Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



It's Mom's Birthday

Today is my mother's birthday. She would have been 89. She led a good life, a hard life. She had such a lovely name, Genevieve.

Her early memories were of living in the lumber camps, where Papa's work was still necessary, a blacksmith when it was a dying art. Her mother worked as cook and washerwoman for the lumber company. Their home, less a home than we can imagine, with a shed-porch where she and her brother slept and woke up to snow on the bed, because of the open slats holding up the roof.

She didn't think it was a hard life then. She just thought that was the way life was.

In a way, she worked for the lumber camp herself, setting the long tables with plates and eating utensils. Putting syrup, molasses, salt and home made jams in the center for the pancakes while her mother cooked up the big pans of bacon and eggs fried in their grease.

Once the lumbering dried out, no more trees to cut, you see. They went to live in the house of a relative who took them in. Papa tried to run his smithy there on that Crooked Creeak Road out "in the sticks", as she called it. Papa died when she was nine, at the beginning of the fall of the stock market and the Depression. It made no difference in their lives. They were already poor.

So she could find work as a housekeeper, mother sent her off to live with her older, married sister.

A year later she was brought home to live with Mother and her new Step-Dad.  Suddenly, the poverty was not so oppressive as her mother continued to work in a diner as a cook. Her pies the prize of the county.

Those are just some facts about my Mom's childhood, shared for no particular reason except today is my mother's birthday and these things have come to mind.

The first photo is my mother as an infant with her mother and aunt, and work horse.

Second photo was taken the year Papa died.

The third photo was taken when Genevieve was 14, when times were better.