Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy 83rd Birthday Mom! You know, when you are little, your mother is old. Really, really old! Now, as I age, what can I say? She is still old, but aging pretty gracefully! She was going to walk around Evergreen Lake this morning while my Dad (who is "only" 91) was in a meeting -- a walk of just over a mile. At about 7,000 feet in elevation. Of course, they live there, so they are acclimated to the altitude. But still, pretty darned good! There was a time that Mom really got upset about her age. At 50, she went in and had a new will made, and a new life insurance policy. She refused to speak about her age. It was terrible. That lasted for a good bit of time. Suddenly, about 72, she made an abrubt change of pace, and celebrated the fact that she had made it that far! After all, a lot of people she had known hadn't! Look what she had gone through to get that far!

Mom was born in Albuquerque New Mexico. Her father was a civil engineer on the Santa Fe railroad, investigating train wrecks. They eventually moved to Chicago, where she grew up, the youngest of 3 girls. They were expected to go to college, and to work at least a year before they married, so they knew they could support themselves whatever life handed them. Mom had a hard time finding her niche. She went to William Woods girls College, where she didn't fit in, the then University of Dubuque, Iowa (where she met my dad.) Those were the days where you sent the dirty laundry home on the train, instead of washing them at school! She didn't graduate, but went to work for her year, before she and dad got married.

Dad was a minister. It was really hard for her to try to live up to the expectations of the various church members through the years as to what a minister's wife actually was/should have been. At that time, she didn't feel there was room for her own individuality where she was, and so she conformed to the perceived role, with 3 children - a boy Bill and 2 girls. When I was in elementary school, we moved to Utah, and Mom started working outside the home. By high school, she was in management, and finished up her college degree at night. Annette (my sister) and I had it a lot easier in some high school classes because we sat in on some of her college classes, to help her get through them. She graduated the year before I finished high school.

Mom is a feminist, a person who strongly believes in the rights of ALL peoples, a cat lover (who is firmly controlled by Isabelle -- a long haired torty who rules the house!), a woman of faith, an appreciator of the arts, and a lot of fun. She used to love to start needlework projects, and then pass them on to me to finish. Oddly enough, we always matched gauge.

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