Tag Archives: parenting

The Words Of My Mother

The Words Of My Mother

The first time I talked to my husband-to-be on the phone, he talked for an hour. You could say that he was very wordy. He will deny it, but he did most of the talking. After we hung up, I realized that all my nervousness about what to say had evaporated, and we’ve been talking together ever since that first phone call. When we were dating, we had our favorite bar we would hang out at to have a beer and talk for hours. As newlyweds, we loved to sit on the balcony at our condo and chat all evening. Now we talk at the kitchen table when the kids are asleep.

You could also say my father is very wordy. We always let him know when he preaches a sermon that is perhaps too long–too wordy! In preparation for his sermons I have seen him with piles on books on his desk. Bibles in English, Greek, Hebrew, German…and dictionaries for each of those languages. Now that’s a lot of words! Sometimes he would talk through his ideas for sermons at the dinner table; I believe listening to him is how I learned to write a decent post or two.

I love talking with my husband and my father. There are times, however, when the only words I want to hear are from my mother. There are so many questions I still have to ask her; so much advice I still want to receive. Even though when she was still alive, there were times when I didn’t want to listen to my mother.

As I was talking to my dad the other day, he started off by saying “Your mother would tell you…”

If there is anyone who knows exactly what my mom would say, it is my dad. Just those five words–“Your mother would tell you…”

I am without words to tell you how comforting those five words are to me.

This post is double-dipped for Spin Cycle…with last week’s prompt of “Words” and this week’s prompt of “Mother”! Stop by Gretchen’s Second Blooming for more great words.


Apple Picking

My kitchen smells like apples, and this time the scent isn’t coming from the hot apple pie candle on my stove.

Columbus Day is one of those strange holidays; the girls and I had no school, and yet Ed had to go to work. So we decided to have a girls’ day out. Where to go on a beautiful fall day? Why, the apple orchard, of course! I have one and a half pecks of apples in my kitchen as a result.

Emmy is too busy to stay still for a picture!

Going to the apple orchard is not just about picking apples anymore. There are slides and rides and animals to feed. We also spent time wandering around in a gigantic corn maze, carved right into the corn field.

Wait, where are we??

Running around haystacks

These haystacks remind me of the ones Claude Monet painted. I was about to look in my art books to see if I could find some photos of his haystacks, but then remembered I lost them all in my flooded basement this summer. *sigh*

Claude Monet, Meules, milieu du jour
[Haystacks, midday]
Apple cheeseburger for lunch…yum!

After lunch, we finally headed for the main attraction: the apple orchard! We got onto a wagon for a ride, and walked along the aisles of apples trees, picking and eating apples to our hearts’ content. (Our guide told us we were required to eat apples!)


Before we left the orchard, there was one last thing the girls wanted to do: ride the cow train. Fortunately, Lily and Emmy are old enough to ride by themselves. I was not required to squeeze into a barrel cow, with my knees up to my chin, holding a child on my lap, as some unfortunate mamas and daddys.

Emmy riding Susie Q and Lily riding Jelly Bean.

Hooray for apple picking!

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Summer Fun: Then and Now

Part of the joy of being a mom is doing the fun summer things with my own kids that I remember doing as a child. When I grew up in Central Illinois, wading and canoeing in the creek was so much fun! My kids experienced wading in a creek during our vacation in Cook Forest, PA. The girls tried to catch tadpoles (key word: tried) and watched water bugs skate along the surface of the water.

Emmy wading in the “crick” with Daddy.

As a kid, we went on vacation every summer with my Dad’s family on one of the Great Lakes. We rented some cabins for years on the shore of Lake Huron, and then we switched to a huge house on Lake Michigan. That vacation is still going strong every year. I love seeing my kids swim with my cousins’ kids.

Lily (middle) swims in Lake Michigan with two of my cousin’s kids.
Emmy’s feet in the sand

Rock climbing

Then there is something my parents never would have let us do during the summer–go to a carnival. Mom didn’t trust the rides, and Dad didn’t know why anyone would ride them in the first place!

Emmy flying high

Lily concentrating on turning that teacup
What fun things are you doing this summer?

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The Sandwich Generation

When I picked up the phone, I was going to say I was too busy to come. I had things to do at home; the dishwasher needed to be emptied and filled again, the laundry needed to be folded, paperwork needed to be done. But when she said, “Come on over! Some of the other moms just got here and I just put the sandwiches in the oven!” I couldn’t say no. Instead, I told her that Emmy and I would be right over.

I know this group of moms enough to say hi to; enough to talk about the newest grocery store in town and how it’s saving us money; enough to talk about the ballet recital our daughters are in together. All this talk takes place in passing, as we’re picking up our children from school or as we run into each other while shopping.

Sitting down to lunch with these women gave us time to share more about each other. We talked about our stubborn kids, sleepovers, and school. We talked about our parents, about how they were getting older. One’s mother-in-law was in a wheelchair after a stroke. Another one’s father is dealing with dementia and Parkinson’s. We talked about how we truly are the sandwich generation. We are taking care of our parents while also taking care of our young children.

These women go about their daily lives, taking their children to school and washing a load of laundry and taking their daughters to ballet lessons and going grocery shopping and preparing dinner. And in between all that, they take care of their parents who need them.

These women are inspirational. That simple lunch showed me the bigger picture.

Simple BPM

Technically, I’m not a part of this sandwich generation. I really admire those women who are. Dad was Mom’s caregiver until she died. He’s very healthy, and I hope he stays that way for many more years. In a way, however, I hope that I am taking care of him through my love and support of all that he does.

I’m continuing my posts for Women’s History Month by writing about inspirational women. For more simple moments that show the bigger picture, visit Alita today.

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New Parent Blunder

Lily was three months old at the beginning of 2005. We were in Peoria, visiting my sister, and we stayed in a hotel with a pool. We thought it would be great to take Lily swimming for the first time. We didn’t have a bathing suit for her, so we just put on a onesie instead.

Lily was very laid back in the pool. Doesn’t she look chubby for a baby who needed to have frequent weight checks right after she was born? Due to my mastectomy 14 years ago, we needed to supplement Lily’s diet with formula for about two months before I was able to breastfeed her exclusively. By the time she was three months old, we didn’t have any worries about her weight!

Lily fell asleep in the water while I was holding her. Ed snuggled with her bundled up in the towel. He was going through a phase of “letting his hair grow.” Now he cuts his hair two-three times a month so that it is very, very short. You know, because of his “high forehead.”

Our parent blunder? Apparently babies should not be in chlorinated water before they are six months old! Oops!

I’m linking up to LT’s Take Me Back Tuesday!

A Day With Two


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