This memory my Mother has shared with me has made me wonder what my Grandmother thought after my Mother was born. Did she have any idea what kind of effect her daughter would have on the world and those around her? Did she know how smart & talented she would be, how she would marry later in life (compared to her counterparts-she was actually older than me when I got married) & wouldn't get married until she fell in love? This was fairly revolutionary back then when you consider most people got married when they were much younger. Flash forward thirty something years later and it amazes me that despite the fact that her parents never encouraged higher education she studied for her GED & graduated when I was in grammar school. Soon after I believe she took every art class available at the local college. She accomplished this while having three kids & always working some job, either her own or when helping to support my Dad's business.
& it wasn't like she was ignoring us while she pursued these other activities. I felt very much like I had the classic stay at home Mom. In fact she would make Martha Stewart pale by comparison. Back when designers first started putting out patterns for people who could sew she decided to make up a nice Calvin Klein woolen suit for me when I was in High School. She could sew anything. When my aunt got married, she made her wedding dress & the bridesmaid dresses. They were so stylish-especially for the seventies & we all know that it wasn't easy to look cool in the seventies!
My Mother is also expert at working with all things miniature. She could paint model cars and houses & buildings for my brothers train sets. She especially loved to paint those tiny little people that were less than an inch tall. She would even paint faces on them. My brothers had a train set complete with a layout of a town & neighborhood. It looked like something you would see in the Sears Christmas wish book. The cool thing about my mother is that she is always creative. This really comes in handy when you have children. Without her realizing it she was a constant source of inspiration for us. Later when my brothers kind of lost interest in the whole train set thing she laughed when she saw how they used it as a prop for a town getting blown up in a film they were making.
Her cooking and baking is a whole other story. She made homemade gingerbread men at Christmas along with gingerbread houses. She used licorice for the bricks on the chimney & special icing that made it look like snow on the roofs. My cousins still talk about her gingerbread till this day. Her Easter cookies were another holiday favorite. In fact one of those very cousins made them using my mom's recipe this past Sunday in preparation for their Easter celebration.
Our birthday cakes were always homemade. My birthday falls around Valentines Day so when the new cake decorating supply shop opened up in our town my mother went & bought special heart shaped baking pans & made me a three tiered heart cake blowing my best friends mind when I invited her over to celebrate. She actually made my wedding cake too-it was beautiful.
One of the greatest memories though is when she would make homemade pizza for us. Often times my best friend would be there too. My friend still talks about this pizza. Recently I told this friend how I had started making homemade pizza. I explained how I use organic olive oil & fresh mozzarella with shredded parmigiana & organic sauce & whole wheat flour. I told her I'd make some for her when she comes to visit. She looked at me & said, "Oh that's OK, I really want your Mother's pizza."
My dear & generous Mother made her famous pizza when my nephew came home for his spring break recently. My Mom & Dad invited us over so we could all be together a couple of Sundays ago while partaking in this family tradition of enjoying my Mom's good food. If you look at the photo you can get a glimpse of my Mom's beautiful hands. She has created many wonderful memories with them over the years. I am sure my Grandmother is proud.
Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.