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one mother's walk

This weekend has been a wild frenzy of cooking and cleaning to get ready for our family dinner today. In attendance were several generations of the family that we once were and still are. I truly appreciate that for the luxury that it is, considering our ages and stages in life. Tales were flying of the history of us and the ancestors...like Miss Rosie their childhood cook who wore a paper sack on her head. Aunt Granny never ate creamed corn again after she found one of Miss Rosie's hairs in that particular dish. Can't say I blame her.

After the dust settled and the wind died down I went out into the yard to walk around a bit and see how things are growing. The garden this year is confined to pots of herbs and grape tomatoes on the side porch but the flowers are magnificent as usual. As I wandered around bathed in the golden rays of a spring evening, my thoughts settled on my mother and what she has taught me. Cooking was one of those things along with loving thy neighbor and going the extra mile when it all seems to be just too much. While most kids had their mamas waiting at home with cookies and milk back in the early sixties, mine went to work to help Daddy support our growing family. She was a newspaper woman for a local paper that dealt with mostly good news and fun stuff like cooking and weddings. If you've ever read the phrase " the bride's mother looked lovely" it was probably written by her. After workin' the day job, she wrangled with three kids and all the homework, snotty noses and broken hearts that go with. Then...and only then....she began the third shift of washing and cleaning and keeping up with a farmer husband who at any given time could be found on a tractor or snowbound in the middle of a herd of cattle. She canned the produce from the garden, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to do so even though she knew the alarm would go off and it would be rinse.lather.repeat.

I heard from other special mothers today...Yaya was one. Another was my old friend in East Tennessee who has a special needs child that names as her pure joy. My recently widowed friend struggled her way through the first of many "firsts" without her best buddy at her side. My heart bleeds for yet another one who is going through a hard time now right smack in the middle of public scrutiny.

Babygirl gave me a Hoops and Yoyo singing card and a CD of songs that remind her of me. I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but as of track3 she's right on. The greatest gift of all was spending my special day with she and the rest of the fam.

And the dogs.

And the cat.

And the leftovers!
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