Today would have been my mother’s 85th birthday. However, she died of colon cancer four weeks before her 62nd birthday. I spent some time today making pumpkin pie and beef stew. My pie is not as good as hers – I did not acquire her light hand with piecrust and also just haven’t had as much practice. It was common for us (a family of seven with an occasional guest) to have a dozen pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My beef stew is thicker – hers was more like a really hearty beef/vegetable soup, whereas I use the recipe from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook I’ve had for nearly 40 years.
A few more things about my mother: she taught me to read when I was 2 1/2. She made homes for us in Army quarters and rented houses as far away as Texas and Germany, and then back in Maine in the house she and my father built together. I also failed to acquire her skills in knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting, and gardening, among many others. She taught me my multiplication tables and, with her memories of the Palmer method, changed my handwriting one summer from illegible to not-too-shabby. When I talk with other women, or read memoirs or stories, about mothers who are difficult, judgmental, demanding or otherwise cause problems for their daughters, I can’t really relate. What I got from my mother was unconditional love and support.Here are some pictures of her.
I still miss her a lot.