Another pastime for her was knitting and crocheting (and what grandmother of her generation did not know how to do those?). She made afghans, baby blankets, and those cap/sweater/bootie sets so popular as gifts for baby showers. When I was a small child, I recall seeing her crocheting doilies that were used on coffee tables, end tables, and the like.
After Dad retired from the military and they settled in North Carolina, on visits home when we lived out of state and many hours away, (if during flower season), she so loved showing off her flowers and plants in the yard--they were like her friends, or at least family members :). Her favorite flower has always been the purple iris, and I will always think of her when I see irises.
Some of Mom's kitchen creations from the garden included: all kinds of pickles, relishes, squash casseroles, sweet potato casseroles and pies (you've never tasted sweet potato pie?), apple and blackberry cobblers, pear preserves (my dad's favorite), homemade apple butter--I could go on indefinitely, but you get the idea. Even in his seventies, Dad often took fresh tomatoes and squash to "the elderly"! One of my favorite meals at their house was fried okra, fresh tomatoes, corn on the cob, fresh green beans and potatoes, hot biscuits, and country steak and gravy, one of my dad's winners--definitely NOT a low carb meal, but delicious. Mom often baked us a fresh cocoanut cake with cream cheese frosting or a chocolate pecan pie. Her favorite was (and still is) lemon meringue pie, but since that wasn't chocolate, most of our family preferred other desserts!
She raised my brother and me with high expectations and values. She made sure we were in church, and by example, we knew how much our parents loved us. My joy of reading came at an early age when she used to read to us regularly. She celebrated our accomplishments, coming to see us in school plays, programs--even our childhood bowling tournaments where we even won a few trophies! She welcomed our friends to our home. She stood up for us if slighted. She corrected us when necessary.
All in all, even though my mom is now in frail health, we can still have fabulous conversations, often walking down memory lane together, talking about our experiences in military life, celebrating her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and her own childhood, a totally different world from life today. Her parents, Walter and Bertha Lambert, born in 1888 and 1890, had ten children. I learned only last year that my grandfather had been a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse as a young man. They lived on a farm, raising chickens, pigs, and cows, along with cotton and all kinds of fruits and vegetables. My mom and her youngest brother are now the only two still living.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you!