining with like an open heart with just the joy of being with people that you love incorporating music and a little few little cheese and crackers with it. And I think that that's one of the best things my mom taught me.

Felicia Pasquier:

It's about relationships. Yeah, it's relationships. It's not things. It's the relationships that you have with your friends and family. Yeah,

Ellen Gustafson:

and I think it was her ease of just, you know, being in her own skin. You know, her house wasn't the cleanest and her food wasn't the best is but she made a mean Manhattan. Right,

Tish Woods:

that made everything good.

Ellen Gustafson:

It made everything good. So that's definitely something I've carried with me especially when I would start you know spinning about is how Is my entertaining good enough? Am I putting it out in the right way? So? I don't know. Do you guys want me to tell a second story? Or does somebody else want to tell one?

Tish Woods:

I think we should keep with your mom for a minute. Yeah,

Felicia Pasquier:

I love her mother.

Tish Woods:

Yeah, such a personality. I just, I always loved how she just wanted to know what the girls were thinking. And she wanted to be in the thick of it and, and she wanted to hear the gossip. And your mom was just so fun that way. She just wanted to be one of the girls when she when we were around.

Ellen Gustafson:

Suzanne, I miss her. Gosh, it's been almost 20 years since she's passed away. So a long a long ways. But I know many people missed her, you know, on a, on a more serious note, something that she taught me and that my grandmother taught me was that a woman should always be able to support herself and her family. And, you know, this kind of came about because my grandmother grew up on a farm. And she was one of many siblings. And she went to the big city of Syracuse, New York, and went to college and became a nurse. And this was in the late 20s and early 30s. And so my grandma, she was kind of a hot ticket, you know, in working at Syracuse General. And when it came time for my mom to go to college, my grandfather didn't really think that she needed to go because she was a girl, as many men thought back in those days, my grandmother went back to work for a year as a nurse to put my mom through college. So my mom was a social worker. And she loved that profession, as we were saying, she's just a really giving person. And she ended up working with a seniors, you know, in gerontology and running as a senior citizen program. And she always just said, you never know what's going to happen in life. Ellen, you don't know your husband could have a heart attack young, you could get divorced, like, you just have to be prepared to support yourself and your family. And that's why, you know, she really encouraged me to go to college and to have a career. And so it feels special, that it's like this third generation of, of, you know, women in my family being able to do that.

Tish Woods:

I love that your grandmother found education of women so important, because it really wasn't in in, especially back that far. It really wasn't.

Ellen Gustafson:

Yeah, it was unusual. It was unusual for a woman to to go and be educated back then. And even, it wasn't so usual with my mom, you know, back in the late 50s. So, you know, something I've carried with me, and I definitely am interested in making sure that women do get educated and build careers. So, a little bit more about Suzanne, how about we talk about your mom, though? Feli. I know you just said you. You chatted with your sister about some stories. What do you got for us?

Felicia Pasquier:

Well, the first thing I'm going to say and I'm gonna start off lighthearted, something very particular to me that I did this back in college and people thought it was crazy, is that I'm a bather, I don't shower. And even in college everyone's showered, are Trinity College have these big huge bathtub that basically until I arrived were full of cobwebs. And but to this day, I don't shower, I bathe. And I think I got that from my mother. My mother was the same she would not shower she would bathe. So. That was one thing when I call my sister she's like, well, you like take you baths. So I think anyone who knows me they kind of think it's weird. But now when she said that, like Yeah, I did. I got that for mom somehow.

Ellen Gustafson:

You know I didnt know that about you

Tish Woods:

Was it more than just though, like cleaning yourself? It was it's kind of that routine of that quiet time that you know, you know, getting

Felicia Pasquier:

in the water and you know your own time by yourself. So yeah, that's something that I think I got from my mother. Yeah, you didn't know that. Ellen. Yeah. Yeah, hopefully. Do you remember the big bathtubs we had an Cuvilly or you don't remember? No. It was like a Jacuzzi. Yeah, it was huge.

Ellen Gustafson:

No I'm missing big parts of my memory. I don't know how that could be

Felicia Pasquier:

Because you weren't bather you would take showers. That's why

Ellen Gustafson:

in my mind, they were on that O'Connor Hall in Main when you were talking about the big bathtubs but no,

Felicia Pasquier:

no in Cuvilly. So you know the other thing my mother was very frugal, but she She was a lot of fun. And I think the other thing I got from her she was really, she loves garage sales and she loved going to thrift stores. To this day, I literally I went to a thrift store with my daughter yesterday. So I'm passing this on, we were on a hunt for Levi's jeans so we could make cut offs at home. So I think the fact that, you know, she was so thrifty, they were Salvation Army officers. So, you know, they did have a lot of money coming in, but the way she always made money with her garage sales, in addition to going to garage sales, that's how she would make if if, you know, if we had something extra going on, and we needed, you know, to get a homecoming dress, she would whip her garage open and she would start selling and, you know, she didn't even care how much they went for, you know, she wanted to clear out and make her money. So I think I got that from her as well.

Tish Woods:

You know what I remember most about your mom? Because she Yes, she was more serious. But she had just this kind kind heart. But one of the things I remember about her is her big jars of collections. And I always thought they were so unique and and how she would collect like that. Didn't she do the Pez dispensers? Yes,

Felicia Pasquier:

yes, yes. Yes. She was a collector. Yes, yes.

Tish Woods:

But what I love about that is she took something unique. And when she, you know, bundled it in one place, like a lot of people do that now. But when your mom was doing it, she really was kind of cutting edge. People weren't doing that at that time. And it's funny because a really good friend of mine, I have bought her glass jars before so and I buy her Pez dispensers all the time thinking of your mom or your mom when I do that. And that funny and I've never really kind of expressed that to you. But I did tell her, keep them in the jar, keep them in the jar. So you have them together. It's that memory of something. I needed to collect over time. And putting it in all in one place. Kind of gives it a sense of honour. I don't know. I don't know what it is. But it always really kind of struck me and I found your mother's house to be so interesting. Because she had those collections of the was that Mexican doll she

Felicia Pasquier:

was very artistic. My mother. My mother wanted to be an artist. She could do anything she could draw. She could draw she could quilt she decorator her house. But her but back then women went to school to be their teacher or a secretary. And her parents wouldn't let her she got a degree as a teacher. She they wouldn't let her you know, go to school and be an artist. You know, in school with us. We encourage our kids to follow our dreams. But back then you were either a teacher or a secretary, or nurse or nurse or nurse nurse. That's true. But I will tell you when my mom graduated, she did just go be a she wasn't a teacher, you know, just down the street. She went to Anchorage, Alaska to teach. So she was all she had this sense of adventure and travel and, and I think that was something I inherited from her as well. I love to travel and I love adventure. And I'm spur of the moment. But Fitz, I want to go back to what you said about the jar. Because like I said in the beginning, I'm like, What did I get from my mom, I don't really know what I got. Do you know that I have a jar of all my bracelets. I have bracelets from college bracelets that I have here. And I have them on a top of a bookcase in my room of all my bracelets. So that's funny that you remember that about Pez. So I guess what the point is, it's

Tish Woods:

We have way more of our Moms in us,

Ellen Gustafson:

yeah, we do. I think we do.

Tish Woods:

Absolutely. And that's why I think like something doing something like this is so important, because it remembers and honors our moms, you know, and how much we do really take you know what they had?

Ellen Gustafson:

Yeah, and I kind of feel like at this stage of our lives, I can think back on it and in honor her in a way that I couldn't when I was younger, you know, a lot of times I was like, oh, whatever, you know, move on mom. And now I'm like, gosh, it it feels good. And I think like Feli I can see it feels a little bittersweet, too, because it brings up how much we all miss our mom's right. Yeah,

Felicia Pasquier:

yeah. And you know, sometimes I think about my mom and how unique and special she was. And I know this is so silly, but I have there's so many things that were so special about her. And I wonder I don't feel that I'm especially as she was, you know what I mean? And what am I passing on to my kids? Because my mom was so special in many ways. So I do and I miss her. It's for me, it's been 10 years and when I move into a new place She was the one that would come to my house and hang up the paintings and arrange the furniture. I go into my place and I'm lost. I don't know what to do I have all this great artwork. I don't know where to position my furniture. So yes, I miss her.

Ellen Gustafson:

Yeah, I bet it's the little things, too, that you miss so much. Well, I think we've saved Pat for the last right?

Tish Woods:

Yes, pat, pat was, Pat was a formidable woman to say the least. Some of my friends were terrified over. But I always found my mother to be so much fun. You know, one of the main things that I really think that I learned from my mom was this sense of creating adventures with friends. She used to call them happenings. There, we got to do some happenings, she would gather her friends into groups to go to concerts to go on trips to do girl things. She was one that would call her best friend, Catherine, and she would say, Catherine, get your shoes on, grab your purse, I'm coming to get you. We need to go get doughnuts, and it'd be like two o'clock in the morning. And, and she's like, Oh, no, they're, they're making donuts downtown. So we can go, she was always one to do just, you know, just the unusual stuff. And she'd push her friends out of their comfort zone. All the time, you know, she'd be like, she called her friend Catherine and say, put the water on, we need a fork full of spaghetti, which meant making a pound. And they would just do these things, these crazy spontaneous things. And I recently saw Catherine and she just misses that, you know, when my mom passed away. And for me, it's been about 18 years now. It's actually been more than 18 years. But she says she how she missed that so much. Because my mom, you know, got her to go and do things. So that adventurous part. And that part of getting people together and doing something fun and out of the box. That's definitely something I took from my mom, and something I really cherish and feel a connection to this day with her. Because I do do that.

Ellen Gustafson:

I do think that you have taken a lot of that. I mean, you love adventures. When we were together out here last year, you had me doing things in my own hometown I didn't even know existed, you know, it was like, Let's drive out and get oysters and decoupage them and do arts and crafts. And I mean, there wasn't a day that went by that we didn't have a mini adventure. So I didn't know that came from from Pat. That's really great thing.

Tish Woods:

Yeah, that that came from Pat. And when you were talking about how your mother, you know, it didn't matter what the house looked like my mother was the opposite. Company was coming the back of the closets were going to be spotless, because somebody might look. And while I can say honest and true, I did not take that from Pat that I left that I left. But my mother was a huge entertainer. She loved to have people over all the time. We had tons of big events at the house. So I refer to it as no, my mom was both Italian and Polish, but I always refer to it as the Italian need to feed. You were not allowed to come into the house and not partake in some type of snack food, drink something she didn't. There was one time I remember. Some people came over. And I think it was like right before she had gone grocery shopping. There wasn't a lot in the house. She fried up a plate of bacon. Like it didn't matter. You weren't leaving that house without eating. So and she was a fabulous cook so Sunday was always that big, huge pot of sauce on the stove. So we could have spaghetti with every single meal that we ate. Didn't matter what it was. It was pasta with steak pasta with pork chops, pasta with other pasta, it didn't matter. We had pasta every day. So I refer to it as the Italian need to feed.

Ellen Gustafson:

Wow, I do remember coming to your house and your mom just you know, putting pastries and everything out. And your dad too. He was he was along for the ride with Pat's need to feed

Felicia Pasquier:

well and it extended to college. Do you remember when her parents would come to visit? They would come with baskets of food Italian sausages cheese. I think even like they got you a wok so we could stir fried mushrooms and butter. I mean we were sauteed mushrooms in your dorm room butter. The other night I had sauteed mushrooms and I thought about your Mother big sausages, and she would bring us food. So excited when she was coming down because we knew the sausages, Italian sausages were on their way. The

Tish Woods:

my mother's care package is just packed with homemade cookies. Yes, candy, and oh yeah, there's just something about the Italians of needing to feed you. And the breaking of bread with people. And I gotta say, I, that's still important to me. When you really bond with people. There's something about breaking bread with them, you know, sharing a meal sharing wine that just brings such a closeness?

Felicia Pasquier:

Absolutely.

Ellen Gustafson:

Can I share another memory of your mom? Um, Tish? I don't know if you were, if you were gonna say anything else. But I remember how excited and happy she was at your wedding. And just how I know what you're going to talk about. Am I going to talk about how she changed he she had to these two gowns to gowns that your mom had two gowns I had never. That's what so she had one dress for the church. And for some of the photos. And when we got to the wedding reception, she put on a sequins gown that was just like, that lady looked good in that gown. But I was like, Hey, hang on. I think she started the trend of people changing dresses during wedding. Oh, we're not kidding.

Tish Woods:

You may not realize this, my parents got married. I think my dad was like 18. And my mom was like 19. And my dad had gone into the service. And she took a train down to I think it was South Carolina, oddly enough, and got married. And she stopped along the way and she wasn't supposed to. But she stopped along the way and picked up her aunt who was really more like cousin age. But you know, she was much she wasn't a but a couple years older than my mom. And that was the only family member that was at her wedding. Okay, it was just that it was at that time you just didn't do these destination weddings. So they got married and my mom came back home when my dad was shipped over to Korea. And when my dad came home from Korea, my my brother, my oldest brother was already there. So she she got pregnant when she was with him for that month. But she didn't she didn't come home until my dad came home. But what was what happened was my wedding turned into our wedding. And I don't say that in a mean way. It's like we shared it because she didn't have a big wedding. And it was her chance to have that big wedding with me. So every detail, she just saw it every single detail. So yeah, it was it was definitely special. But sharing that with her was amazing. And even as a young person, I think sometimes young people don't get it the importance of different things. But even then I knew this was her chance to have that wedding and yeah, two dresses. I want to add something

Felicia Pasquier:

about the wedding as much as your mom give us with food. When it came time for wedding she taketh away she did not let you eat for three months, I think

Tish Woods:

sorry. Oh, no. No, I

Felicia Pasquier:

haven't. So she got so the wedding day was coming down. What so she was not very generous with food. Was she towards the end before the to me? No.

Ellen Gustafson:

She cooked for everybody. But

Tish Woods:

she wouldn't let you Oh my god. Yeah. She definitely that was yeah, it was definitely funny. But I was and then right before the wedding. She said I think I need to have a talk with you. I'm afraid you're anorexic.

Felicia Pasquier:

She literally was guarding you like a hawk like she did not want you to eat before that wedding. I didn't I don't remember that about the anorexic. But that

Tish Woods:

is oh yeah, she did. And I said please don't embarrass either of us. I was like 145 pounds. I said no, anorexic is 145 pounds.

Ellen Gustafson:

Oh my god. Well, my

Tish Woods:

mom definitely she had a she had a big sense of style and stuff like that. So that was always that was always an important thing. She did. I just love reminiscing. I feel like I feel so close to our mothers right now. You know, they were very different women, but they had such a big impact on who we are today. Just like we're going to have a big impact on our Kids, you know, in what type of relationship and and I think it's, it's what you were saying earlier, Ellen, it's the little things. So as we remember the little things with our moms, we need to remember to create those little things in those little moments with our children. Yeah, that's right. You know,

Felicia Pasquier:

and I want to add one more thing. You know, we talked about our tribe of college friends or 10 of us, but I can go through every single friend, you know, Kathy, Perone, Linda, Kathy Shea, Kristin. And we all have fabulous memories of of their mothers. Yes. And they were they were part of, you know, part of us as well. And part of our experience at Trinity. So all of those mothers, we have stories about all of them.

Ellen Gustafson:

Yes. And beyond writing even Well, after college, a lot of engagement with everyone's mom. So,

Tish Woods:

you know, when a couple of the moms even went to our college. Yeah,

Ellen Gustafson:

that's true. Betty Shay, shout out to Betty Shay.

Tish Woods:

And Nora, North Norris had multiple family members. But yeah, so she did try but yeah, that we have legacy people.

Ellen Gustafson:

Well, guys, this has been great for the three of us to catch up. And I just want to say I feel honored to have shared, you know, listen to your stories about both of your moms and, and just to shout out to all of our listeners to put a memory of their mom on our Facebook page. We'd love to hear about something you learned from your mom and put it on her Facebook page. And thanks Tish thanks Feli.

Felicia Pasquier:

Yeah, why don't we share with

Tish Woods:

mothers video? Clip two. I would love if people love little video clips of a memory of their mom. Just that little remembrance. And yes, Feli I agree. We should. We should also post pictures of our moms.

Felicia Pasquier:

And you know, I didn't tell you my mother's names both of you. My mother was Martha. So I just have to give Martha a shout out.

Ellen Gustafson:

Shout out to Martha. Yes. Okay, midsters till next week.

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