Journal entry – May 9, 1954: Nancy was two weeks old on Mother’s Day. She celebrated by waking up at 3:30 AM and staying awake until 6:00 AM. I accompanied her. (Note: I remember that she was lying in bed beside me, eyes wide open and trying so hard to talk.) Her Daddy bought a box of chocolates for her to give me and a card signed, “Daddy and Nancy”.
I followed that first celebration with three more children and many more happy Mother’s Days.
I came out to breakfast this morning to find this wonderful hanging my oldest daughter had made. She lives with me and likes to surprise me with advance gifts on holidays.
She scanned a picture and then colorized it and appliqued it onto a vintage standcover. She did all of the embroidery, hand quilting, crocheting and embellishing – she even made a hanger for the piece.
I remember the day the picture was taken very well. It was in the summer of 1949 at the house in the country where my grandmother and aunt lived. I would be beginning my senior year in high school in the fall and my sister (the blonde) would be in her freshman year. My mother (center) made our dresses which were of very light voile. We were wearing the latest fashion in shoes that summer – flat black ballet slippers and carrying matching purses. We dressed alike very often since it was more economical and efficient for my mother to make two dresses in the same style of the same fabric.
Mother passed away in 1991 and my sister, in 2010.
I like to cook and my daughters don’t, so I’m the one who fixes dinner for every holiday, including Mother’s Day. Our traditional meal is Chicken Parmesan with bowtie pasta, homemade garlic bread and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (with apple pie for my son-in-law and grandson).
One pound of rhubarb cut into 1/2″ pieces (3 cups)
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Line a 9″ pie plate with half of the pastry dough.
In a large bowl combine the sugar, tapioca, salt, nutmeg, rhubarb and strawberries. Mix gently and let rest for about 20 minutes.
Turn the fruit into the pastry-lined pan.
Dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry dough for top crust. Place top crust on fruit, crimp edges and brush with milk. Place pie pan on a larger sheet to catch spills and bake @ 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes until crust is nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.
In 2004, I made an apron to enter in the Warren County Fair (Lebanon, Ohio) and it won a blue ribbon. It’s a simple cobbler style apron with snowball blocks and vintage fabric showing mothers hard at work.
On the pocket is the old adage … “A mother’s work is never done”.
Every year, I wear the apron to serve Mother’s Day dinner and thank heaven that it’s true a mother’s work is never done, even when all of the children have grown and left home.
I’m looking forward to enjoying Mother’s Day with my two daughters and two grandchildren, and expecting phone calls from my two sons. I’m so lucky that I was able to celebrate many Mother’s Days with my own mother and her mother …..
…and my father’s mother, Grandma-up-Dayton.
I wasn’t able to know my great-grandmothers, but I’m fortunate to have pictures, history and stories on three of them. Minerva Alice is shown here with my Grandma Helen…..
I have a picture of Great-Grandma Emily, ca 1869…
…and Granny when she was in her 80s.
As I enjoy the day with my own children and grandchildren, I think about the women who came before me and especially the teenage girl who had me in the middle of the Depression and was an amazing mother and grandmother for the rest of her life.