Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Remember Mama

Wow.  What funny - and thoughtful responses y'all left on my last post!  It sure wasn't my intent to put anyone on the spot, but I really appreciate your candor.

So, it's official?  We'll do away with all the mirrors!
... But you have to promise to say something if I get a piece of spinach stuck in my teeth. :)

Her 'Heavenly birthday' not withstanding, tomorrow would have been my mother's Centennial!
... served with spumoni ice cream and 'just a sliver' of cheesecake.

Since time travel remains a myth, I've no alternative but to celebrate the occasion of her birth with some favorite mental vignettes.  
Coffee, anyone?   

New Years Day, The Grand Canyon  
"You'll love it.  I promise!"  (That's dad.  I was too excited to speak.)  
No-one's sure if she loved riding a donkey for 4+ hours in freezing conditions - or not.  Anytime I looked back, her eyes were screwed tightly shut!

Cooking kidneys
It's been decades, but I'll never forget that horrible smell ... boiling water sending clouds of foul steam throughout our little apartment.  But daddy really wanted kidneys.  So mother obliged. 
(Obviously, this apple's fallen a long ways from the tree.)

Embarrassing one's daughter
Having lived through the Great Depression, money-saving measures were second nature to my folks. Still, I'd cringe when she'd wash the aluminum foil for re-use.  Then there was a time she carried a big old crate of fresh eggs aboard the train from Grandpa's farm in Minnesota back to New Mexico. (While I tried pretending I didn't know her.)  'Suppose she wasn't particularly thrilled  about it either -- but those little acts all added up. 

Reluctant traveler
Thanks to my parents' work ethic and standards of living -- there's only so much one can do in an isolated community the size of a saucer --  my father was nearly able to realize his dream of seeing the world.  Mom, not so much.  But she always went along with a smile.
That is, until 1978.
I wasn't privy to her near meltdown, but the story goes (that) dad kept their destination a secret until they were aboard a flight bound for JFK.  "We're going to ... Russia!", he exclaimed.
(I really, really hope he didn't add, "You'll love it!")


Thanks for indulging my little trip down memory lane!   Tho' we were never especially close, the older I get, the cooler my mother seems.
For certain, she was the wind beneath my wings.

Hugs from Phoenix,


  1. I agree with Rick (who is hovering above me) - - I love Memory Lane trips, too! This post was fantastic. And the photo with the palm tree and coconuts is great.

    I visited the Grand Canyon numerous times with my parents, but we never ventured down on the donkey trail.

  2. A lovely tribute to your mom. I'll lift a spoon of spumoni ice cream in her honor.

  3. Oh my gosh, how could your dad keep such a secret about their trip to Russia! He had to be really good at keeping things like that! I can imagine the closed eye look on your mother on the back of a donkey going down the Grand Canyon. Your dad seemed quite the adventurer :)

    Why are we embarrassed with our mom's antics but then do things that embarrass our children? I guess the cycle of life?

    Your mom does sound cool :) Indeed a beautiful tribute to her in honor of her 100th had she lived to it.


  4. Your mothers pictures are beautiful! And such a lovely tribute you gave her here. I would have squeezed my eyes tight on that trip on the donkey as well. Russia! Did she love it? I would have killed Richard had he tried to surprise me like that. I am not one who loves surprises!!

  5. What a nice birthday tribute to your mother. You do have some good memories.

  6. My eyes filled with tears when I read the last paragraph. This tribute is beautiful. I loved hearing about your parents!

  7. A beautiful tribute and a lot of lovely memories.

  8. How sweet. enjoyed reading every word. Not much can be said, negatively, about mama. In tandem, I was seeing my mama, what ever daddy wanted, he got.
    Mama's are special. And you are absolutely right, years make all the difference.
    Happy birthday Mama!
    Love from North Carolina, no rain today.! No boots.

  9. Your mom sounded like a real doll and your dad too! Parents are such a beautiful blessing! I miss mine both terribly and wish I listened more to my father's financial advice. :-(
    I do love reminiscing and thanks for sharing with us today. Happy birthday to your mama in heaven!


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