This house doesn't look like much now, but this is the house that my mother was born in 85 years ago today! It didn't look like this back then. From mom's account it was a beautiful house, painted white with a wrap around veranda. She recalls sitting on that porch scraping raw turnip with a spoon for a snack. This was her maternal grandparent's home, the home of Henrietta and Robert Best. I remember being in the house once, a very long time ago. My sister took this photograph several weeks back. She had taken a drive up to Inglesville and stopped to have a look-see. It is largely abandoned now, but there is still furniture sitting in it and a few odds and sodds about. She saw an old rocking chair in one of the out-buildings, and we both wondered could this be the chair our mother remembers being rocked in? You never know.
My mom remembers being very poor when she was a child, but their needs were somehow always met. She tells stories of her father bringing them down the mountain to school in the winter time pulling them on a sled, and then making the return trip back up the mountain at the end of the school in the same way, of having bloomers that her mother had made for them from old flour sacks, dyed blue, and about lovely packages of clothing and such that would come for them from their cousins in the US. My mom was the middle child of three girls in the family. Her oldest sister was Thelma and her younger sister was Freda. She was always a really stubborn child, always knowing exactly what she wanted, and not being afraid to go for it. She hated parsnips and would not eat one for love nor money. She wanted black Easter Eggs and got them.
This is a photograph of my mom with her older sister Thelma. I love the matching dresses. The dresses were not dirty, the photograph was. It is residue from tape that had been used to tape the photograph into the photo album. I am sure it could be digitally removed today. I think mom says she was about 3 years old in this photograph. She always hated her stick straight fine hair, but I think she was a beautiful child. Someone said to her once that she was the ugliest baby they had ever seen, but I can't believe that. I have always thought my mother was and is beautiful.
With sparkly blue eyes and all of the strength and determination that anyone could muster she had a plan for her life, to get the most education that she could and to get a good job one day. She worked really hard and always has done. She was the first of her family to graduate from High School and go onto further education. In fact she was the only one. She went to Secretarial College after high school and then worked for the Dept of Agriculture in Truro, Nova Scotia.
One weekend, when she was back in the Valley visiting her parents a friend dragged her to a dance at the airforce base in Greenwood and that was where she met my dad, and before she knew it they were getting married, and the rest is history.
My mom has always been the epitome of class. There are actually three of us in this photograph as my mom was pregnant with my sister when this was taken. Not that you could notice. My sister's birthday was the other day. She's 59 now, so this photo is 59 years old!
Just look at mom rocking the sun glasses. Love her hair in this. Mom has always had style. She sewed her own clothes and all of ours for years and years. She kept a lovely home with floors you could eat off of. I can remember sitting in a high chair eating cereal at night after my brother and sister were all put to bed, while my mom rolled up the carpets around me and scrubbed and polished the floors on her hands and knees while my father was working the night shift. She was a great cook, although she would be the first to tell you that she was not. She was humble. As children we never wanted much for anything, and this was largely due to the thrift and care of my mom. My father earned the money when we were really young, but my mother was an excellent manager and steward of it, and most of what they had and what they did was because of this. Once my brother started school and was settled in, my mother got a job and worked from then until her retirement at the age of 65, and in the very same place for all those years. It is hard to believe it was 20 years ago now that she retired. Time flies when you are having fun I guess!
This is mom on her 80th Birthday. We were all home for my oldest daughter Eileen's wedding and we had a family get-together Birthday Celebreation for mom at the Big Scoop in town. Everyone came for it. All the cousins and grandchildren and great grandchildren that were able to attend. It was a great celebration of her life.
This photo was taken the same day of her outside the big scoop with two of her best friends, Will and Cecile. Such a happy day.
Of course none of us knew that less than a year later she would be in the hospital having a lung cancer operation and then after that a heart attack would change her life forever. None of us ever knows what the future holds, do we.
My mother taught me everything I know about love, loyalty, determination, faith and endurance. She has set a beautiful example and standard for me in all things. She is my first, best and forever friend. I love her with all of my heart. Every year when we lived closer to each other she would have me take a photograph of her on the night before her Birthday. The last one I took was the night before her 67th birthday the summer before I moved over here. I wish I could have been there yesterday to take her 84th photo in preparation for today. I wish so much that I could be there to help her celebrate her 85th Birthday today. I will be calling her early this afternoon to give her a Happy Birthday greeting, but I so wish I could accompany my greeting with a hug and a kiss. I hope that she knows how very much she is loved, and I hope that she has a truly special day. Somehow I know my sister and her partner Dan will make sure that she does. Neither one of us fell far from my mother's beautiful loving tree.
Happy Birthday Mom!
Wishing you many, many more years of happily wedded bliss.
In the English Kitchen today . . . Mabel's Strawberry Pie. I can't believe I waited so long to share this pie with you. Its been a summer institution in my home for over 30 + years!
Have a beautiful sabbath day. No matter what you get up to today, don't forget . . .
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And I do too!