Mar 12, 2013

My Awesome Mother.

Today is March 12th and on this day in 1945 my mother was born in Geneva, Nebraska. She did not know about me then but trust me now she does :)

My mother is the most amazing example of a hard worker that the world has ever seen. I never, ever remember seeing my mom laying around in her bed or on the couch, or even in a chair. Whenever I happened to decide to get out of bed in the morning when I was a kid she was already up and unless it was snowing she was guaranteed to be out in the yard. I rarely would find her in the house. In my mind all our mother daughter interactions took place outside. My mom is a master gardener. We always had a spectacular garden. I think that all we ate all summer long was veggies with homemade ranch dip. Because of my mother I can declare I have eaten kholarabi and I like it...okay, with lots of ranch dressing I like it :) Because of my darling mother I think nothing of eating a green bean raw or a radish. I actually had no idea that everyone else did not grow up eating veggies this way. I get the strangest looks when i offer people a raw green bean out of my garden to eat. Because of my mother I have a serious addiction to peas fresh out of the garden. Growing up there was always someone from our ward at church out in our garden picking green beans, or peas or something like that to take home and can for their family. My mother is an excellent vegetable sharer :) To this day she still provides people in her ward with fresh veggies....lock your car doors in the church parking lot if you do not want more zucchini :)

 It was not all eating veggies and no work, trust me, there was always a row to weed in the garden before I could go do what I wanted to do. Now that I am 44 I am eternally grateful for the love of gardening and being outside that I acquired from my mother. I know all four of her daughters have this love of gardening and I think it is a fabulous testament to her. Her gardening skills served her well when she and my dad went on their mission for our church to Hawaii. My mother whipped the landscaping/propogation part of the Polynesian Cultural Center into shape. She would ride her bike from their apartment to the PCC and work all day in the heat separating plants, moving plants, and all other kinds of plant stuff :)

My mom is a serious craft queen. My earliest memories are of the noise her very ancient Singer sewing machine made while she was sewing and I sat on the floor playing with buttons or organizing thread. She was always sewing clothes for us. One time for Christmas she made each of us a life sized stuffed doll we had the best times with those dolls. As we got older she always had some sewing project with her in the car that she would work on as she drove us around and waited for us. To this day all of the grand kids have at least one grandma quilt and my kids truly love these quilts from grandma. I love to hear them talk about them to their friends. They always say "my awesome Grandma made this for me." We always had tons of craft options available to us when we were kids. And nary a sight of store bought play dough anywhere :) My moms attention to detail is staggering and everything she sews is beautiful. Another thing that she did on the mission she and my dad were on in Hawaii was sewing bags  for the Polynesian Cultural Center to sell. She could even be found working on costumes for the shows that they put on at the PCC. The best part of having a mom that sews is when my kids have their turn to spend a few weeks with grandma and grandpa in the summer they get to make a quilt for themselves with Grandma. She is so generous with her time and talents and fabric :) I did not acquire the awesome sewing skills from my mother. I can get by but I need to practice more.

Another part of my mother that I LOVE is her love of thrift store shopping and garage sale-ing. As a kid I did not love it so much. But now those trips to the thrift store with my mom and my sisters are some of my fondest memories. Whenever my sisters and I get together, with or without my mother, to this day we can still be found hitting thrift stores searching for the ultimate find.

What can my mom not do? She cans all the food from her garden. Our summers were full of epic canning and freezing sessions. Peaches, pears, cherries, grape juice, corn, beans, tomato sauce...the list could go on and on. She makes amazing pies. She is very informed on what is going on in the world. She has adapted with nary a complaint to all the places she and my dad have lived from Utah, to California, to Washington, to American Samoa, to Oregon. I love that I have these skills..minus the pie one.... thanks to my mother :)

My mother is pretty private and quiet and as I have grown older I have valued this part of my mother so much. She did not need oodles of friends she seems to have a quiet solidness inside of her that makes it so she does not seem to need to much. She was rarely on the phone when I was a kid. She seemed to be content to work in the yard and hang around with us. There was never drama of any kind surrounding my mom. I deeply admire this because sadly it is so not me. As I have come to recognize this incredible strength that she has I have been working very hard to enjoy simple quiet existing as my mom seems to enjoy it. She has truly dedicated herself to us evil kids and my dad. I remember sitting around a fire in the backyard listening to her listen to my sister who was struggling with something at school. I remember her always cooking for us. I feel mortified as I realize it was never about her in anyway.

My mom graduated from BYU in a time when women were not necessarily doing the graduating from college thing. She even taught elementary school for awhile and she used those skills to instill in all six of us kids a huge love of books and learning.

My mom never gives herself enough credit for the amazing six children she has raised. We are all strong, very active members of the Mormon church. We all have struggles but we know where to turn when we are having them and they make us stronger rather than weaker as we figure them out. The more I ask people about their families I realize it is a rare thing that all six of us have been true and steady to our Mormon heritage.

I hope she realizes how much I love her and how grateful I am she is my mother. I loved as I sat down to write this I could think of example after example of the things I have learned from her and was a little sheepish when I realized I did not inherit any of her great qualities. But now that I realize that I am going to work like crazy to get my grubby little hands on some of Linda Ord's awesome qualities.


nanci said...

Your mom sounds like an amazing woman which is no surprise since I know you and it seems you've inherited some of her talents. I'm sorry I missed meeting her that time in NYC. Today must be the day special women were born, as my mother was also born on this day in 1918. She passed away in 1991 but today she would have been 95 years old. Oh yeah, I LOVE raw green beans also, in fact I have some in the fridge right now that were purchased just for that purpose :-)

Bernd and Rachel said...

Well said and Amen. You described Mom perfectly Jenn! I think you have many of her amazing qualities.:) This post brought back many fun memories. We are so lucky to have such great parents.:)