This piece is in honor of my mother who is 86 today!
It is difficult to say what I will look like at 86 years of age, if I am still alive, God willing, but I’ve decided “it’s not how you look, but how you act that is important!” Those are words my mother has told me throughout my life. Along with, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” There are many phrases and sayings that my mother has taught me. They are all well and good, but knowing her kind heart has been the most significant.
Life growing up on a farm in Ohio
wasn’t always easy for my mother. She was the third child, but her oldest sister died at twelve years old before my mother was born. Then when she was fifteen years old her mother died and tells stories of going down the road to have a neighbor lady help her with killing and dressing 15 chickens. Even after she was married to my dad, they lived on a farm, and she was his help mate. She drove tractors, plowed fields, and helped in the tobacco fields by cutting down tobacco, spearing it and placing it on a lathe.
Besides working in the fields, she had five children to prepare food for and clean up after. Times were rough, but she always managed to have fun with us. She loved music. If she hadn’t quit college and married, she would have been a music teacher.
So growing up, she sang and played the trumpet and piano. This built an innate sense of music for me. Mom sang until one day she could no longer sing because of her throat. That’s another story.
She had a dream that we all would play the piano and gave us lessons. Mom loved and cared for us. It was her vocation. She never worked “outside” the home. Some of my fondest memories are when mom spent time with me in the kitchen. She was always patient. Allowing my sister and me to play with the dough, she would make pies and other luscious desserts for the hired hands. The cinnamon rolls just melted in your mouth.
Then we had special foods for holidays that mom made for us. Mom made the large pearl tapioca with whipped cream, chocolate pudding, rice pudding, her famous oyster dressing at Thanksgiving, and I can’t forget the small tapioca for my brothers.
No matter what we had materially and sometimes it wasn’t so much, we had love. Mom and Dad loved us and that was all that mattered. They encouraged us to do well and supported us in all our endeavors. Most importantly God was at the center of our home and I am grateful for that.
Thank you for reading this. I love you Mom & Dad! Happy Slicing! J