Happy Mother's Day

 (That's the beautiful bouquet my son, d-i-l and granddaughter gave me for Mother's Day. It makes the house smell wonderful!)

My mom lived to be 97. Though she became frail and had a hard time hearing, she still remained alert in her mind. Though I know she's in Heaven with all of our family who went before her, I do still miss her. There are times when I'd really like to tell her something that happened to someone in the family--or brag about one of the grandkids accomplishments.

Mom loved her grandkids and great grands, each and every one. When she was younger, she liked doing things with them, shopping, going out to eat, reading to them.

When I was a kid growing up, my parents weren't physically loving. The only time you got a kiss was if your were going a way for several days like to camp, or when I left to get married. However, I knew I was loved even though we didn't kiss and hug. Both my parents worked hard to give my sister and me a good life. Of course that meant when we were young we got spanked. Not with anyone's hand, dad liked to use a switch from a tree, mom preferred a yard stick. When I was growing up everyone spanked their kids--and I can assure you we deserved it the few times it happened.

We had a regular bedtime, 6 p.m. when we were in the early grades, 7 p.m. when we were a bit older. 8 p.m. when we went to junior high and 9 all through high school. Kids today would rebel at such early bed times. Of course I cheated, read books by flashlight under the covers and often listened to the radio in bed.

My mom and dad liked to have their evenings without kids. Not a bad idea when you think of it. I followed her example though my children's bed times were not quite so early.

Mom planned and gave us wonderful birthday parties, always with a theme and decorations. We had wonderful picnics and various parks with out extended family. Most Sundays, after church and dinner, we visited with aunts and uncles and various cousins.

Every summer we had wonderful camping vacations. When we were younger we went to Yosemite where the animals roamed freely, we watched the bears at the garbage dump, and fire fell like a waterfall. Every night a ranger told wonderful stories. Later on we spent 3 weeks every summer camping and boating at Bass Lake. In those days you could set up your tents right on the lake shore. We had three boats, a ski boat with an inboard mother, an outboard motor, and a tiny little boat made from an airplane fuel tank. Of course we learned to water ski and we also how to drive all the boats. As a teen, I usually managed to have a summer romance while we camped.

My dad always did the cooking on our camping trips--but mom cooked better than he did. He liked to throw everything together in one frying pan, and sometimes the mixtures weren't all that wonderful.

My mom belonged to lots of clubs while I was growing up: the garden club (and oh she was a good gardener with flowers--not so much with veggies though she tried during WWII). Another was 2:15 which was the young adults group from church. They had parties for everything and fortunately the kids were always invited. I remember scary Halloween parties and summer parties held outside and New Year's Eve parties where we ate homemade clam chowder and at midnight walked around the block banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons.

During the war, Mom made air raids fun. We went to a middle room where we could have the light on and we played board games and ate snacks.

She always dressed up, silk stockings, hat, dress to go to PTA meetings, any school functions, and of course, to church. She made sure we all went to Sunday School and church on Sunday and then evening church Sunday night for the adults and youth group for my sister and me.

The only time she wore slacks or pedal pushers was when she was gardening or camping. House dresses were the uniform for days at home cleaning, washing, hanging clothes on the line to dry, ironing, cooking, etc. For a very short while she had a housekeeper, but when dad found out she always cleaned before the woman arrived, he stopped that luxury.

I loved listening in when the neighbor women came over to gossip--and they did.

Mom also subscribed to three newspapers. One had lurid tales about movie stars. I remember reading all the details about Lana Turner's daughter killing Johnny Stampanato (sp) who was an abusive boy friend of her mother's.

Mom also belonged to the Book-of-the-Month Club. Some of the books she forbid me to read--of course I did anyway which I'm sure she knew.

During the summer, when I was in grade school she took me to the library every week where I'd check out 10 books at a time. That was the limit. Reading was something we all did at our house. Books were often welcome gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

When I fell in love with the sailor I met on a blind date, mom went with me on the train to my future husband's home for our wedding. After we had our first child (10 months later) she used the money she'd saved working as a substitute clerk at a school so that my dad and she and my sis could drive the 3000 miles across country to see her first grandchild. (She was much more interested in our first born than she was in me.)

Whenever something bad happened, mom was the one I consulted or ask for advice. She was also the one everyone asked to pray for them. It seems that mom's prayers were the best.

I miss my mother. Happy mom's day.

Your first born,

Marilyn

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