22 May 2012

My Mother

A week ago Sunday was Mother’s Day, Sunday there was a solar eclipse and next Sunday will be my mother’s birthday. The last time there was a solar eclipse visible in western US was 10 May 1994. My mother was visiting me at the time. That trip was the last time I saw her healthy. Less than six months later she was dead. So excuse me if I spend some words and space to talk about my mother.  I am missing her.

She was on the short side, about 5 feet 4 inches. She had red hair and temper to match it at times. She had freckles to match the red hair too. Her hair was always on the short side. She kept it all, it just turned a nice shade of white eventually.

She was a military wife. Dad went to Korea in 1950 and there were lots of temporary duty assignments in his 25 year career when she was left alone to take care of my brother and I and home.

In 1957 she started have health problems, surgery for this and then that and then something else. Looking back some could have been lessened with better diet, we had too many meat and potato dinners growing up. Some could have been avoided by never smoking, but didn’t know things about smoking back then.  She quit smoking about 1970. She smoked Parliaments.

It was kind of scary for a 7-8 year old to have their mother laid up in bed from surgeries. My brother and I had to help with household chores more and take care of mom too until dad got home. She didn’t like being laid up, didn’t complain, wasn’t hard to be around, just not so physically active. We would go in and talk to her like as if at kitchen table with all the ‘news’ of the day at school and whatever else we were doing.

She taught me how to bake and cook, how to set a proper table and use the correct utensils in the correct order. Both parents passed on a love of reading. Books were also used to balance on my head to learn correct posture when walking. Nothing got me to sit up straight though. Learned how to carry a full cup on a saucer without spilling a drop. We made cookies, pies and cakes – ok, she made and I helped some and then more as I got older. We shared licking the batter off the beaters and laugh about it. She made really good fruit cakes, much better than the really heavy ones you buy in store. Recipe lost somewhere. She taught me to sew and knit. I wasn’t really interested, but still can do either one when have to.

She was a good mother for the most part. Generally a nice lady, but could out swear a sailor. Her artistic creativity was expressed in sewing clothes and eventually oil paintings.          

She would like this blog and understand why I do it.


  1. This is a Nice post Abby. It gives some nice insight into you and your earlier years. You have some fun memories here. I can see how the eclipse, mothers day and Her birthday would get you thinking about your mom. This is very touching. I find the last line particularlly very Poignant.


  2. Now I know where I get my swearing from ;P

  3. Thanks for reading and leaving comments.

  4. Very insightful.
    I enjoyed the thoughts.
    Having taken care of my mom for 5 yrs I understand.

  5. I'm glad you have many good memories about your mom. We watched the Eclipse through a pin hole camera like we did as kids. My mom showed us how to do it.