Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

A few weeks ago I was talking to my mama on the phone and she asked what I was doing. I explained that I was working on a list of 100 things about myself as is tradition for your 100th blog post. "Goodness!" Mama said, "I don't think there ARE 100 things about me!" I told her that I was sure that there were way more than 100 things about her. After we hung up I decided to write this list for her. My brother and sister contributed. So Mama, in honor of Mother's Day, here are 100 Random things about YOU!

  1. She has the most beautiful blue eyes.
  2. She reads every book she gets her hands on.
  3. She volunteers at the town library.
  4. She snores like a freight train but denies it.
  5. She is the oldest of three children.
  6. She gets terrible sunburns.
  7. She is left handed.
  8. She is on her third set of replacement knees and has endured at least 20 surgeries in the past five years.
  9. She was an elementary school teacher for 30 years.
  10. She had three children in three different decades.
  11. She made my wedding dress and all the bridesmaids dresses for my wedding, I worried that she would be hemming my dress while I walked down the aisle, but she finished it before the music started.
  12. She loves cats beyond all reason.
  13. She suffered a spontaneous systemic staph infection two years after her first double knee replacement. She was the first patient in medical history to have this happen and is a case study.
  14. She hates to ask for help but she will give you the shirt off of her back.
  15. She lives in a beautiful, white, Queen Anne Victorian house that was built in 1907. She bought it because of the view.
  16. She has the most beautiful, wavy, white hair.
  17. She looks much younger than her age.
  18. She loves liver and onions and always orders it if she sees it on a menu.
  19. Mounds is her favorite candy bar.
  20. She used to listen to Spitzer's House Party which was a radio show on WSIG back in the 70's that featured polka music, on Saturday morning when she cleaned house.
  21. She is a great travel companion because she will go where ever you want to go, eat whatever you want to eat, see whatever you want to see and never complains.
  22. She is on her church council.
  23. She has a fabulous, commanding, school teacher voice, that can bring a room to silence in a split second.
  24. She had to learn the alphabet backwards to teach slow learners back when DISTAR was the approved method.
  25. Blue is her favorite color.
  26. She used to sew me the cutest clothes when I was a kid.
  27. She sewed me the cutest maternity clothes when I was pregnant with Miles.
  28. Her younger brother and all his children are dentists.
  29. She is a fabulous gift-wrapper.
  30. Her father was a banker and a farmer.
  31. Her mother was a teacher.
  32. Her mother lived to be 96 and her aunt is still alive at 101.
  33. Her cousin Frank Buckles is 105 or 106 and is one of the only World War I veterans left, he is still sharp, you see him on the news now and then.
  34. When I was a kid she would smoke when she was stressed and she always exhaled through her nose which I thought was so exotic. (Cricket never knew this until a few years ago when I mentioned it in passing and she was SO shocked!)
  35. She used to love Jean Nate, do they even make that stuff anymore?
  36. She traveled cross country when she was a child with her parents and siblings, she saw the great redwoods. I hope I get to do that someday.
  37. She married my dad when she was 20 and had me when she was 21.
  38. She met my dad when she lived in the same dorm as his sister at Shenandoah College in 1963.
  39. When she taught school she kept hair bands and barretts in her drawer for the little girls whose parents sent them to school without brushing their hair. (These days teachers are not allowed to touch their students, much less style their hair.)
  40. Her birthday is November 27th which is often Thanksgiving weekend.
  41. She is a Red Hat and has tons of fun with her Red Hat friends.
  42. She taught me to always check the oven before turning it on because her mother stored pots and pans in the oven and had trained her to check for them.
  43. She taught me to knit when I was five, but I have never known her to knit or crochet.
  44. She has boundless curiosity which she inherited from her mother and passed down to me.
  45. She always takes in stray cats, dogs and people. When I see a homeless woman on the streets of DC with young children I always want to pack them in my car and take them home to Mama.
  46. She was raised Episcipalian but now she's a Lutheran.
  47. She and my dad eloped and didn't tell anyone until 6 months later when they got pregnant with me.
  48. She calls the mid-day meal lunch and the evening meal supper, but you out to dinner.
  49. She pronounces it to-mah-to and my dad always used to give her a hard time about it, so the rest of us say to-may-to.
  50. She drinks hot tea in the morning and iced tea the rest of the day, I'm not sure I have ever seen her drink anything else. Cricket says that she drinks coffee now because Cricket makes a pot every morning before work and Mama hates to see anything go to waste.
  51. I take that back, I have seen her drink something else, when she was grouchy a few days out of the month, my dad used to make her a gin and tonic and she would cheer right up.
  52. She thinks babies should always have a hat on, my sister and I have been brainwashed to believe the same thing as adults, although we both thought she was crazy when we were younger.
  53. She is a member of a weightloss group called TOPS, but every Tuesday after their weigh-in they eat at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in town, so I don't know how serious they are about losing weight.
  54. She only has one grandchild, so far.
  55. Her grandma name is Grandy.
  56. She falls asleep watching tv, but she and Cricket have TiVo so Cricket has to check to see if she should delete a show they have finished watching.
  57. She really loves pedicures.
  58. She can't get rid of old magazines, I think she still has every Family Circle and Woman's Day since 1972.
  59. She moved into her house in 1977, and it'll take more than an act of congress to remove her from it.
  60. She has a great laugh and it is fun to give her the giggles.
  61. She introduced us to a fabulous breakfast food called Egg In A Frame a long time ago when we were very small, and it remains a family favorite into another generation.
  62. She likes driving a mini-van, though all her kids are grown. She just finds them easier to get in and out of.
  63. She once made seat covers with pillows to match for our '67 Chevy Bel Air out of a cloth print of a Texas road map.
  64. She can drive a stick-shift, and likely learned to do that on a tractor.
  65. 13 years into retirement from teaching, and she still can't stand gum-chewing.
  66. The wedding ring she wore for all the 20 plus years she was married had moons and stars on it. My dad bought it for ten bucks in a bar. I love it.
  67. It took 20 years and 4 colleges to get her degree but she never gave up!
  68. She loves plants and flowers and has a gardener to plant what she wants where she wants. She usually manages to kill houseplants though.
  69. She wore black cat's eye glasses all through the '70s.
  70. She had very easy deliveries with all three of her babies which was thankfully passed on to me.
  71. When her dark brown hair started to turn white back in her 30's she had a white streak near the front that people often thought was done on purpose. I have the same white streak now, but mine is all across the front.
  72. She has had her children under roof for the last 44 years, except for the 4 years Cricket was away at college.
  73. She went for 9 months last year with no knees in her body.
  74. She has no tattoos and I'm not even sure she has ever seen one up close.
  75. She's never been one to take pictures and certainly never be in them, when she does take pictures she never gets them developed.
  76. She didn't get her ears pierced until after I did when I was a teenager. She wanted to borrow all my "cute" earrings.
  77. She doesn't care for swimming but she does walk laps in the pool when her knees allow it.
  78. She is ridiculously frugal about her own needs but very generous with others.
  79. She prefers to pay with cash and especially with correct change.
  80. When she had no knees she invented a new way to get in and out of bed by herself and we had to demonstrate it to all the docs and nurses cause no one believed she could do it until they saw it for themselves.
  81. She wears those big "old lady" sunglasses that fit over your regular glasses and wrap around your face.
  82. She once wore said sunglasses while driving in a tunnel and kept complaining about how dark it was. Cricket and I almost died laughing when we realized what was causing the problem.
  83. When she was able to sit in a chair, she would always let me take a nap in her hospital bed when I'd go visit.
  84. She has fantastic handwriting.
  85. She doesn't like to drive at night, or in the rain.
  86. She loves to play Scrabble.
  87. She buys eggs every single time she gets groceries.
  88. She reads her local newspaper all the way through, every day, including the classified and ads. She even reads circulars for stores that are not nearby.
  89. She loves red shoes and red wallets.
  90. She wears a gorgeous diamond and gold man's ring on her middle finger, that she inherited from her father. It is believed to be a Civil War relic. When she was in the hospital I asked to wear it as a remembrance and because I didn't want it to get lost. Every time I spoke to her on the phone she would ask after the ring.
  91. When she was a child she had a pony named Twinkle.
  92. She gives the best hugs.
  93. She'd rather sit on her own front porch looking at the view than any beach or famous vista you can name. (Preferably with tea, the newspaper and a cat close at hand.)
  94. After she retired she got her Nursing Assistant Certification and began caring for the elderly.
  95. She calls all three of her children Sarah/CAB/Cricket cause she can never remember which name she wants.
  96. She is almost always early.
  97. She adores Golden Seal Magazine.
  98. She dreams of traveling to Italy one day.
  99. She is terrible at remembering names, especially sound-alike names. All through middle school she called half of Cricket's friends Christy. Cricket had no friends named Christy, she had a Kristen and a Kristina, but no Christy. Cricket has NEVER had a friend named Christy.
  100. She thinks of others first to such an extreme that once she was in a terrible three car pileup on the interstate and after she was CUT OUT of her van and put into an ambulance she composed herself enough to call her elderly mother and tell her she'd gotten home safely because she knew that Grandma Urath would be waiting by the phone and watching the time. She later called Cricket who was away at college, she made small talk and asked what Cricket was doing the next day and if she would drive home (2.5 hours) to drive her to her TOPS meeting because people were counting on her as the record keeper and she didn't want to let them down. Cricket had to pry the details of the accident out of her one by one. She tried to downplay it so much she nearly described it as a fender bender. Actually that story is basically Mama in a nutshell.


  1. Frank Buckles is 108 years old. He was born February 1, 1901. He lives down the road from the radio station where I work.

  2. Thanks for the update on Mr. Buckles. I should have looked up his birthdate before I published that. :) I knew that he came to Grandma Urath's 90th birthday party when he was already over 100, but I just couldn't believe he could be more than 105. He drove himself to that party!

  3. What's the frequency of that radio station? AM or FM?? Adult contemporary, Talk/News, or Top 40? Maybe that's his secret!