Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memories of Mother

Memories come to mind of my Mother born into the predominantly agrarian nineteenth century and her transition into the twentieth century industrial world. I wrote about some of her world last year on May 11th in “Mother’s Day Thoughts.

These days when so many experience difficulties encountered as a consequence of a nation and world economic upheaval unlike any in my lifetime, I often wonder what my mother would have to say on the subject. She had become a young married woman during the twenties heydays preceding the Great Depression. I recall her descriptions of a none too easy early married life that evolved into a more prosperous existence in later years as occurs with many couples.

She said the hardships during that financial downturn did not directly adversely affect our family. They occurred before I was born later in her life. Our immunity to severe hardship was primarily because my father’s work was associated with the newspaper business. Newspapers were the primary source of news, so were in much demand by almost everyone regardless of their financial situation. In fact, two of the most prominent state newspapers were vying for his services.

Radio was just beginning with unprecedented broadcasting power thanks to Powell Crosley and the ultimate “Nation’s Station” WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio.

There was no TV yet, much less computers and the Internet of today. Newspapers were a primary source listing employment opportunities for those seeking work. People placed ads to sell belongings so they could raise some desperately needed cash while others with limited cash sought bargain prices as they needed these items but had little cash themselves. Everyone wanted to subscribe or at least access a newspaper. This is hardly the situation that exists today in the newspaper business.

During the Depression my mother continued to be active in her womens religious group. They devoted themselves to helping others in need, an activity in which she engaged for many of those years and throughout her lifetime when she was able.

A few years after I was born our fortunes changed and my mother became a single parent in a time when a woman raising a family alone had a very difficult time. My immediate family had never lived extravagantly, but as I entered my early childhood years I was absorbing from my mother the lessons of needing to be even more practical and frugal.

She was a remarkable woman who in her later years in the face of adversity when she became legally blind and limited in visual activities created unique hooked rugs that became unexpectedly desired by others. This is a one-of-a-kind small rectangular throw rug which she experimented hooking before her vision deteriorated even further necessitating larger different geometric patterning. My photography does not do the colors justice. My mother would be amused the tips of my shoes appear.

My mother had an amazingly optimistic and positive attitude toward life. She made multiple transitions and adaptations to her varying circumstances. I marvel at how well she coped as she lived happily independently most of her remaining almost 90 years. I miss her.


  1. A lovely tribute. I miss my mom, too.
    Happy Mother's Day.

  2. Such a lovely tribute to your Mother. My Mother was born in 1898 and passed away in the age of 103. She married in 1918. Life wasn't easy during the depression. She lost two babies during that time, then had we three girls. She too was always an optimist and loved by everyone who met her.We all miss her so very much....HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO YOU..

  3. I don't think we ever stop missing our Moms. H

    Hardship was common among their generation and they showed courage and determination as they surmounted it. Your tribute to one of those courageous women, your mother, is lovely.

  4. Lovely!!!!!!! Happy Mother's Day, Jo!!!!

  5. I love the way you write about your mother's life and influence in your life. We never get over losing out mothers....

  6. Joared...what a beautiful piece on your mom. And...what a gorgeous rug, especially knowing of her failing eyesight. I wish my mother would have been so inclined to such things; but she was never into such crafts. I, on the other hand, love them. My mother's eyes were very bad at the end of her 87 year old life too. We do miss them don't we?

  7. Your mother was a woman of tremendous courage. Mine was too, although she was mentally ill and an alcoholic. She gave me what she could.
    And yes, I miss her.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to you mother. She lived through thick and thin as did so many of that era.

    When I was growing up I did not realize that we were poor. Everyone in the neighborhood was in the same boat.

    My mother would go around the house singing, smiling, cooking and baking! That's how I remember her.

  9. Thank you for sharing your mother's story with us. My mother died in 1994, before reaching age 80. I think of her, daily, and still think about things that I need to show/tell her!
    Cop Car

  10. I love old stuff, old memories, old places. Something so solid and satisfying is passed to me when holding a relic of the past.

    I can conjure all sorts of images of its history, be it a photograph, a quilt, a lamp,or a rough country kitchen utensil.

    Its obvious you get much joy from this rug, and would just as soon give your house away rather than lose this memento. I fully understand the sentiments.

    Thanks for sharing...

  11. A fine tribute showing the love you still feel for your mother.

    And I know you cherish the lovely rug she made. I have some crocheted pieces my mother made. Two decorative Christmas red and white pot holders remind me of her each time I set them out over the holidays.

    There is just something special about hand needle work. Especially when made by a departed loved one.