My folks were married in ’45. They bought two things right away, a pressure cooker and a sewing machine; mom doesn’t remember which. We still have both of them. There may be a different machine in the cabinet, but we still have the cabinet. The pressure cooker gets trotted out ever canning season. When we got the new stove we made sure to get a heavy duty burner for canning. Their first “refrigerator” was an ice box, the milk man was still making deliveries, the washer had a wringer, the dryer was solar powered and there was a large garden in the back yard.
Mom was a logger’s wife. Which was, now that I think about it, is just about like being married to a farmer. So much of dad’s work depended on the weather. If it wasn’t too wet to work it was too dry. Too much mud or too much snow. Some times she’d have to hang his clothes and hose them down before she could wash them. Talk about double teaming. We didn’t get a drier until after sister number 2 was out of diapers. Now that I think about it, I suspect that we didn’t get an automatic washer until I was in high school.
She ran the house, saw to the garden, baked bread, canned everything that wasn’t nailed down, made sure dad had a good lunch to take to the woods, and hauled us down to the park in the summer afternoons so my hoot owling dad could get in a nap so he could get up at two am and go to work again. She put that sewing machine to good use, led a Girl Scout troop and I don’t remember when I learned to shell peas or snap beans. I suspect I was toddler curious while she was working with them and gave me some to do too.
There were good times and bad times. Hell, we never had more than two good years in a row. And I don’t think he went more than three or four years without some kind of injury. When dad was disabled she did a complete about face and went to work. She spent another twenty years or so cooking meals for other peoples’ kids in one of the dorms at the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns ="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />University of Oregon.
<PCLASS=MSONORMAL style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">If she was ever afraid, we didn’t know it. If she ever cried it was behind closed doors. She’s always had a hug and a smile. The only regrets I ever hear are that the grand kids are further away than she’d like and that she can’t get things done as fast as she used to.
Happy Mother’s Day to someone who is not only my mother but my best friend. And I truly believe that no matter what happens, she will always be with me.