Sunday, May 07, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ma...

Today would have been my Mom's 90th birthday. She passed away nearly eight years ago, and I still miss her so much it hurts sometimes. She would have loved today - the weather was beautiful, the May flowers are blooming - it was a picture perfect day. We could have had a wonderful birthday celebration.

In her memory today, I baked cookies. Lots of cookies. Over 300 - we are having an event at the refuge this week, and I offered to bake cookies for the volunteers and presenters. Ma would have loved the baking day - she taught me to bake when I was very young, and she had a huge recipe collection. I'm not sure how many actually got made, but she was forever clipping recipes or copying them down. I still have most of her recipes and need to sort through them and get them organized and preserved.

She taught me a lot about needlework too. Embroidery, sewing, crocheting, but surprisingly, she didn't teach me to knit. She claimed not to know how, but I think it came and went. I have a baby sweater she knit for me, and I remember asking her to knit a garter stitch sweater from a "Woman's Day" magazine for me when I was in high school. She did, but it was terribly heavy and uncomfortable. I think she ripped it out and used the yarn in an afghan. She was an expert crocheter, and among other things, made beautiful lace hankies, many of which she gave as bridal or anniversary gifts.

Perhaps her best known trait was to be able to make something out of almost nothing. She was very creative, and saved almost everything, because you never knew what you might need it for. Juice cans were lashed together and upholstered and became footstools. Scrap lumber and molding became a triple decker bunk bed for my dolls. Old curtains were used to make the doll's bedding. A large piece of plastic draped over piled up timbers became my swimming/sliding pool. I could go on and on.

It's that creative spirit that I hope to carry on, whether it's in cooking, or knitting, or gardening. You can see from the photo that she had a pretty good green thumb. Tomorrow I hope to start in on the gardening, and I'm sure she'll be with me in spirit. I can't wait. Happy Birthday Ma!

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