May 10, 2009

25 Lessons Learned From Mom

1 – I make killer chocolate chip cookies – and NO, you can’t have the recipe, my mother would skin me alive.

2 – Mom always said to pray. It didn’t matter what it was, her response was to pray about it. Probably the best advice she ever gave me.

3 – My mother taught me how to say “yellow” instead of “lellow”. It was when I was three and we lived in Germany. She was using my crayons; shredding them between two pieces of wax paper and then melting it with an iron. She put them up in the windows for Christmas so they would look like stained glass. Very pretty, but my crayon collection took a huge hit. The thing is . . . I actually remember saying “lellow” on purpose, just to keep her attention. She thought it was funny and would giggle. I liked to hear my mom laugh.

4 – My mother taught me how to embroider. She learned from her grandmother and let me tell you, she didn’t settle for just the front of your project looking good, she would always turn it over and look at the back. She said the back was just as important, even if you were the only one who would ever see it.

5 – I learned how to work from my mother, mostly from example. When I was about nine years old, she cut out a section of our lawn about the size of double car garage, all with a shovel, a wheel barrel, and pure muscle and determination. It took her weeks, but when she had it done, we had a garden anyone would be proud of. We all reaped from the harvest. Each one of us kids was in charge of certain rows and there were NO weeds, ever. I can snap beans and pod peas with the best of them.

6 – One of my mom’s favorite sayings was, “Can’t never did nothing until he tried.” She was always driving into our brains to do our best and never give up, a quality lacking in many youth today.

7 – Never, and I say NEVER, sleep on a heating pad. My mom had a sore back one time and went to bed resting on a heating pad. It slid down during the night and she woke up with a massive blister on her fanny. Okay, laugh if you want, I won’t tell her.

8 – My mother has a green thumb. She can grow anything, anywhere. I, on the other hand, not so much. My husband waters the plants in our house so I don’t kill them. Sorry Mom, didn’t get that lesson. But, hey, she tried.

9 – Thanks to my mom, I can catch, gut, scale, skin and fillet a fish. I can even bread it and cook it. Too bad I hate to eat them.

10 – My mom is a clean freak. Everything has to be in its place and not a speck of dirt or dust. I actually think she has OCD, but she’d never admit it. We used to joke about not letting her buy throw rugs with fringe because she would sit on the floor making sure all the strings were lined up perfectly. To this day, when visiting, we purposely move things around just enough to make her notice, then sit back and giggle as she goes through the house putting stuff back in place. We’re talking about adjusting a knick knack ¼ from center on a table. Nah, she’s not OCD. I think I have the desire to be that way in me, but not the energy. I have better things to do.

11 – Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been sensitive to the world around me and perhaps even the world beyond. My mother has always been very accepting of that and encouraged me to embrace my gift, listen to the voice within me and follow my heart. I’m very grateful for that.

12 – My mother is a very charitable woman. More often than not, she could be found serving others, especially when it came to our friends. I can’t remember how many kids her and my dad “adopted” over the years, all calling them Mom and Dad, coming to them for advice and forming life long relationships. She’s been a great example to me.

13 – My mom is a strong woman. When my father was called to fight in the Vietnam war, she raised us kids alone for 2 years. I remember her sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching the news with a map of Vietnam in one hand and my father’s last letter in the other, trying to see where the action was and praying my dad wasn’t in the thick of it. I learned a lot about love and sticking by your man.

14 – Oh, man . . . I’m running out of really good things to say. So, how about some little things? She taught me how to crochet.

15 – Showed me how to sew,

16 – Clean Ceramics,

17 – Make homemade bread,

18 – Appreciate classical music,

19 – Make perfect corners with sheets on a bed (not the fitted kind, either),

20 – Tie quilts

21 – Put butter on a saltine cracker (there is a technique)

22 – Ride a bike,

23 – Can EVERYTHING (even fish, yuck)

24 – Pick worms out of the lawn for extra money

25 – And last, but certainly not least, my mother taught me to believe in myself.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you!

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