Friday, May 08, 2020

Friday five with a Mother's Day vibe

  Since Mother's Day is coming up Sunday, I thought it might be fun to talk about five things with a Mother's Day theme.  Going through old cards and photos, as I've been doing so very often lately, has really made me think about family in general and mothers in particular.  The four-generation photo above, taken at a wedding, shows my grandmother, great-grandmother, my aunt Dot, and one of Dot's children.  So here goes with a Friday five concerning some mom-related blessings:

1.  My mother and mother-in-law.  Both very different women, but great role models in their different ways.

My mother was the brownies-in-the-oven-after-school type, which I know not everyone was blessed to have.  She was a fabulous cook and baker, and supper was amazing almost every night (except when liver was served).  As I've mentioned before many times, she was also a wonderful seamstress who made many, many of my dresses, jumpers and skirts over the years.  (I've got a whole post about that in the works.)  Our house wasn't pristine, but it was comfortable and decently neat.  I'm guessing the photo below was from Easter in 1960 or so.

With seven kids, my mother-in-law baked multiple loaves of bread a few times a week and sometimes an entire loaf would be devoured before it cooled, according to my hubby.  He and his siblings remember with great affection certain foods that she made.  She's still with us, in her 90s, but not cooking much any more.   She was more of a casual housekeeper and thought nothing of spending the day swimming or hiking with her kids rather than spending it at home.   That's my mom-in-law at right below, along with her sister Alice -- another delightful lady!  Photo from a few years back now.  I know I have better ones, but this was the easiest to find.

2.  My grandmothers couldn't have been more different, but they were both a blessing in my life.  My maternal grandmother lived next door to us and I was in and out of her house all the time as a child.  It was spotlessly neat and clean, even the guest rooms, and she was also a wonderful cook and baker.  She was a homemaker par excellence (and her aprons always matched or coordinated with her dresses!)  but she was also an astute businesswoman and always dressed up to go to town.  In the photo below she looks harried and a little sad.  She was widowed in her early 50s.

My paternal grandmother was a snappy dresser and it seemed as if she always wore heels.  When she occasionally stayed at our house, I remember hearing her tap-tap-tapping around overhead.  She was a practical nurse and lived in a succession of different apartments or rooms in my childhood, so when we visited we would often take her out to eat or to visit relatives.  She usually looked quite glamorous and I often thought of her as looking like a fairy godmother.  She always got us nice new pajamas for Christmas and she sent the interactive type of greeting cards for kids that included an extra like paper dolls or a maze or puzzle.  I have found one that even had a magic slate incorporated in it.  That's her below with another grandchild, I think.  For sure it is not me.
My husband's maternal grandmother died the same year we were married, (if I'm not mistaken, and I may well be) but she was a delightful country woman through and through and I learned much from her.  She enjoyed cooking and I copied many of her best recipes.  She used to make a simple but fabulous cream cake and frost it with a sort of maple fudge or penuche frosting.  Scrumptious!  I can almost taste it.  (Below, she is sitting with my hubby -- with whom she shared a birthday -- and his two older brothers.)

 My paternal great-grandmother was elderly, living in a little upstairs apartment, when I was a child.  This older photo shows that she was pretty proud of her chickens back when my dad was growing up.

My maternal great-grandmother usually looked rather sad and serious, but below is a rare smiley photo of her.  This was taken at my grandmother's farm.  I remember her, barely.

3.  My aunts were terrific role models and they all blessed my life in different ways.  My aunt Joanne was definitely my favorite and she made the biggest impression on me.  That's her below with my cousin Gary and my brother Tim.  She was a busy mother of six but always had time to spend with an older niece.  She was a wonderful mother and aunt and a fantastic grandmother, always sending care packages to her grands and sisters.  Her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are legendary in our family.

My great-aunt, Bessie, also had a huge impact on my life.  Bessie enjoyed cooking and she loved entertaining her church ladies' group.  She was also a prolific crafter and I think was probably the biggest influence in my life as far as crafting is concerned.  She loved crosswords and jigsaw puzzles and the Boston Red Sox.

4.  My own experiences as a mother and grandmother are still ongoing, obviously.  I am one of those very rare women who doesn't enjoy the baby stage.  Once they are potty trained and can hold a conversation, I do much better.  By the time they get to what I call the golden years -- roughly between age 7 and 12 -- they are pretty much just plain fun.


5.  Seeing my daughters as mothers has been an amazing blessing.  They are both much better mothers than I was, and I'm blessed to see the great job they and their husbands are doing as parents.

There's my sentimental Friday five!  Hope you enjoyed it!

And a very happy Mother's Day to all!


  1. Oh I did enjoy it. Gloria Gaither has a tribute to her grandmother on her blog, which I enjoyed reading this morning and now to end blog reading for the day with this is great. Bookends. My children's dad felt the same way about children...not a fan of the early years, but very much enjoyed the later years and especially the teen years. I was the exact opposite...those teen years were not the finest.

    You have a wonderful memory!

    Is that you hiking through the forest? Goodness, it certainly looks as if you had it all together with your little one strapped to your back.

    Great pics!

  2. How fun is that, Vee -- that you had bookend memory posts to enjoy!

    I planned on just doing a regular Friday five from the week, but then this came to mind and it finally came together. I am truly blessed to have had so many wonderful women in my life.

    My kids' teen years were all fine, as were those golden years I mentioned. Really, no problems at all.

    Yes, that is me hiking through the forest with Joanna on my back. It was only a short hike, with my in-laws, if I'm remembering right.

  3. Loved this!! Happy mom day...

    1. Same to you, Brenda! Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Oh I loved reading this Mrs T....we are parts of all the women in our lives for sure. I loved the baby stage, toddler stage and even the early elementary years but those years where they turn sassy just frustrated me so much. I guess we were all hard headed.:) Now I enjoy my adult children and seeing them as parents is a blessing.

    1. I didn't like sassyness either, Arlene, though I must say my own kids weren't much inclined to that at all. But my kids would tell you that I detest silliness even more! I always say anyone who doubts that "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child" only has to watch one for a few minutes!

  5. This is such a sweet post! I loved seeing and reading your memories. I only had one set of grandparents living when I was born and one great grandfather. They had a huge impact on my life.
    I didn't know there was anyone out there that would say they like the babies older. I have just never been a baby person except for my own and now grandkid. I loved it when my own and now Tucker could tell me what was going on. I have always enjoyed an older kid. My favorite age to teach was 4th. Great POST!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Sandy. As I grew up, I had no grandfathers. Just the two grandmothers. My dad's father died when my dad was ten, and my mother's father died when I was four. I don't remember him much, just a few isolated memories.

      That's funny we are both the same about not being "baby people". Now you know you are not the only one!

      Yes, 4th grade is a wonderful age, isn't it?

  6. What a lovely post, Mrs. T. I enjoyed reading about all the mothers in your life. My last living grandparent died when I was only 4; and my own parents passed before I was 40 and my children were so young I had little emotional wherewithall or foresight to gather this type of family information from them. I love all the pictures and tellings about of these women in your life. You've made me think about all the aunts in my life and the impressions they made on me, and wonder what I would write about them. Good stuff to think about.

  7. Such a wonderful post! You have so many wonderful memories of your "ancestors". I have been working on genealogy here lately and am trying to learn more about their lives, but there is no one left to tell me anything. That is sad. I wish I had paid closer attention when I was younger, but I didn't know then that I would "need to know" later. I am glad that you are taking the time to go through the memories left you from your family home. How I wish we had had time to do that before our family home was stripped bare through an estate sale and then the house sold very quickly. There was no time to linger over memories. Thankfully I brought as much as I could home with me. Oh well...our treasures are being stored up in heaven, where dust and moth and rust will never corrupt. So thankful. But I loved this post so much.


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