Mom was not a list maker. She never saw a need for it. Several times we tried to supply her with 3 x 5 index cards and working pens but she never saw a need for them Why waste time writing out when she already knew what had to be done—she would rather be doing than planning. Her calendar only noted important things like planting dates and the date the bull was put in with the cows. Oh yes, that was a red letter day. For all concerned.
There was nothing Mom enjoyed more than a good letter. It was right up there with having a cup of coffee delivered to her bed each morning and listening to the opening markets on the Linder Farm Network.
She was part of the generation who relied on letters to keep up to date with family news.. Of course the letters, especially from her dear sisters, had to include at least one Ole and Lena joke and heavy use of the expression HA exclamation point. This was before LOL. Whenever she finished reading them, she always said, “She writes such a good letter.”
When we started going to Florida, Kent began the tradition of mailing addressed and stamped envelopes to many family members. She eagerly awaited our return from the daily trip to the post office with the “postal catch of the day.” We would read each of them aloud and hear about everyone’s weather, catch up on the news and enjoy a few Ole and Lena jokes. And we would all say, “She writes such a good letter.”
One of my best memories of Mom will be the time we spent together reading or doing crossword puzzles. My mother in law Louise also read to her by the hour and often joked that sometimes they’d get side-tracked by Mom’s reminiscing. Those days together with both our moms are now more precious than ever.
As many of you know, Mom loved to be outdoors and was never happier than when the first leaves of her early garden emerged from the soil. She continued the hard work into the raw fall days until the last of the potatoes were dug and several wagon loads of squash were hauled out.
Another of Mom’s gifts was her ability to prepare and serve delicious, substantial meals usually accompanied with homemade bread and jam to anyone and everyone lucky enough to find a seat at her table.
Just Saturday night, I arrived home to a house filled with family. Gathered around the island in my kitchen were many of her grandchildren preparing dinner. The food was some of the best I’ve ever eaten. But more importantly was how they all said how much fun they had doing it. Food and laughter—just like Mom’s kitchen.
Mom’s legacy may not have been made up of costly goods but rather in knowledge of the importance of simple things, splurging once in awhile because as she always said, “I don’t go to shows” and loving her family unconditionally and eternally.
She was such a good mom.