Friday, May 18, 2012

(A final bit of) May Melancholia

One more word on the subject of Mothers and Mother's Days past.

(and one more epiphylum pic -- humor me folks, will ya? :-) )

This came from my sister later in the week, I thought it apropos of my last post and include it below with her permission.

Good Morning,
I just wanted to say "Happy Mother's Day" to you. The sun is shining and my new geraniums are hanging in it. Sweet morning.
My oldest daughter and her husband came over with the hanging baskets and supper last night. We had a wonderful time relaxing. My son in law just finished his practicum in teaching on Friday. We played trivial pursuit.(who plays that anymore?) Charisma and I went through some books for her class room. That was fun.
I woke up thinking about my mother.
I remember her coming to my capping ceremony and then several weeks later dying from lymphoma. I'm so glad she was my mom.
I remember her hugs as I want out the door running to catch the school bus.
I remember coming home after riding ponies at the neighbours and hitting our ravine I could smell wonderful aromas from our kitchen. She made the best hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes.
I remember "everything has its place and everything in its place". (Not that I do it...I just remember the saying....sometimes it is handy not having your mom around cause you don't make her sad when things are messy ).
I remember her sitting in the furnace room with me at Denali Bible Chapel trying to teach me my Bible memory verse I'd forgotten already. (I'm sure she would have rather been drinking tea with her adopted Alaska in those days...friends were your relatives).
I remember the coins she'd tied up for me in a white hankie that were to go in the Sunday school offering.(I could never get the knot out).
I remember that one year all 4 of us wore lavender dresses from Sears Catalog on Easter.
I remember being sent to the bathroom to think about the bad thing I'd just done and await the spanking(she never saved them for Dad to give). I'd kneel next to the tub and pray, "Oh, God, I'll never do it again if you make Mom forget I'm here." She was so busy serving us all. Thanks Mom for a happy childhood.

I was twenty the April Mom died. Then right away up to the plate stepped women who have been so kind and helpful to me on this journey.

All this to say, Happy Mother's Day,


"Of all the roads both east and west the one that leads to home is best." My mom cross stitched this saying when she was father framed it and I dusted the frame for many years. Now I just love the saying.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May days

This time of year, I see old childhood friends in Western Washington on Facebook posting their great amaze and delight at seeing a great orange ball in the sky.
Q: What do you do in Seattle during summer?
A: If it falls on a Sunday we have a picnic.

Growing up, I loved this time of year in Western WA. There was the anticipation of a final school bell and the start of summer vacation. Gardens were busting out. Long twilight was upon us. Pleasant evenings might be spent on Grandma Moore's patio in the gloamin. Listening in on adult conversations, surrounded by Grandma's gardens. Hanging baskets of fuschias attended by humming birds. Hoping for the offer of one of her tasty treats. Perhaps, best of all, one of last season's epic kosher dill pickles.

The vegetable garden was finally coming to life after April planting. It was a hopeful time for that 50' x 100' plot of beans, corn, squash, pumpkins and salad fixings. The reality of summer's weeds and tending it in summer's dry heat were yet to come.

May was a time of unpressured, unhurried family fellowship. The end of May and beginning of June would see older brothers and sisters heading off to summer camp or hurrying about town working summer jobs. Later in life, the end of May signaled graduations and my heroes leaving me behind for adventures in missions, college, world travel and grown up life.

In retrospect I suppose I think of May as the "last good time" together.  One June finally,  the youngest of we six kids would find himself  alone at home: mowing that enormous daisy patch we called a yard on his own; wishing for his big brothers and sisters; wondering about their lives over the horizon.  Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, Laos. Viet Nam, Thailand...

Finally, after some years the wishing waned and the understanding would grew that things change -- and stay changed never to return.

It was April 30 1976 that Momma died. That May we were, really, together as a family. We celebrated that Mother's Day with special purpose, intensity and appreciation.  That May was a time of loss but it was also a time together again. Really. Together.

And so I, the youngest, grew up to have my own adventures, my own lawn (and gophers) and to be "the one who left" to live in another state far removed from brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. 

20 years later, April 30 1996 our youngest was born. Poetic that. 20 years to the day. God's gracious provision and completion of us.  This new family? We were finally all together that May of 1996.

...and so now this generation of brother and sisters comes to what may be that last May in their lives when our little family are all, really, together.

It's a funny thing...  How you get used to seeing that orange light (almost) daily) here in SoCal.

The first few months or years it's almost annoying in it's persistance. I felt sometimes like saying "Go away sun! Take a day off. My eyes and my head need a break. I'm over stimulated by so much light. "
Then one day you realize you don't have any long pants anymore; that you have more flip flops than closed toe shoes, that there'll be no going home to Western Washington for you.

'No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.'  Heraclitus