This morning as I signed a card for my mother, I was inspired to write five things that reminded me of her. At first I was surprised that I thought of five things so easily, but as I reread them I had to admit, that every time I am confronted with one of the five things, my thoughts immediately turn to my mom.
The first one is fresh baked bread. While growing up, every week my mom would churn out seven loaves of home made bread for our family. That may seem like a lot but when you’ve got five kids and a husband, seven loaves go quick. Between toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and buttered bread with dinner, it was a necessity. And she didn’t just bake ordinary bread, she used a hops yeast concoction that she refreshed every week with a potato mash and the fermentation smelled gross. (Until I grew up and decided I liked beer) I never got the hang of the yeast recipe, but I can bake some delicious home made bread when I want to. I even give the top of the dough loaf a couple of slaps before putting it in the pan to bake, just like Mumsie did.
The second thing that makes me think of my mother is green beans. There is a myth that when she went into labor with me she was harvesting green beans for canning. And for several years she thought that green beans, ham, and potatoes was my favorite meal that she made. Of course, there had to be fresh home made bread with that meal, it’s a perfect combination. But if I see green beans, eat green beans, or think of green beans, I am reminded of my birth legend, although I somehow doubt the accuracy of the story. But who cares? It’s a reminder of my Mumsie!
The third thing that reminds me of my Mumsie, are shelves filled with books. I’m pretty sure my love of reading was a direct result of my mother’s love for books. She was always reading and she had two large bookshelves filled with books that I avidly read throughout my childhood and teen years. When I stare at my own bookshelves filled with books, I think of her and how she sparked my love of reading.
Which brings me to the fourth thing that reminds me of my mother, and that’s the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. The school I attended banned most books so I was limited in my choices of literature. When I started exploring my mother’s library, this novel find was thrilling, naughty, and sparked my imagination. Because it was “the” book that took me to a place I never knew existed, it became a book I associated with imagination and of course, my Mumsie.
And finally, the fifth thing that reminds me of my mother are hummingbirds. Before she moved out of the family home, she had dozens of hummingbirds swarming her feeders on the front porch. It brought her such happiness and she collected quite a few items with the hummingbird image on them. I remember one summer a hummingbird got caught inside a large window and after putting on a glove, I was able to rescue it. Holding that teeny tiny yet very powerful bird in my hand was an incredible experience. Remembering her care of the feeders, her very precise measurements for syrup, and her love of watching them buzzing through the yard is a very happy memory.
As a mother, every little thing matters. You’ll never know if you are raising a bread baking, avid reading, green bean loving, hummingbird watcher, while you’re just being yourself. The influence of a mother is strong, make it good.
Until next time,