Where This Meets That
Seventy-five years ago, Adolf Hitler was chewing up Europe, Great Britain was electing one Winston Churchill as Prime Minister to oppose the fascist threat, and one John Lennon was born this same year in the midst of German air raid.
The first McDonald’s hamburger stand opened, the first Bugs Bunny cartoon aired, and the first color TV was demonstrated.
Seventy-five years ago, the average American house cost only four-thousand dollars, and in one of these average homes, in Ashland, Mississippi, my mother was born.
Growing up in Ashland, she and her younger sister helped with the family farm, by picking cotton, milking cows, and driving the tractor to gather corn. She regularly participated in talent and dairy shows at county and regional fairs and frequently won showmanship awards.
Eventually, the stars aligned to bring her together with my father, with whom she’s now shared nearly 54 years of marriage. Their early years together saw them live in three different southern states and bring my brother, my two sisters, and me, kicking and screaming, into the world.
When I was a kid, my mom was my nurse, dowsing skinned knees with Bactine.
She was my cook, whipping up green eggs and ham more than once and often letting me help make cookies.
She worked as a school teacher but also served as my teacher, teaching me to read tricky words like “island” (silent “s”) and “desert” (sanded, not sweetened) and when to correctly use “me” and “I”.
She helped me memorize the Lord’s Prayer and let me play in the rain, let me set up afghan forts in the family room (the blankets, not the people) and encouraged my creativity.
When I grew and eventually married, she took my bride as her own daughter, and today, my mother is also a grandmother to ten (only 5 are mine!) and a great-grandmother, as well.
These are all words and fond memories, nice anecdotal ingredients but woefully insufficient. For my gratitude, there are no words.
Thank you Mom, for all your patience over the years and for all your love. We all love you so very much and wish you a Happy 75th Birthday!