Five Minute Friday – Red

It’s Five Minute Friday, hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker at The Gypsy Mama.  Five minutes of free writing flash mob goodness.

If you aren’t familiar, the rules are simple.  Lisa-Jo Baker gives a single word writing prompt every Friday.   Each of us have five minutes to write and post.  No editing, no second guessing, no fancy stuff.  Just plain writing – straight from the heart. (click HERE for the official rules and details).  Then we go visit other participants and shower them with comment love.

This week the word is RED.

Last week, the word was WORSHIP.  The whole Five MInute Party went on a road trip over at (in)courage.  If you haven’t ever checked them out, be sure and visit!

Five Minute Friday


For a time, my mother pursued her dream of becoming a concert pianist.  At some point during college, she traded her dreams in for the more standard issue fifties approved dreams for women.  She married, taught school, had kids.

But before that… before there was the whole white picket fence, two kids, and a dog thing… there was her dream.

In high school, she played with the local symphony orchestra.  My grandmother told stories of falling asleep to the sounds of Rachmaninoff and Bach.

As a girl, my mom played for the church.  I fell asleep to the sounds of my mother practicing her “offering solo” that was her one moment to shine.  As she played, the men passed the plates and the congregation grew still.

When I was in junior high, I asked her once if she ever got nervous.

She laughed and told me she had been a bundle of nerves before her first performance with the symphony.

That’s when her piano teacher gave her a red slip to wear under her dress.

There was no more to her story.  My mother never explained further.  Perhaps the shocked look on my face was enough to end the conversation.

I simply could not imagine my mother EVER owning red undergarments.  I could not imagine her wearing a red slip under her Sunday best dress.

I could not imagine a silken scarlet secret hidden in the stern brown tweeds and gray flannels of her life.

The memory of my mother's red slip shocked me when I was a teen.  Now it makes me smile.

Now I can.

I can imagine a young woman being more afraid of someone discovering the secret red slip under her stern outer dress than she was of slipping up during a public performance.

I can imagine the power she could draw from that secret and how it would be almost like wearing a super hero cape on the inside.

I can imagine the power and freedom of being a rule breaker and a rebel, even if no one else knew.

I can imagine.

I hadn’t thought of my mother’s red concert slip in years.  But today, the simple writing prompt of “red” was enough for the memory to bob to the surface.

And it makes me smile.



Five Minute Friday

Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Ooooh, I so love this story and your way of sharing it and bringing the power of the red slip to life. Kind of makes me want to go by one! : ) Say wha?!….

    • I know! I don’t even OWN a slip anymore and now I want one. I had completely forgotten about the whole thing until I saw today’s writing prompt. Then I started writing about it. Now I want red underthings. How cool is that!

  2. What a beautiful story from the memory of your mother! I love how the simple prompt of red brought this back to life so vividly!
    Shalene recently posted..Five-Minute Friday {Red}My Profile

  3. Thank you for sharing this story. I am loving reading all the stories that the word red has brought out in this week’s five minute friday posts. Have a lovely weekend.

  4. This post makes me want to run out and get a red slip! Loved it.
    Barbie recently posted..Five Minute Friday: RedMy Profile

  5. that dress is so nice, it would go good together with red high heels

  6. I love how the story is told. Thanks for sharing.

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