Okay, Sunday was the 10th of June ... I know that ... Sunday was my mother’s birthday .... I know that! Sunday I sent several e-cards to her, called her and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. So, why did I forget to write her blog? And forget I did! Sorry, Mom .... it took your reminder to help me realize what I had done. Was it thinking too much about a coming anniversary? Was it laziness? Don’t know, but it completely went out of my mind (what little I have left). I know I had the pictures chosen and the idea of the blog in my head ... it just went floating out with the breeze. Let’s just blame the heat, shall we? We had to have the air conditioning on that day because it was so hot; not having fresh air blow through my brain must have been the reason - my brain just froze. Right? Right! Of course Right!
Be-that-how-it-may, I am correcting that error today. Sunday, June 10th, was my mother’s 92nd birthday. Ninety-two years old! How remarkable is that? How many people are blessed to say that of their mothers?
Mom was born on June 10, 1920 - during the “Roaring Twenties;” she spent her pre-teens and teen years in the “Dirty Thirties.” Then married just at the beginning of World War Two. She has seen quite a change in America in these 92 years.
McClusky, North Dakota was where she was born; she never left North Dakota until she traveled by train down to Georgia to meet and marry Dad. After their wedding, Mom and Dad traveled throughout the United States and the world, as Dad was a pilot in the new Air Force and became a career officer, where he stayed until his retirement.
Most of the time during their travels, Dad would be stationed somewhere, find a place for the growing family to live while Mom followed with the (again) growing family. I have many stories told to me of driving across the nation with 2 / 3 / 4 children in the car with her. Then the big trip where she traveled, again with 4 children in a transport ship from the west coast to Japan. It takes a courageous woman to strike out with children in a car to go from one side of the nation to the other, not knowing if the car would make it (they weren’t all that dependable way back then), if there would be flat tires to change, if children would get sick, if there would be no-where to sleep at night except in the car. And not really knowing what kind of place they were moving to. Nowadays, most couples visit the new place, pick out a house / apartment to live in and agree on the town. The Air Force took most of those choices away from their employees and dependents. A man went where he was told and the wife made the best of it.
And Mom did make the best of it. We had pleasant, beautiful places to live (at least inside, if the outside wasn’t the best); we all survived and grew up as reasonably normal adults (I am speaking of myself, here ...) and Mom and Dad have stayed together the entire time. Their anniversary is coming up, but that’s another story for another time.
Mom taught me the pleasures of reading, although I’m sure that many times she was sorry that she did - I was a total bookworm and had to be forced to turn out the light at night, come to meals, join in family activities. If I didn’t have a book in my hand, I wasn’t truly happy.
She taught us how to be more adventurous in our food choices by lovingly saying “If you are served something you don’t THINK you will like, taste it, then leave it if you DON’T like it.” This was especially the rule as we visited others. We were never allowed to say “I don’t like it,” causing the hostess to worry about what to feed a finicky child. If we didn’t like the food served, we went hungry until the next meal, unless we could fill up with something on the table. Now the others became more adventurous in their foods; I just went hungry. I didn’t inherit the “all food is good, no matter how different” genes!
Mom finished 2 years of college and taught in a one-room school house until she married Dad. After we had settled (permanently) in Rapid City, SD, Mom started substitute teaching, then went to college to finish her degree. With her 4-year degree, she continued to teach until she retired. When I was at a lose as to what to chose for a career, she encouraged me to become a teacher. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit her teacher genes and taught for only 5 years until I was able to become an at-home mom and never went back into the school room as a teacher. Mom taught in the same school as Joy and Jill attended, so was able to work with them in the school room and helped teach them the love of reading.
I have known Mom for (ahem) 68 years and am proud to call her my mother. She has friends around the world that have remained friends for a very long time. Some of them are from college years, which is saying quite a bit!
Happy Birthday, Mom! I know it was a happy one; I am only sorry I didn’t get this written and posted on the proper day ... I promise not to forget next year! I love you.
Mom in High School. Note the cute buttons on her dress!
Mom, with Nana. I think I'm there, too (although hidden very well).
And here I am, with Mom and Dad! The first of the gang.