Mother with Carolyn, left, and Dorothy, right
This morning I could see we were out of brown sugar as I liberally doused my bowl of chewy Zoom with the good stuff, so I intuitively and habitually wrote "br. sug." on the grocery list. Mother was the soul of efficiency and was not one to suffer fools or waste time on spelling things out. We all knew what "br sug" was. All my life, whenever we have run out of corn flakes, shredded wheat, or brown sugar, I think of Mother's grocery list and "br sug, c flakes, and sh wheat." Shredded wheat still goes by the name "sh wheat." I'm sure that she had other abbreviations that I don't recall. We bought precious few "town groceries" because there wasn't much money for buying them. Besides, we had most everything we needed from Mother's bounteous garden in summer, the canned goods in the cellar in winter, the chicken house, the pig pen, and the cowbarn. But we did need sh wheat, c flakes, and br sug. And this morning I had a fond memory of Mother's grocery list as I wrote on my own grocery list the same abbreviation I have used ever since leaving home.