Thursday, May 09, 2013

What Moms Need—Carolyn R. Wilker

Tucked into our newspaper yesterday was the “Great Gifts, not just for Mother’s Day” flyer from a well-known garden supply centre. On the front page they feature a lantern, bistro knives and a set of small garden tools among many other things. What more could a mother want?
There are cherry pitters, a picnic set and camping gear. The cherry pitters come in handy when the birds don’t get to the cherry tree first. My mother doesn’t need camping gear; she has the outdoor life right there on the farm. Getting away includes going to church, going visiting or taking a Sunday drive. Sunday drives are shorter now with just Mom and Dad in the car. No, she doesn’t need those things.
I see popcorn poppers, lemon and lime presses, and a fancy fish tongs. We made popcorn in a  heavy pot with a lid on it and shook, shook, shook it over the burner until the kernels all popped, then ate it while watching Hockey Night in Canada or some other program. I think she has a popper now too along with the lemon press and ordinary tongs.
 There are fancy skewers for the barbecue. The cooking is Mom’s job whether it’s done indoors or out. From the retired hibachi to the newer gas barbecue, they have all the tools they need.
The many fancy kitchen gadgets and some essentials in that catalog would have more than filled her cutlery drawer. There’s a cookie dropper, but she still uses a tablespoon. A butter measuring guide, anyone? Mom eyes the amount or uses the foil wrapper marks on the packaging.
On page 10 are the sun hats. Our sunhats were often of the straw variety, including the sombrero with coloured baubles that bounced when we walked, that my auntie Bea bought for my sister and me one year at the Exhibition in Toronto. That became Mom’s harvest hat, keeping her head as cool as possible while driving tractor for grain harvesting. Not a hat either. She’s surely had a dozen newer ones since then.
I look at the seed racks in the flyer and remember the bins at the feed store where we’d scoop out the amount of bean or pea seeds we needed and the clerk would put them in little bags. Mom says that the garden will be smaller this year, maybe a little lettuce and a few tomato plants, besides the asparagus that’s already growing and the raspberries that come later.
  How about telescoping rakes and plastic-handled shovels? Their sturdy wooden-handled hoes, rakes and shovels are from the hardware store, bought years ago—the kind that taken care of would last almost forever. She still has those tools, so scratch that idea.
 In retirement, Mom has some of those fancy kitchen gadgets to make her work easier or more fun, for she still loves to bake and cook.
Do you know what she still likes the best? A basket of pretty flowers to hang on the verandah, flowers she can enjoy every day of the summer. So that’s what I bought and gave to her early. She told me the next night that she enjoys those pretty pink and white Martha Washington geraniums each time she looks out the window.
The card’s in the mail since I cannot be there this Mother’s Day. I’ll be spending my Mother’s Day with my own children and grandchildren.
Another thing for Mother’s Day, or anytime—love. Happy Mother’s Day!
Mom on her wedding day


Diana said...

Carolyn, you sparked so many memories for me. My mom passed away last July and I'm going thru my first spring and gardening season and Mother's Day without her. As far back as I remember she used the markings on the butter paper. And not only that, I remember five and a half decades ago on our farm Mom making our butter from the cream from our jersey cow.
Even tho Mom's not here now I am going to get a fuschia (always her pick, for the hummingbirds) and hang it where I can watch the hummingbirds come to it. In memory of Mom. A good memory.

Peter Black said...

A lovely reflection and tribute to your mom Carolyn. She is evidently a great lady and a wonderful mom.
I enjoyed your comment too, Diana. My mom's been gone 9 years now, but I remember from my childhood that fuschia was a favourite of hers. She could usually pick up the scent before actually seeing the flowers.

Donna Mann said...

Thanks for those memories, Carolyn. I remember my Mom's 'harvest hat' too. Such a special time of year, isn't it?

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Diana, I'm glad they were good memories for you. Mom did not need to make the butter as long as I know, but her mother might have done that. I cannot imagine Mom not having any garden at all, but it's certainly shrinking. Always loves her flowers around the house, outdoors and in.

Thanks, Peter, for your encourating comment on every post I write. :)
And Donna, your mother must have worked hard too at harvest.
Thanks all for coming by and commenting.

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