In honor of Mother's Day I thought I'd do a little tribute to my own mother, or Mumma, as is commonly said around here. (And Mumma is pronounced Muh' muh. Not Mah ' muh. Muh' muh.)
- is incredibly beautiful, always has been.
- loves animals. She has been known to pull over on the side of the road to rescue turtles from impending death. One time she rescued a SKUNK whose head was stuck in a jar. She lifted the jar up to shake the little rascal free and guess what she got in return? A skunk-stenched shower. Do you know how long it takes to get rid of skunk smell? Mr. Skunk went on to lead a happy life while my sisters and I kept a healthy distance from my mother until we could breathe again.
- is an amazing, mostly self-taught artist. She recently took some really old windows from the farmhouse she lives in and painted Christmas scenes on them. They are absolutely stunning, and I'm trying to get her to enter them in an art show.
- is a very gifted piano player and singer. She can play any song you want by ear and sang in a quasi-professional group in her youth.
- is very smart and knows more about most topics than I ever will. She absorbs information like a sponge, subscribes to a couple of science magazines and can debate most anything very adeptly. The extent of my science knowledge is as follows: Insert sounds of crickets chirping here.
- attended every sporting event my sisters and I ever had, which was a LOT. She also spearheaded a fund-raising campaign that earned enough money to put in a track at the local high school.
- cooks just like her mother did, meaning that she can take what appears to be minimal ingredients and concoct a feast fit for a king. She is an old-fashioned, Southern style cook. Stewed tomatoes, spoon bread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, kale, collard greens, oh my heavens I'm getting hungry.
-was and still is very athletic. She was one of the first females to receive a varsity letter for basketball from Gloucester High School (they played half-court back then). She and I and my middle sister also played on a summer softball league when I was a senior in high school. She threw better than I could and hit that ball like nobody's business. These days our physical fitness is limited to walking and going to Curves, but she can keep up with the best of 'em.
-was the only person I wanted around me after I had my first baby. I read every baby book known to man and tried to follow the doctor's instructions to the letter, and she was wise enough to teach me that one size does not fit all babies, and you have to do what feels natural. For example, when my son was gnawing his fists and crying all the time, she suggested we feed him some rice cereal. Rice cereal was not on the Approved List of Things To Do for many weeks or months yet, according to the books. Well, when nothing else would work, we tried the rice cereal, and baby boy finally got what he wanted. There is no substitute for one's own mother when you are learning the ropes. No substitute.
I could go on and on about my mother, but I'll end with this: I love Mumma and am very grateful to her for all she has done and all the sacrifices she made for us. Most of all I'm glad she's still around to support me.
And, of course, cook that fried chicken.