Saturday, May 8, 2010

memories of my mother on Mother's Day

Here is the picture I found of my great-grandmother, Dehlia Curtis, and her baby, Johnny.

Jonah and Jill know about their great-grandmother even though they never met her. They think the "great" in great-grandma refers to the quality of her grandmothering rather than her generational relationship to them. They are sure she was a great grandma because their parents remember her with such reverance and love. My son has often accused me of not being loyal to him as compared with my mother who was always on his side no matter what. I was on his side, too, but I felt that included pointing out the error of his ways.
My mother died shortly after "seeing" a sonogram of her first great-grandchild. I'm sure she couldn't really see that blurry thing especially with her eyes clouded with cataracs, but she told her roommate at the nursing home that she had seen her great-grandson and then she died a few days later.
My mother suggested Jonah's name since his mother was Jaime and his dad was Jeremy. After her death, that is the name they gave him.
I remember my mother and my aunt Nellie laughing hysterically because a truck had gone by with a sign that said, "CHICKEN FERT".
I once gave my mother and my aunt matching robes for Christmas. I remember them sitting around my Aunt Nellie's kitchen table drinking coffee and wearing their robes.
My mother was a very good cook. She often made calf's liver with onions and gravy which I loved. I was grown before I found out she actually hated liver and never ate it herself.
My mother loved to cook turkey and dressing and my father loved to eat it but she didn't like it when he pestered her in the kitchen, hugging her from behind and tasting the food before it was done. I always accused her of torturing us because it took so long to cook. Many years later after my father's death, her second husband earned her wrath by making himself a bologna sandwich about 1/2 hour before her elaborate Thanksgiving dinner was ready.
My mother was always pretty and slim. She didn't drive. She was trying to drive a car on my grandfather's (on my father's side) farm when she ran into a pole and that was it. She never drove again. So she walked everywhere for years taking a bus into the city and walking for blocks in high heels in all kinds of weather.
They always made fun of my mother because she saw some baby pigs on her first visit to the farm and said, "Oh, what cute little kittens!"
When my parents lived in North Carolina, my mother cooked fried fish every Friday night. Their neighbor was the brother of either David Brinkley or Chet Huntley (the famous television news team). I can't remember which one he was related to but he loved my mother's fried fish and always came to dinner on that night.
That reminds me that once I was watching television on April Fool's day and I got the idea of switching the salt and the sugar. I started feeling guilty so I told my mother what I had done. She thought I was joking until she tasted the fried fish and french fries she had made for dinner. She had to throw the whole thing in the trash. I escaped punishment because I had tried to tell her the truth.
I have never tasted a french fry that is as good as the ones my mother made. Wendy's comes close. My husband says my homemade french fries are pretty good, though. I cut them big like my mother did and roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Tasty and much easier than deep frying the way she did.
I remember trying to make "gravy" on my toy stove when I was little. I sprinkled salt and pepper into the little saucepan full of water. I stirred and stirred but it would not get thick and brown like my mother's gravy.
When Jaime was born prematurely my mother came to stay for a while. We stopped on my way home from the hospital (Jaime had to stay behind for a while) so mom could buy a pressure cooker and a new rocking chair. The pressure cooker was to make my favorite dinner -- beef stew.
My mother was a medical record librarian. She was very good at her profession and became a manager and was active in the Medical Record Librarian Association. Her employees loved her. She was a notary as a part of her job and performed three wedding ceremonies at different times. A few of her ex-employees saw her obituary and attended her memorial service. One lady told me my mother had performed her marriage ceremony. I told her that my mom always said she performed three ceremonies but only one took. The lady said, "Well, actually none of them took but she doesn't have to know.
My mother taught me to love old movies like Casablance, Rebecca, Gone With the Wind and all of Alfred Hichcock's films such as Rear Window and Vertigo. She liked to read movie magazines. She also loved the sweet music from the 40's and 50's -- Perry Como, Gayle Storm and Nat King Cole. I spent my rather lonely summers reading her Book of the Month club selections. I got quite an education from that. When she got older we had a large collection of beloved movies that she would watch over and over just like a young child. I often watched them with her and I still have them.
I never wanted so much to talk to my mother as when my bachelor brother announced his marriage to a friend of ours from our teenage years. I just wanted to call her up in heaven and say, "GUESS WHAT!" Of course I wish she could know my grandchildren. She would have loved them so much. And I wish she could meet Roger. She always got along with my boyfriends (better than I did sometimes). I feel that somehow she knows. Especially these sweet children.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

just some pictures

Jaime and Cory on her 30th birthday.

Mia - 3 1/2

Jill and Mia at the computer

Mia again. She looks a lot like many of my pictures at that age (and like Jaime, too).

Jonah decked out for field day at school with his Manatee shirt.

Roger and Nibbles

Nibbles just had a new haircut and shampoo.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Not my best look, but the margueritas were great!

My brother, Rick

My brother's wife, Darlene, got in on the act.

Roger and his sister, Mary

A better shot of Rick and Darlene.
62! I spent my birthday with my daughter, Jaime. We had lunch and went shopping. Then I followed up with dinner at Vallarta's Mexican restaurant. I missed getting pictures of my friend, Peggy and of Alan. Karin is at the edge of Darlene's picture. Joyce, Sylvia and Linda weren't able to be there, but we all had a great time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ft. DeSoto Beach - Family Visit

Ft. DeSoto Beach is special with it's wide white beaches and green palm and pine trees.

Daughter and Dad

Sky and beach

Jill and Alex - instant friends

Beach boy

Jill admires Jonah's find

Mia decides the dress has to go

Bathing beauty 1

Bathing beauty 2


Grandson and Grandpa

Never pose your subjects looking directly into the sun!!!

Happy day at the beach with Roger's daughter and her family. It was just the right temperature in the shade a Ft. DeSoto beach. Everyone loved it and the seafood lunch that followed. Then the visitors headed back up the highway toward Michigan with newfound friends waving out the window as we turned off to go home. With the horrible oil spill in the gulf, I just hope Ft. DeSoto continues to look like this forever.