Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Her Children Rise Up and Call Her Blessed

Today is my mom's 60th birthday.

My mom who had a pet turtle when she was little and smoked a cigar (that made her sick) when she was 15. My mom who was head majorette and played the clarinet in high school.  My mom, who competed in the Miss Crawford County pageant and moved to California with her high school English teacher until her high school sweetheart called her up after two tours in Vietnam and said, "Hey Bonnie, I always thought we'd get married.  Can I come pick you up?"  My mom worked in a realtor's office while she was a new wife and mom and made a little house-trailer home. She sewed and painted and gardened and canned and decorated and made-do, long before there was any popularity (or Etsy paycheck) for that.  She birthed four babies, used cloth diapers and made them all hot breakfasts and packed their lunches and cooked locally grown suppers for them every day. She crocheted blankets for all of her kids. She sewed their clothes -even my underwear, much to my extreme second grade chagrin - and brought us home-baked snacks like apple crisp on a big black tole tray while we watched tv.  And I forgot to mention that she used a wringer to save water and hung all our clothes on the clothes line to save electricity. 

Her sewing room moved from her bedroom to the basement to the garage, producing curtains, upholstery, stuffed animals, wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses and flower girl dresses and rag dolls, and literally hundreds of dresses which her three daughters wore to private school each day. Every baby she knew got a set of her home-made sleepers. She sewed reproduction clothing for antique porcelain dolls for years to make extra that was tiny and intricate and usually from patterns she made up herself. She made curtains for our tree house.

She made choke-cherry jam and raspberry jam and peach jam and sometimes, grape.  She canned peaches and pears and tomato juice and green beans and kidney beans and dilly beans and pickled beets and froze corn, peppers and peas and carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. And rhubarb, blueberries and raspberries. After she harvested it all herself.  And not just a few quarts, but enough food to last the whole of November to April, Pennsylvania winters. Every year. I never had spaghetti sauce from a can til I was married.  She could buy groceries for 6 people with 40 dollars.  She didn't use coupons because she was better than coupons. 

She made all of these outfits....
She endured pets inside and out that drove her nuts. She let us boil and eat the crayfish we caught in the creek.  She sat through soccer games and basketball games and speech competitions and piano recitals.  She drove us home from school each day.  She locked us in the bathroom when we would argue and forced us to learn how to work things out instead of just ratting us out to Dad who would have spanked first and asked questions later.  She sat at her sewing machine while I talked her ear off every day after school.  I remember her signing my reading homework while nursing my baby sister.  When we needed a note to take to school explaining why we we stayed home from school, she made the notes funny and signed them "Nurse Nancy."   Sometimes she would sit at the piano and play a little bit that she figured out on her own...which was a lot for someone self-taught now that I think on it. She crocheted rugs out of bread bags and plastic shopping bags. She keeps the flowers pretty and masterminds all of the home improvement projects. And then she learned how to quilt. And mosaic.  And decoupage. And don't even get me started about her camping out in the tree-house with my kids.

Are you getting what I'm saying here?  I think it's pretty obvious.

My Mom is the Chuck Norris of homemaking

Happy Birthday, Mom.
You kick ass.


Nanette Elizabeth said...

Yup. Your mom rocks! I love her.

Keri said...

Happy Birthday Bonnie!!


What a beautiful tribute to an amazing mom! She sounds a lot like YOU!

Sandy said...

A beautiful post! Happy Birthday to your mom and I hope someone bought her a new

leeloo said...

This. Is. Awesome.

Clark Kent's Lunchbox said...

I love mom.

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