For my own reasons, I thought I'd jot down whatever memories of her popped into my head this morning.
Mink. My goodness, I will never forget my Mother and mink season! She would come home at night smelling horrible. She'd change here clothes out on the back porch before even coming into the house. This lasted for about a month each year. If you've never smelled a mink, it bears a striking resemblance to skunk. Mink harvesting is in the late fall, and I suspect she did this each year to have extra money for Christmas.
I remember her working as a school lunch lady as well.
Camping. Man, we had some good times camping. We would play cards each and every night. Hearts was our game of choice. I also remember when she caught a huge lake trout up in Montana, and got so excited she didn't even wait for Dad to grab the net. I'm still not sure how that 8 pound line held up to that stress, but that big fish ended up in the boat!
At some point, I decided I did not like riding the bus. My Mom was my taxi service for years. It was a good 4 miles from home to school, but she never complained.
She had several surgeries that I recall. Once, Dad actually rented a hospital bed and built a wooden platform for it, and put it right in the family room. He even dropped a phone line in there for her. She must have been in bed for a long time if he had to go to that effort.
I miss the days when Mom cooked. My wife Lori did not care for my Mom's usage of green peppers and onions, but I sure did! Meatloaf. That funky dark colored bread with raisins and walnuts. Venison covered in all sorts of "stuff" to tame down that gamey flavor!
She always called me her baby. I went though a time when that kind of made me cringe, but anymore it always made me smile. We have a book about a Mother loving her son for always. In it, the Mother ends up getting a ladder, sneaking into her son's home each night to hold him and rock him while he is sleeping. I could totally see her doing that. In the end, as the Mother grows old, the son rocks the Mom. It would be nice to do that once again.
I hope in funeral planning that Charlotte realizes I am a giant cry baby, and the family prayer will be largely gibberish. That's how I roll.
Dinner everyday at 4:30. I don't think we ever deviated from that schedule. And breakfast every morning. It didn't matter if it was just cereal, Mom was up and would get it for me. And this is kind of pathetic, but I never made my own bed, changed my own sheets or anything like that. I wonder if my sisters were as spoiled as I was? I hope not! As the youngest, I think I deserved more spoiling!
One time, we left Kaylee and Braden to be watched by my Mom and Dad. We had never told them that Braden had the oddest birthmark on his back. It was about 3 inches long and looked swollen. When it was bath time, Mom took one look at that thing and off they went! I don't remember if she took him to the doctor or the hospital, but we caused a bit of panic with that one. Sorry Mom.
I'll have to add to this as more memories come up, but this is a good start.