I Listened Momma – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
In I Listened Momma, Chippie Pablos grows into a woman of many dreams and nothing nor no one will take those dreams from her. She knows that God has put her on earth for a reason and through her faith and determination, he will see her through to the end. And believe me, she does!
I Listened Momma takes place in the backwoods of Kentucky where money is tight but family and love is strong. The story takes you through the good times and the bad times of Pablos family as they strive to keep a family of 8 from going hungry. Growing up in the South, with a family of 7, I could relate to some of the hardships. But what really got my memory working was the dialect used by so many of us those hard years ago. So, read through my memory of words as I take you back to the times when life was harder but maybe just a bit better. Who knows, you just might go back in time too.
A branch – no it doesn’t come from a tree it’s actually a creek. Chippie and her siblings caught tadpoles and crawdads in the branch, I remember doing that too. Her mom had a transistor radio. That was a little box radio that ran off a 9 volt battery and had a wire you attached to something metal. This acted as an antenna. I would attach mine to the metal piece running down a telephone pole and pick up conversations from my party line neighbors. Chippie’s grandmother cooked a mud-turtle, I can actually remember my step grandmother doing that but I refused to eat any. Chippie’s brother Jerry Wayne had “chester drawers” in his bedroom, we had those too. They were used to put your folded clothes in. And their TV had a picture tube. I don’t think there is a TV still running that has a picture tube anymore. Chippie’s mother curled her hair with sponge rollers. Boy can I remember those. The only good thing about them was that you could actually sleep with them in your hair.
Now Chippie and her family would holler for each other. Holler actually had 2 meanings. You could live in the “holler” which was down the way or you could holler at each other. I didn’t live in the holler growing up but I did do my share of hollering and still do. And I’ll never forget the hours my family would spend “breaking” beans for mom to can.
A cell phone was something that the Martians would bring with them when they invaded earth, everyone knew there was nothing better than the old wall phones with a rotary dial. Chipper’s family, as well as mine for a while, had outhouses and wash tubs for bathing. And there were always animals, both for food as well as pets. The pigs were fed by using a slop bucket and the dogs and cats were fed the scraps that weren’t given to the pigs.
I hope I’ve sparked a few memories of your own life or maybe a few memories that were passed on by your parents. I Listened Momma shows that there is hope no matter who you are nor what your living conditions may be. Everything is possible if you just trust in God and believe. I also want to make you aware that all royalties from I Listened Momma will go to Relay for Life to help fight cancer.
Publishing Date: December 1, 2010
Publisher: Moon Gypsy Press
Number of Pages: 260 pages
Genre: Drama/Southern Fiction Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com