Saturday, April 12, 2008


With Mother's Day soon approaching, I have been thinking about my own mother so often lately. And while deep in thought of great memories, I also have to think of how much women of this era have contributed to our current days.

Mom will be 79 this summer and is a product of the depression, was a young woman during WWII and survived the 60's as a young mother. She saw her son through Vietnam and was part of the women's movement in the workforce. Yet, she was very quiet, reserved and very, very frugal during those times in her life. I guess I haven't seen her as a piece of all these changes and events until I really stopped to think about it. I would like to dedicate this entry to her. Thank you for visiting this long winded blog ♥

Anna was born in 1929, a year in which the depression was just starting. However, her father owned a vegetable canning company and things were fairly well for the new family. Bertha, her mother, was a home maker and as the family grew, they held their own. It wasn't until a few years later that tragety stuck with an accident killing Leo, leaving Bertha, Anna and then Margaret and Al on their own. In 1936, there was no Social Security benefits, so Bertha used her creative mind to keep the family together. In addition to taking in custom sewing and boarders, she would find ways to earn enough money to survive. Things were sparse and my mom recalls Christmas as celebrations with an orange as a special treat.

My mother learned to sew, knit and crochet from Bertha and I love the thought that in a round about way, I learned from Bertha as well. Well, back to Anna...

Now, in late 1930's - the start of WWII Anna was becoming a young woman. She started working in an office and sometimes today, I will see her doodling all her little shorthand characters that she studied so hard to learn. Now there is a lost art! Short hand - do they even teach that anymore?

She spent these years working and helping her mother and assisting in the causes of the war effort. She was a new breed of women, a woman who could take care of herself and had skills that were marketable.

The war ended offically on August 14, 1945 - My Mothers Birthday! She has the honor of sharing this special day with all the world, for indeed, that was a great, great day.

In 1952, she married my father, Neal, who was a cabinet maker at the time and had served in WWII in Navy in the Pacific. Things were changing and this couple was to be in the center of it all. Even though they were not in the public eye, they were part of the generation that would set the standards. Life would never be as they knew it again.

I was the youngest of three - and Mom was a homemaker until I went to school full time. The things I remember most in my early years include her playing nursery rhymes on the piano to us, always sewing or knitting and our red and white chrome kitchen table. Odd combination, I know, but memories are memories.

She rejoined the work force in the mid-60's - A time of civil rights movements and when women were just finding their way in corporate America. She returned to school and worked her way from bank teller to Secretary to the bank president in a few short years. She was of the generation when women no longer stayed home. Hers was the generation that made it possible for our generation to get equal wages and be recognized as capable employees. Hind site is incredible - we didn't know it then, but looking back, I am amazed at every woman who was part of this era. We take these rights and advantages for granted now, but women at that time certainly needed to fight for these things.
I was young in the 60's, but I still remember watching JFK's assination on TV and the mood of the American population. As Jackie K set the fashion for this generation, I remember my mother making stylish suits for herself, with matching hats and even wearing the white gloves. She would make matching dresses for my sister, myself and herself.
My mother would make everything - and she still owns and uses the black singer sewing machine that her sister gave her as a wedding gift in 1952. She never bought curtains, tablecloths, rarely bought clothes - she made them herself. When I was a teen and started showing horses, she made me the most incredible riding habit. Now that I think of it, I had my own custom seamstress. I wish I would have appreciated more at the time!
Once Mom became a grandmother, she would knit and sew for her grandchildren and now she has 2 great grandsons! She still knits and sews, she shovels her own driveway when the snow comes and she mows her own lawn. She will be 79 on August 14 - The day WWII ended.
When women realize that "they have become their mother" and are disappointed, I say that I could only wish to become my mother. She played such a vital role in what the world has become and has opened the path to women of the future. In their own quiet way, women of her era did SOOO much for the women of today.


New England Quilter said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom and all women of her generation! Lovely post Val and just in time for mother's day.


Nora said...

Val, What an awesome tribute you have made to your mother. It is has brought tears to my eyes reading this. My mother passed in 2001 and I miss her terribly. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Hippie Dippy Designs said...

What a beautiful story about your mother. So rich in family history (my other love besides crocheting!!) You mother sounds like an amazing woman. Thanks so much for sharing

Lorissa J. Longfellow said...

Your mother sounds amazing. What a beautiful tribute to her. Beautiful.

Gracie Bird said...

Lovely tribute, Val!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Valerie - I'm officially crying! Your Mommy is so beautiful but even more beautiful is your inarguable love for her! Thank you.

Annie Howes said...

I'm sure you've made your mom proud! What a great tribute to such a special person.

Annie Howes

MountainsideCrochet said...


I just read your tribute to your mother. What a marvelous woman, and what a loving and thoughtful daughter. Happy Mother's Day.

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

What a fantastic tribute to your mother. She sounds like a fantastic woman!

=) melanie

Giggleberry (Amy) said...

Thank you for sharing such gorgeous photos and story!!

Esther McIsaac said...

How wonderful that your mother knows how much you mean to her, thank you for sharing

Tall Cottage Thoughts said...

What a loving tribute. I'm certain she appreciates it and you. My Mom was the same. She sewed all her clothes and most of mine. She made shirts and shorts for my brothers, aprons (back then all housewives wore aprons), knit, crocheted, needlepointed, cross-stitched and so on. It's true we aren't smart enough as children to appreciate all our Moms do and did for us. It's wonderful she knows. She must be so proud of you and all you've accomplished.