Archive for May 2010

Its Raining….Its Pouring…..

May 11, 2010

I live near the greatest little grocery market in the world.  The prices are fairly reasonable so you can afford to use it for regular stuff and not just the oopsIranoutofthisandthat sort of stuff.  The fruits and veggies are usually local produce and always well stocked.  The meat you can get there is phenomenal.  Always fresh.  Always competitive in price.  Chicken, turkey, pork, beef…stew meat, steaks, roasting cuts, ribs…..yum.  And today is the first time I have been disappointed.  I stopped by on my way home from taking the Princess to school in order to pick up the ‘three milks’ for this cake that I had been planning to make today.  There was a big sign in the window announcing a sale price for round steak.  Which is what I need to make the Prince’s favorite dinner dish.  Its raining like crazy…and cold…so it didn’t really feel like a ‘pan fried in olive oil with a bit of mustard and brown sugar salmon’  kind of dinner that I had been planning to have.  So I headed back to the meat counter to select a round steak….only to be informed that the butcher was about an hour away from preparing the rounds.  Ugh.

I don’t really want to go out into the rain again…..and it was too long to hang around and wait.  Instead, I vented to anyone and everyone at the store.  Nicely, of course.  Its still my favorite little market, after all.

Yep.  Its going to be raining like this all day long.

Oops.  I forgot one of the milks.  Silly me.  Guess I am going back to the market.

In about an hour.

Life is good.

You Do The Best You Can

May 9, 2010

This is my father, his mother and ‘Uncle Webb.’  I have no idea who Uncle Webb is. I have never met my father’s mother.  I know that her name was Daisy Florence and – by all accounts – she was a fiesty farm wife.  My Dad tells of how, when my Grandfather forbade her to leave the farm and removed the battery from their car so she couldn’t, she simply lifted the battery from the radio, hooked it up to the car and went anyway.  Hee.  She died giving birth to her third child – another boy – and was buried on my father’s seventh birthday….along with his baby brother.

This is my mother’s mother…..in the bloom of her teenage years.  She was the oldest of twelve children.  She left home at at early age as a bride, gave birth to three children and took them away from an abusive husband and father when it was difficult to do so.  She was divorced when it wasn’t the ‘thing to do.’  She said her father helped her find a home and a job and made her stand on her own two feet as a mother and provider and she would always be grateful to him for doing that.  She would marry again, have a fourth child, lose that husband to cancer, marry again to her soul mate, lose him to cancer and marry…yet again….only to lose HIM as well.  She was in her late nineties when she died.  She instilled in her children a devotion to family that is like no other.  They supported her and helped her live on her own until the day she died.  She was Mother, Aunt Mabel, Gram and GG.

This is my husband’s mother.  She was a military wife and mom.  She raised seven children while her husband served in the Marine Corp.  World War II, Korea and Viet Nam.  After two tours in ‘Nam she finally put her foot down and said ‘no more.’  Her husband continued to serve as a Corp recruiter until he retired and then they came home to Michigan.  She worked, went to school and saw her teenagers to adulthood and parenthood.  She lost her oldest daughter to a car accident. She was able to hold her very first great grandchild in her arms before passing away.  That child just turned 12.

This is my mother, my cousin and me.  My sister is also in this picture but hasn’t been born yet.  I love this picture because – even though you can’t see her face – you can get a real sense of who my mother is.  She is caring and loving.  It is her nature to look after other people.  Her children.  Her friend’s children. Her children’s friends. Her neice (who was also a child of divorce).  Her nephew. Her softball team.  Other people’s children.  People from her various jobs.  Her Mother.  Her siblings.  A nuturer.  That’s just who MY mother is.

And I am the mother of two rug rats who were born on the opposite side of the world to women I have never met.  One arrived by a Korean airline and the other by Russian court.  They are sports nuts and I am not.  I love to read and they do not.  Every single day we grapple with our differences and our boundaries and our lessons to one another.  Raising teens is not for the faint of heart.  But there is hope for a happy ending.  Just ask my sister.  She has raised two of her own.

And survived.

As I watch my stepdaughters parent their children and deal with the continuing parenting of mine, I am reminded of the other Mothers in my life.  Mothers who coped with stubborn farmer husbands, abuse and joy, long absences with no promises, nuturing of those around them…. 

I have learned only one thing.

You do the best that you can.

And that’s all you can.

Amen.

Happy Mother’s Day!