Her children arise up and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28
Today is the 95th birthday of my awesome mom and how blessed I am to be able to spend it with her!
Mom was the 13th baby in a family of 15 children and is the only one still living. She was raised in a home rich in love and laughter, but extremely poor in material wealth. As far as I know there is only one photo of my mother as a child. That picture is a school class photo and her face in the picture is about one-half inch high. With such a large family and extreme poverty, there was no camera and no money for non-essentials like photos.
Her clothing was either of the hand-me-down variety or dresses made from flour sacks. Being the ninth daughter in the family left very little possibility of ever having new store-bought clothing. Her mother was a good seamstress and always altered the hand-me-downs to make sure they fit well. One year, Mom was certain she had out grown every available coat and hoped desperately that this would be the year she would get a new coat. That hope was dashed when a kind lady offered her daughter’s outgrown coat, and it fit. Mom found it difficult to be thankful for that gift!
She got one new pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year and they had to last the entire year. Summers, they went barefoot. Unfortunately, kids’ feet don’t always stay the same size for an entire year. She wore out and outgrew her shoes in the 8th grade, and there was no money for another pair. Her dad cut the tops off of a pair of men’s high-top shoes, thinking that would make them look more like women’s shoes. Mom wore those embarrassingly ugly shoes to school the rest of the year.
Her mother ran a cook-house for an orchardist during apple harvests. Mom and her sisters helped to prepare food, set tables, serve the workers, and wash the dishes. It was there she met the love of her life, our dad. He was a young, hard-working man who took a fancy to her and soon he had won her heart. They were married in January of 1935 when she was just 16. She wore a new store-bought dress that the hard-working young man had purchased for her.
Two sons and two daughters were added to the family and she was an awesome parent to all of us. She loved and accepted us unconditionally and always put our needs above her own. She was a strong lady who made us behave and treat others with respect, but she was also fun and played games with us. She still has a great sense of humor and loves a good joke. She taught us to laugh at ourselves and not to make fun of others.
At the age of 24, she committed her life to Christ and determined to bring her children up in the love of the Lord. I can never remember a time that I didn’t love Jesus and want to serve Him: I know the Holy Spirit used the love and compassion of Jesus, demonstrated so clearly in Mom’s life, to draw me to Himself.
She taught Sunday School for years. One morning a couple of rambunctious boys kept crawling under the table—being ornery and causing distractions. They didn’t realize who they were dealing with. She took the entire class under the table, and that’s where they spent the rest of the hour. At the end of the class, they decided it was not fun to have their class under the table and it never happened again.
Mom was a gracious hostess who loved to have company and it didn’t matter if the house was a mess—it was comfortable and lived in! Company was and is warmly welcomed and she makes sure they are well fed. At 95, she still loves company and is always happy to see friends and family. When we talk on the phone, she always asks, “When are you coming over?” When I get there today, I know she will be happy to see me and I strongly suspect she will want to play some pinochle. Yes, she still likes to play!
I feel tremendously blessed to have this wonderful lady as my mother and to still have her with us at the age of 95. She has been, and still is, a loving, caring, and compassionate mother and grandmother to our family. I will forever thank God for the incredible gift of a mother, who gave us a happy, secure childhood and who taught us the love of Jesus!
Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you more than my words can ever express.
Hi Grandma, We had so much fun growing up visiting Brewster with you and Grandpa and all the cousins, aunts, uncles and great family reunions. Favorite things: baking in Grandma’s kitchen, running around in the orchards, picking raspberries, swimming at Little Soap Lake on the Indian Reservation, trips to Pearagyn Lake, riding horses, sneaking in to the old house at North Starr, soft serve ice cream, Sundays at church with you, oh and once — driving the Plymouth Fury up to 100 mph on the Brewster Flats!! (I don’t know if I ever mentioned that last one)
Staying up late and ringing in the New Year many times while you and Grandpa went to sleep, setting up tents in the back yard on Sunset and watching for shooting stars at night, your pork chops and gravy! And the fried bread.
For only spanking me one time – when I hit Dennis over the head with a pile of National Geographic magazines and then hid out in the Orchard until about dinner time. Lots of fun times canning fruit and looking for antique colored bottles that had turned purple. Playing poker with all the coinage we could round up and David of course being the big winner. Thank you for all the love you’ve given me in my life! Remember when David got stung by a bee in his eye riding the bicycle? And you always warned us about that poison oak even though I never ever did get it. I enjoyed watching Jim earn 2 bits a gopher and I think he got bit one time. I also remember fondly Lover, Petunia, Sheba, Princess, Penny and Daisy. Remember Grandpa used to have a can full of coins that he would shake at Princess if she wouldn’t stop barking. We had a lot of fun times in the basement especially playing the old piano and looking at old things. Good times at Lindsays when it was open, and fhe beautiful apple blossoms in springtime.
When we lived on the farm in Maple Valley my Dad had a patch over his eye from a basketball injury, my mother had a throat infection of some such, Dennis had a sinus infection, David had the measles and I had the mumps! And you Grandma came over and took care of us. Thank God for my Grandma and Grandpa too!
You’re the best Grandma in my life, and helped me grow up lots along the way. Here’s to your 95th Birthday Grandma. Love you, Deanna