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Tell us about your Mom

  1. May 13, 2017 #1


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    It being Mother's day weekend, I thought I'd create a thread where we can share about our Moms.

    I'll go first:

    She was born in 1917, the 4th of 11 children born to Finnish immigrants. She had 2 sisters and 8 brothers, but both of her sisters died in childhood. She was born and raised on a farm in a small rural community in Minnesota. She met my father when she was 16 and he was 24. In high school she was on the track team, and graduated just short of being valedictorian( according to her, she could have had the honor if she had wanted it, but she did not like the idea that it would require making a speech during graduation, so she slacked off a bit her senior year. The award went to her best friend instead.)

    She married my father 1 day after turning 19 (She had promised here mother not to marry until she was 19)

    After a short stint at trying to make a go at farming, she and my dad packed up and headed out West to see if Dad could get work at the Grand Coulee dam project. Until he finally got hired, she supported them by working as a chamber maid at the local hotel.

    By the time my Dad was inducted into the army for WWII, they were living in Southwest WA. For a while she worked as a welder at the Vancouver WA shipyards. When Dad finished boot camp and it turned out that he was not going to ship out right away, she packed up and went to join him where he was. She followed him around as he moved from camp to camp (sometimes working at the camp PX, something that was not strictly allowed for the wives of the servicemen of that camp, but being short handed, they bent the rules.)

    When Dad was finally shipped out from New Jersey, she got a job working at an airplane plant (tightening head bolts) until she re-injured an old back injury.

    After the war they returned to SW WA, and continued to try and start a family. After several miscarriages, they adopted my brother in 1951. This did not stop her from continuing to try to have children of her own. Along the way they moved back to Minnesota, where, after her 9th failed pregnancy(two of which resulted in babies which lived just long enough to be issued birth certificates), a small town doctor finally figured out what was going wrong, and as a result I was born. 14 months later, my sister was born.

    Along with the duties and chores that went along with being a farm wife, for most of my school years Mom worked as a cook at whichever school we were attending. She was a very good cook, particularly at baking. There were always fresh baked goods in our house. One of the mainstays was cinnamon rolls. At every school she ended up working, the lunch count always went up after she started there. She also taught a 4-H cooking class for a time. She also knitted and sewed.

    When I was just shy of 11 we came back out West on vacation. Since Dad was getting close to retiring, and planned to do so out West, it was also a opportunity to scope out some potential properties. They found one they liked(I'm still not sure why), but it was a house that hadn't been lived in in quite a while and had been vandalized quite a bit as it had no one living nearby. Dad had to return to work to finish out until he could retire, but it was decided that Mom, my sister, and I would stay to care-take the house.

    Dad did the best he could in the short time he had to make the place livable, but it still was a bit rough when he had to leave. It had no running water (just a creek out back) and we used an outhouse for a toilet for the first bit.(Luckily we were able to talk an uncle to change his normal vacation plans, and he brought out most of our furniture, and before he left, he was able to set us up with running water by means of an electric pump with a foot valve in the creek.)

    So for about a year Mom had to be a single parent, while at the same time making what improvements she could to the house (Including have to rebuild a entire corner of the house when it turned out to be completely dry-rotted. )

    After Dad passed away, she sold the house and moved into an apartment in a nearby town. Shortly afterward, my pregnant sister's marriage fell apart and she moved in with my Mom. Mom spent the next several years helping raise her grandson, until my sister moved to Maine. In total, she had 6 grandchildren in all( 4 by my brother, and 1 each from my sister and I)

    Mom passed away a few years later in 2001.

    So, what do you want to tell us about your Mom?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2017 #2
    My mom grew up in a large Hispanic household in New Orleans. She met my dad in a Physics class at LSU.
  4. May 14, 2017 #3
    My mom, as well as her brother & sister, grew up in a very vertical little neighborhood of Hastings on Hudson, NY (i.e., hilly). She was a good artist from a young age, and before meeting my father worked as an illustrator for Reader's Digest, if I remember correctly, commuting into New York City. After she got married she switched to painting oils & watercolors, belonging to various local art societies in this or that town as my father's job changes moved us around; mostly landscapes, both nature & city; I like the city ones best; many of her best were bought by various persons, but there are a few left to admire. She's living in what they might once have called an old folks' home but now call a "retirement community." A bit bored by the confined living situation but otherwise still very interested in everything. An intelligent & also very nice person in the best possible way of saying that. I'll call her later today.
  5. May 14, 2017 #4


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