Today, I sit at my laptop, logged into by remote to my office computer, my i-phone and kindle charging on my desk.
Life was so different while we were growing up.
We had a party line for our phone, when we had a phone; party lines are a great way to keep up on the neighborhood doings. I remember many lovely conversations, overheard as a child. My hand covered the mouthpiece, muting my giggles. Children, (and nosy neighbors) learned how to quietly pick up the phone, and quietly replace the receiver in its cradle. If I did not know what time it was, I would simply pick up the phone, dial O and ask the nice operator.
I remember a old gray washtub, that Mom would bring into the kitchen and fill with hot water for our baths. a privacy blanket over the door, (as the youngest, I was able to bathe first) and going out to the milk house in the cold of a winter night to stand under the cold hose there for a shower, with a little blue kerosene heater to keep us warm, or in the summer, a hose thrown over the clothesline, and showering with our swim suits on.
Mom worked hard to keep our home comfortable. Aluminum foil placed over the windows on sunny summer days to reflect the hot sun away, and the bowls of ice placed in front of the fans for our air conditioning. In the winter Mom would fill mason jars with hot water, wrap them in towels, then we would place them at our feet in bed at night to warm us into sleep.
Flashing back to a time I can only imagine, Mom, 16. just a child herself, newly married, and spending her first wedded year living with a mother in law who scared the beejeez out of her, and then, when dad came home from the service, moving out to a lonely farm in the back 40 acres of Iowa. No running water, no indoor utilities, only a wood stove for heat, pregnant, and working the farm. Mom persevered, as she always did.
She spent her years out there, working hard, bearing children, bringing more children home to us, and raising us all in a tumble up fashion.
In the summers she raised a garden, canned, worked the fields, put up hay, picked corn, had babies (well she had us in the summer, fall winter, and spring really)
Remember, she was still a child herself through much of this; she raised herself while raising us, and she lived, she persevered…
Flashing to another memories, this one I own. Sitting outside of a church under a shady tree, our bible school teacher is telling us about Jesus, showing us a picture of him, tiny, standing atop a green leaf, explaining that he is everywhere, even in a blade of grass.
I have had this view of God and Heaven since that time, everywhere all at once, in us, outside of us.
And that is the vision I have of our Mother, everywhere, inside of us, our hearts, and outside of us as well, a bigger view: Mother as part of Heaven, as part of the universe, on a greater adventure than even her life here, Mother now with Linda, her sisters and brother, her Mother, her soul spirit, all together,
Mom is planning her garden now, carnations, lilies, gladioli, and tomatoes. I am pretty sure a fluffy white kitten has found her way to that garden spot, and sits on Mom’s lap, while she herself sits under a tree, in a comfortable wooden rocker, at her ease, in her glory. Still living, still persevering.