A Mother’s Hodgepodge

Here are the questions and the answers to Wednesday Hodgepodge this week!

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother.

My mother was an immigrant from Russia who was learning how to be an American when she had me. Communication was difficult with her very limited English. Her love language was in her homemaking skills, sewing and cooking. I always had a new dress for Easter and Christmas and the first day of school. She cooked every meal for us and sent us to school with packed lunches. These memories are cherished memories.

If you’re a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother’s experience.

One of the huge differences between my mother and me is the fact that I could drive a car. Till the day my mom died in 2013 she never drove. She was a real “stay at home” mom! My father did the grocery shopping and anything else that demanded a car. When my father’s work took him out of town, we kids would walk to a grocery store a mile up the road from us to pay the public utilities bills with cash. As a mom I drove my kids everywhere for their extra curricular activities. I was at every sport game they played in. I was at every school function they performed in. Even as a teenager I would drive my little brothers to their baseball games. My stay at home experience was very different from my mom.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

This photo has three teachers who I would say have the gift of teaching which I categorize as a higher expertise than just being a good teacher. I was an elementary school teacher before our first son was born but I don’t put myself in the gifted category. I got the job done and was good but not gifted. My sister Kathy with the red sweater standing next to me is a gifted teacher. She was trained to be an elementary school teacher and had her own classrooms and now in her late 60’s still substitute teaches. Her heart and mind are wrapped around her skill to inspire and teach. She turns everyday experiences into a learning experience for her grandchildren, too.  My mother-in-law, Verna, is another woman who had the gift of teaching. She’s on my left side in this photo. She taught in a one room schoolhouse in Kansas for her first teaching assignment in the 1940’s. Teaching came naturally to her and she was a lifelong learner. Our daughter Katie had the best one on one learning experiences with Verna in her early years while Verna lived with us and before Verna died in 1997. Katie was able to read at 3 years of age and read quite well at the age of 4. My sister-in-law Kelly on the left of Verna is another teacher extraordinaire. She home schooled her four sons and in that process started a home school academy in her community taking her students to national recognition several years in a row. Even when her four sons went off to college she continued the academy. She is now a nanny 3 days a week to her one granddaughter who is reaping the benefits of Kelly’s natural guidance with hands on everyday learning experiences.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad…which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?

A tuna melt, pretty please.

4. Do you have a desk?

We have more than one desk but this is the one where all the important stuff gets done. Dear was working from home for several months and he took it over for his work space.

Is it organized?

Yes, it is generally organized. This time of year it’s the most organized since we had to get things together for the tax man a few months ago.

If so, share your secret to keeping it that way.

I think the secret lies in the fact that the desk has space for everything. Smaller drawers for writing implements and all the office supplies you would need. A filing folder drawer where I have files for every monthly activity. A large pull out drawer with two large shelves to house current bills payable with check book, register, stamps, etc.  I even have a nice drawer for correspondence with room for cards, address book and stationary. It’s in a space where visitors rarely come to so if it’s a mess it really is no big deal.

We also have another small desk in a spare room where I used to sit to blog. Another large desk area in the basement where our old large desk computer sits with a fax machine/printer.

Where do you normally sit to blog?

These days I sit in our family room on the couch with my laptop in my lap to blog.

5. When I was nine years old….

I was nine years old in 1960.  In 1960 the major news stories include… US enters Vietnam War, the IRA starts it’s fight against the British, John F. Kennedy wins presidential Election , Chubby Checker and The Twist start a new dance craze, Soviet missile shoots down the US U2 spy plane, Aluminum Cans used for the first time, The US announces 3,500 American soldiers are going to be sent to Vietnam, Xerox introduces the first photocopier.

And speaking of Chubby Checker, I won the twist contest at my elementary school in the 6th grade…don’t tell my mom and dad and especially my Russian Baptist relatives. Dancing was a no-no!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m a little late to the party today but just wanted to add that the sun has been shining three mornings in a row here in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you Joyce From This Side of the Pond for the questions to answer!