A Tribute to
My Mother
"Candle in the Wind"

I have many wonderful memories of my mother. A few incidences stand out 
well in my mind.  I would like to share some of these with everyone.
A Visit to the Dentist
When I was 7 years old, Mom took me to the dentist.  She left me in his waiting room and said she would be right back because she had to run to the grocery store.  At that age I was scared of the dentist.  I walked out of the office and started to walk home.  We lived in the country and it was 10 miles from town to my home.  Mom was in a panic when she couldn't find me in the dentist's office.  When she found me strolling along the road towards home, she was crying and shaking.  It didn't take her long to regain her composure and really get mad.  I was warned to NEVER walk alone along country roads again.  In today's world this is something all kids should remember as I do.  You never know what could happen.
Picnics in the Park
Picnic were a big thing when I was young.  Several times during the summer, family and friends would pack up and head to a park or lake.  The adults would play cards and the kids would play games or swim.  My mother would sew sun dresses for herself and me with different prints and colors for each picnic.  Sometimes she let me bring my friend, Gertrude, (or Gabby as she was known) along.  She would make Gabby a dress to match ours.  Mom would save every scrap of material.  She made a quilt with all the scraps.  I still have that quilt and every time I look at it I can remember all those wonderful picnics. 
Everyone would bring some special food.  Mom was famous for her potato salad.  Everyone loved her potato salad and always asked her to bring it.  When I became a teenager, the tradition of summer picnics continued.  Mom & Dad would drive a bunch of kids to the beach for the day.  I was always asked to bring the potato salad.  My friends loved it too.  I still make the same potato salad today. My kids and grand kids love it too!  There was no recipe.  You just add the ingredients and season to taste.  Here is what went into it:
Mom's Potato Salad
Boiled red potatoes, peeled and sliced.
Miracle Whip (Dad would never let her substitute mayonnaise)
Green onions, tops and all, sliced
Diced red radishes (save a couple to slice for garnish)
Mom said the secret was in the seasoning.  She never used salt but seasoned it to taste with celery salt.  There was never a set amount of anything.  She always made a big bowl full.  She would dump and mix until it was moist enough and it tasted just right.  And Dad and I were always the "official tasters".  She would come out of the kitchen with a spoonful of potato salad saying "Where are my official tasters?"
Mom loved to Dance!
I remember many weddings in the family.  People never got baby-sitters when I was young.  Families brought the kids along.  When my little brother and I got tired, Mom would put 2 chairs together facing a wall so we wouldn't fall off.  She would fold a coat for a pillow and we would fall asleep until it was time to leave.  Then Mom and Dad would carry 2 sleepy youngsters to the car and we would sleep all the way home.  We would be carried into the house and tucked into our beds.
Mom loved Playing Cards
When company came to our house, the adults always sat around the kitchen table playing cards.  They usually played poker.  Mom said she would never get rich playing penny-ante poker but she sure did enjoy it.  She also belonged to a ladies canasta club and taught me to play.  We played cards every time we were together.  It was one of the little things that made Mom happy.  That must be where I got my love for cards.
Mom & Dad loved to Camp
They had a 17 ft. travel trailer and kept it on a permanent site on the Bark River.  My brother and I were both married with kids of our own.  We frequently pitched our tents on their site and spent many enjoyable weekends camping with them.  The kids would swim, fish or wade in the river bringing back all the clam shells they could carry.  They would also go "crabbing"  under the bridge and bring back buckets of crayfish.  Mom would throw live crayfish into a pot of boiling water and we would watch them turn pink as they cooked.  We would break off the tails and eat them like shrimp.
Sadness fills my Heart
In February of 1976 Mom was diagnosed with cancer.  At that time the doctor gave her one month to live.  Mom loved life too much to give up so easily.  She said "I want to camp one more summer".  Even with surgery and massive doses of chemotherapy, she did camp one more summer.  When summer faded to fall, she said "I only want one more Christmas".  She never did see that "one more Christmas".  Mom died October 4, 1976.  I will always miss my mother and think of her often.  Mom loved carnations and on Mother's Day I remember Mom by wearing white carnations.

January 30, 1917 

  October 4, 1976
Mother's Day
Mother's Day Poem