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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Giggling Breedloves

 This was written years ago, probably in 1991 for 50th anniversary and was published in the Quanah Tribune Chief. I promised it to some friends and thought I'd like to have it here. Since I'd not posted here in a few years, I wanted to pop up here as well.

Some forty years ago our family walked into the sanctuary of First Methodist Church Quanah. Ross Berry Magee looked up and said, “There come the giggling Breedloves.” Probably Mother was embarrassed and Daddy didn’t care. For the four of us girls we’d found our definition. We remain proud to be the Giggling Breedloves and the nomenclature is proven true time and time again on every occasion we come together. 

Our childhood induced giggling, for we were a happy family. We remember car trips when Mother had carefully packed games and snacks, planning for all contingencies. When the games ran out and tempers grated we sang the songs Daddy had taught us on earlier trips: "Skinamarink," "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," "Down by the Old Mill Stream," "When We All Get To Heaven," "Row Row Row Your Boat," "When She Wore a Tulip," and many more.

Years later one of our mothers-in-law commented that we Breedlove girls didn’t think there was anything our parents couldn’t do. That’s not the truth. We remember a time Daddy took apart a Timex watch and was going to fix it but he couldn’t get all the parts back in. Mother told us for years that Aunt Lorice’s long socks remained neat all day while hers drooped, though we’d never seen it. Mother couldn’t do French braids but did plenty of pigtails. We don’t think either of them could get the hula-hoop going, but maybe Mother did. Daddy had trouble keeping stinkbait on a fish-hook, but that was long after we’d left home. No, we knew of things Mother and Daddy couldn’t do. We remembered them very plainly because they were so few and far between. 

We had a Golden Book called Fix it, Please! that wore out completely because we loved it so, but that described our relationship to our parents. When things were broken, we took them home and they were repaired, made new, or hugged away.

We learned other things, too. The English language was properly spoken at our home. If Mother wasn’t there to correct a blunder, the rest of us took up the chant. Complicated words found their way into our vocabulary because we were expected to know what they meant, and pretty soon we did. Interstices will always mean those places where there was room for homemade ice cream no matter how much else we’d eaten. 

We learned to cook because that was expected of girls, but we learned to repair things and take roles usually reserved for boys, too. We became leaders watching our parents lead not just in the family but in the community. We have leadership roles in our local churches not because we were told to but because going to church and doing your part was expected. When we’re Mother’s age we may still be teaching Sunday School just like Mother, and that certainly is a proper path to follow.

We learned the Bible says “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” We learned that not just in Sunday School but in life, for we saw the strength of our family in our own lives and now we rejoice to see it in those of our children and grandchildren, too.

We are the giggling Breedloves. The joy that grows from the peace and love that are the foundation of our lives bubbles up, and we giggle.

Mary Ellen Breedlove Prescott

Barbara Breedlove Rollins

Carol Breedlove Truitt
Kathy Breedlove Gaebler

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