Friday, April 27, 2018

My Family Part 5

Mom was mostly a stay-at-home mother. That was the way it was back then. Fathers worked away from home to earn the money. Mothers worked at home to keep house, cook, and raise children.

Mom always had a huge garden. She raised, peas, carrots, beets, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, melons,  lettuce, squash, pumpkins, and corn. We had fresh vegetables all summer.

She also loved flowers so a partionof her garden was saved to raise flowers. There were flowers growing all around the yard too. When she was a bit older and we were also older she managed enough time to cut some of her flowers and make fresh arrangements for the house.

She liked strawberries so she had Daddy build a terraced strawberry bed. That way she would have a bigger yield in less space.

Daddy planted grapes every place we lived but they seldom gave us any grapes. He did have a knack with roses and was trying to develop a new rose.

Mom canned a lot of the  produce from the garden. She made pickles of all kinds.

In the fall when the farmers brought fruit into town to sell we would buy several bushels of several kinds of fruit.

Mom would can some, bake with some, and make jelly, jam, and fruit butter. She was a marvel.

Needless to say we had plenty to eat all winter.

When I was very very small Mom decided to make her own cottage cheese. It was the best I ever had.

She was also artistic. Bedides her writing she wanted to draw.

At the time the was a program on television called Drawing with Jon Nagy. She watched it religiously. She even ordered his special eraser. He said the more it was used the better it worked. It became black with use but always erased cleanly. So Mom was an artist. 

Just about anything she decided she wanted to do she would find a way to learn and do it.

Mom insisted on us using proper grammar and good manners. For instance the word (or non-word) of ain't was forbidden. I was the oldest and it "took" with me. The rest of the kids seemed to get by with grammatical slips. I guess it was too much work.

Mom sewed most of our clothes. I think the boys blue jeans were possibly the only exception. She would hold a newspaper up to us and make a pattern from it. So when we weren't wearing hand-me-downs we had the nicest clothes in town.

When I was in 1st or 2nd grade she used Daddy's pea coat from the Navy and made the warmest coat I ever had. I was sad when I outgrew that one.

After she retired Mom wanted to live somewhere warm for a change. She tried Florida where my sister was living. She said everything smelled like fish there.

She and I took a road trip through New England. We just drove until we saw a place we wanted to stop.

We ended the trip at myother sister's house in Kentucky. Mom liked it there. She took me home after a few days and went back.

She rented a little place a few miles from my sister. Mom actually built her own furniture. She said she had always wanted to do that. My sister has it now and is still using it.

When my sister needed someone to help with her children Mom moved back in with her.

My mother who never complained about aches and paions became ill. My sister and her estranged husband had to carry her to the car to take her to the hospital. Although the doctor would not tell her what was wrong Mom snuck a peek at her records. She had e.Coli. She went home finally but was not the same.

The last time I saw my mother who was the rock of the family she seemed so frail. I think she was tired of her being here.

Mom died in her sleep in early January. When my brother died Mom and Dad purchased a triple plot. Mom was laid to rest on the coldest windiest day. As we drove into the cemetery I could imagine her chuckling about our discomfort for just an instant.

I had good parents. Our whole family revered both of them. They are missed every day.


  1. Your mother sounds wonderful to me, such a purely creative person.

    1. My mother was intelligent, beautiful, loving, and fearless. No wonder my father loved her so much. As I matured we became close friends and enjoyed doing things together.

  2. Women were so restricted, back then. Good for all of them who met the challenge of growth.

    1. Mom was ahead of her time. Neither of my parents ever restricted any of us to gender roles. If we wanted to try something (as long as it was safe and legal) we were encouraged to go for it.

  3. Have you got any of your mother's art works? It would be good if you 'do' a post on them with photos if you have. Happy weekend Diane

    1. As far as I know she gave it all away. I have nothing.

  4. What a creative person your mum must have been. Beautiful post.

    Greetings from London.

  5. You had a brilliant mother. What a worker!

  6. My folks were hard-working folk too. My mom took in laundry to washed and ironed for people. She paid for the extras with her washmoney as she called it. We also had a garden and we canned a lot of our winter food.

    1. Mom sold chickens that were cleaned and dressed for cooking. Unless specifically ordered they were whole chickens with the innards on the side. It was a little extra money for the family.

  7. These are great family records.

  8. tHANK YOU for this touching post dearest Emma!

    you were so lucky to have such genius and allrounder mom and such a hardworking father!

    no need to mention that your post made me cry!

    and badly reminded me my late mom who was almost just like your mother ,may she rest in peace in best place of heaven,amen

    1. I have always known that I was fortunate having the parents I did. I know how close you were to your mother. I remember my parents often and always with a smile.