82. Figures of Speech

Mom used to ask me all the time. “what do you figure?” It was her figure of speech. She had many. She had an Irish background and a father who was supposedly a great storyteller.

Many of her figures of speech did not make sense unless you knew her. It was like an inside joke.  “What are you doing, cleaning out the hall? She’d say if she saw a child picking her nose or she might question, “Going to a dance? If she saw a child rearranging their shorts. “I see you’re picking out your seat.”

If something untoward took place, out of her mouth would come, “Mother, pin a rose on me” or that might be one of her references to having done something for someone else. When she knew she had to get back to work, as she was cooking and cleaning for a husband and ten children, she’d say as she got up from her innumerable cups of tea; “Well, this won’t buy a baby’s shirt or pay for the one it’s wearing.”

If we didn’t want to do something, she’d say, “you’ll get a reward in heaven for this.”

Her figure of speech that drove my sister crazy was when my sister would dress up fancy and her makeup done to a tea, she’d say, “Well, look who’s here, Lady Di!”

Writing this last paragraph has me realizing I wrote, “Done to a tea.” Thas me recognizing how figures of speech reflect who we are and where we have come from.

Five minute writing Spring of 2012

—-Ellen Sagh

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