May 11th

I know I am running a day behind and I apologize for that.

May 11th 1918 my beloved mother was born on Mother’s Day.

I had intended to make a point to write about her but the day was full of chaos and got away from me so I am writing about her now.











Mom was born in Illinois and moved to North Dakota as a toddler. Her father was a conductor on the railroad and her mother liked to read magazines. They lived outside of Valley City in the Conductor’s home provided by the railroad. They had to walk miles to and from town.

Mom was the third oldest of thirteen children. Eleven lived to adulthood and two did one in infancy and one as a toddler.

Mom use to say you left home as soon as you graduated because you had to make room for the younger ones.

So she traveled to Washington where her older sister now lived and married. It was before the war and she hoped to get a job on at Bowing. When she arrived there were no more jobs left. She then decided to head back to Valley City but made it as far as Butte, Montana when she ran out of money. She took what work she could find. When she was working as a maid she met my father’s baby sister who set them up on a blind date and that was the end of her journey to North Dakota. They married just before he left for the war and she waited with her new family until he returned.











Mom was a stay at home mom as it was a full-time job keeping up with my older sister and me. Mom was knowing for her sewing as she made all of the clothes.  For us and her and my aunts. Later on after I left home she took in sewing jobs to keep her busy and have extra spending money.

She believed that two children were all you could afford this day and age and she was happy finally with a small family.

She spent her hours taking care of home, family, and church.

She loved to go to the Women’s Gatherings at the church and exchange recipes. She was a wonderful cook and you would often find her clipping out new recipes to try.

However, she couldn’t use just anything on my dad as he had been the cook in the Army. No casseroles, no imitation anything. He wanted solid heavy food.

She made wonderful candy and at Halloween she had the best popcorn balls around. Kids would not only come long distances for them but they would go home change costumes and come back for seconds.

My girlfriend who lived next door remember one time after her dad had passed away and they didn’t have much coming home to find a beautiful wrapped box on the porch. The box was wrapped in Gold wrapping paper and tied with a ribbon. When they took it inside and opened it they found it full of Homemade Candy that Mom had made. Her heart was reaching out to them at Christmas time trying to do what she knew how to do best. My girlfriend has never forgotten not just the candy but the beauty of the wrapped box. That’s how mom was.

My mother even gift wrapped the garbage for the garbage men. She would take paper bags and when they were three-quarters full she would neatly fold the tops over and then take masking tape and strap them up. Anything my mom ever taped up was like breaking into Fort Knox. The garbage men loved her. Her attitude was no way is anything going to fall out for me to clean up.

If she was mailing a package and couldn’t find a box the right size she cut one to be the right size. I never saw anything like it.

She had grown up during the depression and waste not want not was the attitude. She washed out the old bread sacks and we used them to carry our lunches to school or she used them to store other things in.

She had a spot for everything and everything in its spot and you had better not put in the wrong place or leave it out.

She was very organized. Not like me it drove me crazy. I am one of those people who doesn’t touch anything and you can find it immediately. Clean everything up and you don’t find anything.

She always thought I would need a maid when I grew up but I wouldn’t want anyone messing with my stuff. LOL

Mom loved music and she loved to sing when I played the piano and later on she even joined the church choir.

She had her way of talking you into doing things you didn’t want to do.

She talked me into going to college when I want to run off to Oregon and see the world.

However, I made an agreement with her that if I got accepted I would go. Never dreaming that I would be accepted into a private college but enrollment was down that year and when my letter came I was doomed to keep my word to her.

She convinced me I should be a teacher not telling me that had been her dream. Later after I graduated from College I found that one out.

My mother knew how to keep secrets and keep my father happy also.

Anything she needed to know she taught herself. She wanted to know how to sew so she did some reading of patterns and learned on an old sewing machine.

But she had an artistic eye. She could visualize and change patterns combining looks.

She made all our prom dresses and later on a Wedding dress too.

There wasn’t anything that my mom couldn’t do except maybe keep up with me.

However, if all the secrets were to come out I am sure some of my spit fire came from her.

My mother had been raised with proper etiquette and that was always important to her.

She started attending church after she married my dad and that became equally important to her.

She always worried about the public’s perception of a person.

She could make a roast stretch into three days of lunches and two days of dinner for four of us. I don’t know how she did it. I can’t.

She had her daily routine and it was always the same unless there was an emergency, or someone sick or an activity at church.

She taught Sunday School and she took anyone under her wing who wanted help.

Mom was a diamond in the rough who polished herself.

She didn’t let life’s difficulties keep her from doing what she set out to do.

Later in life she took up painting and went to classes with my dad. She had always loved art and since it was something he was good at the could do it together.

She sat on the riverbanks and lakes throughout her life so he could go fishing. Even though she didn’t like it.

She would embroider while she was there or read for a while.

Mom became my best friend after my divorce with my sons father. Her and I talked on the phone for hours up until she got ill.

She had a heart condition which did her in at the end. She would have been 94 had he still been alive.

She has been gone for over ten years now and it seems like just yesterday we were sitting and laughing about things.

My mother could out belch, and out fart the best of them all.

We use to wonder where it came from. This little women who was 4 foot 8 inches made louder sounds than most men.

She sure could beller out the back door when she wanted me to come home as a kid.

She always helped take care of my father’s sister’s and his mother even when they didn’t agree on things. Family was family and that is just how it was.

Everything I am today is because of the values my mother and father reinforced in me.

Mom always wanted me to write a book and now I have five published.

Mom these are for you. I hope I have followed your dreams and made you a little bit proud.

Keep watching over me until we meet again.


I could go on forever about mom but I won’t. So until next time 🙂



2 Responses

  1. Very nicely told. Your mom seemed like a wonderful woman.

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