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Saturday, May 9

A Tribute to Mother

This is a photograph of my mother. It would have been taken in approximately 1959. The dress she's wearing was made by her own hands. The pearls were a gift from Dad one year for her birthday and the shoes were some that she would have bought when they were on sale. They may even have been dyed to match her dress.

Mom always made her own clothes and those of her children. She made dresses for my sister and I and shirts for my brother. She was handy with a needle and had an old electric Singer sewing machine. On rare occassions we would get store bought clothes, but it wasn't something that we expected.

Mom worked hard all of her life. She and Dad always grew a huge garden. Corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, watermelons, beans, squash, pumpkins and so much more was planted in that garden. When we kids were young, she tended it daily throughout the summer months and then, when harvest time came, it was all preserved to supplement our table through the long winter months.

Mom didn't work outside the home when we were young, except for during the corn harvest when she worked in the canning factory. Her job was to cut the corn off the cob. She worked a shift that ended at 2am, so she could be home with us through the day. She also grew cucumbers for the cannery. We kids would help her pick them. They had to be sorted for size and put into burlap sacks and placed at the end of our driveway on the days that the cannery picked them up.

In the winter, Dad worked longer hours and Mom would always be sure there was a hot meal on the table for him every night when he got home from work. She didn't own a dryer and all clothes washed in the old wringer washer were hung on the line year 'round. During the winter, they would be brought into the house frozen stiff, thawed and ironed while still damp.

When Dad was hurt in a workplace accident, he was hospitalized for weeks. At that time, Mom got a job at Woolco, a division of F.W. Woolworth's. She worked for very little. I remember when she got her first pay check...she cried because she didn't make enough to buy socks for us kids.

There were many times that Mom struggled to make ends meet. She never let us know that there wasn't enough money to go around. I enjoyed pickle sandwiches for my school lunch and we often had leftover roast beef ground with the hand grinder with pickle and mayonnaise added to make the meat go further. We had sausage or fried bologna for supper many nights because it was cheap and because that's all that she could afford.

Mom was pretty much isolated on the farm. She didn't get her driver's license until she went to work. Once a month, Dad would drive us to town on Saturday morning when he went to work. We would go to a relatives to wait for the stores to open and then Dad would pick us up at noon when he was finished working. Sometimes on Sunday afternoon, if there was enough gas, Dad would take us for a drive or to visit his parents, or Uncle Hardy and Aunt Lil. Mom never got to go to a movie or out to dinner. The money just wasn't there for such luxuries. The only time I remember going to the show with Mom & Dad was when Snow White and the Seven Dwarves came to town. That was a real treat and the first time we kids had ever been to an inside theater. Sometimes Grandma and Grandpa would take us to the drive-in to see Ma & Pa Kettle.

When I look back at those times, I never remember a word of complaint coming from my mother. She was always grateful for what she had and though I'm sure she would have liked things to be different, she never dwelled on the things she didn't have.

Today, I pay tribute to Mom. She worked hard, loved her family and did her best to give us things that she never had. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I wish you many more.

Do you have memories of your mother that you'd like to share. I'd love to hear them.

25 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful and beautiful lady. I love the dress she's wearing, she's very put-together Mary, and very classy looking.

    Mother's day, bittersweet for some but you've made a tribute worthwhile for a mother who gave her best to her family.

    Breeze

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  2. Good tribute, Mary. Happy Mother's Day to you too.

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  3. Nice tribute to your Mom. I grew up on a farm and my Mom worked hard, canning and freezing lots of produce, feeding chickens and lots more on top of raising 4 kids! She would make lunches for Dad when he was out in the field and us kids would walk out to where he was and bring his lunch. We used to have sandwiches made with meat and pickles through the grinder too.

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  4. Great Tribute to your mom Mary... your mom was a great seamstress and she was definitely in fashion with her dress. I'm sure your clothes were probably nicer than the store bought kind... Great Photo!

    Happy Mothers Day !!

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  5. I loved the tribute to your mom. My mother died in 1996 and I miss her very much. She was a great mom and was one of those people who could never say no. She loved her grandchildren so much and came to see them every weekend.

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  6. Your mother is elegant and beautiful. One would never know how hard she had to work by looking at this picture.

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  7. It's fun to see the pictures of the moms - great story of your mom!

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  8. You most be a baby boomer. Your posting reminds me some of things from my own childhood.
    Like the meat grinder.

    Coffee is on.

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  9. Oh the beauty of the mothers heart.. What a beautiful tribute to your Mother.. You have wonderful memories........ We too had fried bologna a lot for dinner... but we were Air Force so times were not too hard.. You were so blessed with a Mother such as that........ Mothers are God's way of telling us how much HE loves us!

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  10. Such precious memories, thanks for sharing.

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  11. Happy Mother's Day Mary! What a beautiful tribute to your mother. I can tell she was a great mom because she sure raised a beautiful daughter.

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  12. Have a blessed Mother's Day and thank you so very much for the card!!

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  13. Absolutely beautiful....your mom and your loving words!!!

    I wanted to stop by and send along my very best wishes for you that you have a wonderful, happy Mother's Day!!! Be blessed.

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  14. What a lovely memoriam to a much loved mum- It brought tears to my eyes.
    I think we all do not realise sometimes how much our parents have gone through during their lives for us.
    Much love and blessings to you ,and your family and i hope you enjoyed a good mothers day. (in England it was some weeks ago )
    Take care

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  15. Good Morning Mary,
    "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY" to you and your Mother. That was a beautiful tribute to your Mother and I enjoyed reading about the olden days. I remember my Mom telling stories od similar situtations while she was growing up. They would grow their own foods and her Dad had cows, hogs, and chickens for meat in the Winter months. They never had alot back then either, but they had what they needed to get by and they were happy. I beleive if more people were like that today, the world would be a better place. Take care my friend and have a great Mother's Day. I put up a new post this morning. May GOD Bless you and yours.
    Love,
    Karen H.

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  16. Lovely tribute to your Mom . Strong woman.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memories/tribute of your Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

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  18. My mother -- your mother -- the same woman. I don't know about you, but I can't even hold a candle to my mom and all her strength.

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  19. Hi Mary,
    Your Mom is so lovely in that photo.
    Your tribute certainly shares your admiration for such a hard working and devoted lady.
    You are so blessed to have her with you.
    Happy Mother's Day!
    xo

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  20. Mary
    Our Mothers did much of the same things. It was as if I was reading a tribute to my Mother too. Peace be with you.

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  21. I really enjoyed reading about your Mom and the life ya'll enjoyed. Sometimes I think life was so much better when our expectations were not so high. I know life was not always easy....but I think we were satisfied with the small things in life.
    Happy Mother's Day to you and your Mom.
    Thank you for my sweet card. I pray you are having a beautiful day.

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  22. Mary what a lovely tribute to your Mom!!! Happy Mother's Day to you! With my new computer I am out visiting!! Love to be back on line! Love and hugs Carolyn

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  23. Beautiful heartfelt tribute to your mom for Mother's Day, dear Mary. My mom also sewed all her own clothes and ours while we were growing up so we do have some similar memories of our moms:-) Life was indeed hard in those days and I think that's why it's so wonderful to see them having a much easier life now!! xoxo

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  24. Mary-a beautiful tribute to your Mother. She is a true example of Motherhood.

    Seems after I had my girls-I realized all my Mother had done for me-and done without for me too.

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