Another Mothers’ Day Without Mom

Mamacita says: I cherished my mother, and would give anything if she were still here so I could bring midnight cake and flowers and perfume and dinner and new shoes to her, still. If your mother was less than perfect, you don’t have to feel as I do. It’s not a contest.

If your mother is gone, for whatever reason, you aren’t obligated to mourn, but if you feel like mourning, then do so. I miss my mother every day, but if you don’t miss yours, that’s okay. Not everybody is as lucky as I am, with their mothers. And sometimes, the same mother is viewed differently by different offspring. That’s okay, too.

But I think you all already knew that my relationship with my mother was wonderful. We had our differences, and she could be quirky (good think I’m not) but I appreciated her care of me all my life, and I was glad to care for her those last few years.

She was always there when I needed her.

Mom was a nurturer, and I benefited greatly from that. Nobody is perfect, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Perfection is a done deal, and relationships are ongoing and ever-changing, not a done deal.

I miss my mom. And when I’m feeling down, I miss my mommy. I don’t need a special day to think of her, but if some of you do, that’s okay, too.

Even if a mother was not all she should have been. . . even if a mother was abusive. . . . even if a mother was absent too much. . . . even if a mother was a drunk, or a druggie, or a whore. . . . think hard. There is something to love in spite of all that. And if there isn’t, that’s her fault, not yours. I loved my mother. I hope there is someone in your life, whether it’s a mother, father, aunt, uncle, neighbor, whoever, who made you feel like my mom made me feel.

And if you still can’t think of anybody, come on over.

Phyllis Grogan Byers, my beautiful mom.

Again, Leave Your Sleeping Teens ALONE

Bad Mom

Mamacita says: I just read another post wherein moms were adamant that their teens NEVER got to sleep in. They got up early every single morning, by gosh and by golly, and had chores to do. Apparently, chores that couldn’t be done later. Getting up early builds character. Only lazy people sleep in the morning. And also apparently, adults in their house were not allowed to sleep in, either. People got up early in the morning because people were supposed to get up early in the morning so by the great horn spoon, EVERYBODY should get up early in the morning. Etc.

I thought a lot of things about these moms but the main thought I thought about them was how grateful, genuinely grateful, I am that none of those women was MY mom. My mom was a GOOD mom. She understood that three of her four kids were wired for the night. Left on our own, in a perfect world, we are creatures of the night.

Somehow, in spite of our slovenly, lazy ways, we managed to earn our own livings, raise our own children, some of whom are also night owls, and live productively in spite of not willingly adhering to the horror of the dawn except when absolutelhy necessary. She herself always got up early, but unless we had to go to school or a job, or had an appointment, she let us sleep. Parents who don’t, are not good parents. Bring it on.

My 37-Year-Old Sourdough Starter

Mamacity says: I took my 37-year-old sourdough starter out of the freezer and fed it. It’s still bubbling after all these years. When I stopped baking bread for local restaurants, I started keeping my starter in the freezer, taking it out and feeding it mostly before holidays or reunions. I last used it for Thanksgiving 2021. If you treat it right, it will never go bad, and the older it gets, the better it is. Kind of like. . . us.

Poachers & Hunters & Trespassers, Oh My

Mamacita says: We used to live out in the country in a big house we hired Amish workers to build. We raised our children there, and loved the house and the property. In back of the house was a lovely big woods, large old trees, and a creek full of geodes.

We built a fire ring back there for our kids and their friends, and they often camped in the woods. HOWEVER. We had to put a stop to the camping because of the poachers and trespassers. Apparently, “woods” means “hunting” to a lot of people, and they do not understand what “private property,” “posted,” and “trespassing” mean.

We tore down several deer stands, and shouted these morons out of our woods so. many. times. Usually the poachers ran away when we approached, but sometimes they stood their ground and insisted that where there were woods, there was implied permission to hunt.

We encouraged the deer – set out salt blocks, etc, for them. Sometimes there were over a dozen deer resting on our basketball court. They were so bold with us, they didn’t even run away when we walked to our car and opened the doors. We were often awakened by the sound of dozens of deer running across our yard to the cornfield across the road.

I hated every hunter who trespassed on our land. I would have gladly seen all of them behind bars.

Was I too harsh? I think not. Poachers and trespassers are scum. (They also stole all our mushrooms and strawberries every spring.) What’s the deal with these kinds of people? They are thieves. Criminals. Is there a defense? I don’t think so. (Still holding a grudge.) (We also had problems with people stealing entire trees – a so-called preacher, in fact.)

I love people, but some people defy being loved. I suppose those people need love the most, but holy cow. So unlovable. Nasty pieces of work, they are. I hope the people who now live in our house don’t have these problems, but I’d bet money, if I had any, that they do. Sigh. Poachers and trespassers. . . . bah.

Abridgements are the Devil

Mamacita says: When I was in the second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Herod (I adored her) introduced me to the world of unabridged fairy tales, for which I thank her profusely almost daily. The stories were dark, forbidding, forboding, creepy, horrifying, cannibalistic, violent, bloody, and absolutely wonderful. And then she read some Hans Christian

Anderson tales to us, and I went home and wept all night. How heartbreaking could a story BE? The Little Match Girl. The Fir Tree. The Little Mermaid. The Steadfast Tin Soldier. And more. I couldn’t wait to go to the public library and check out a book of unabridged fairy tales, and unabridged Anderson tales. No watered-down Disney version could ever compete; those versions are a category unto themselves, but that category is NOT an actual fairy tale.

But I digress, and you really don’t want to get me started on the abridged, edited version of ANYTHING because abridgements are of the devil. Anyhoot, unabridged fairy tales rock, and nobody can beat Hans Christian Anderson for stories that break your heart, and I mean into kazillions of pieces. They’re just that good.

Shopping Carts: Return or Not To Return

Mamacita says: I just read a post wondering if returning one’s shopping cart was a viable test of ethics. I vote “yes.”

I returned my cart in the pouring rain, over ice and snow in the lot, with broken ankles whilst balancing on crutches, with babies, with toddlers, with children of all ages, with severe breathing problems, with arthritis, with muscular dystrophy eating away at my balance, and with two massive heart attacks in one year under my belt. Or above it, as the case may be.

My point? I don’t believe the excuses.

Other ethics tests? Not using turn signals, the “20 items” line with 21 items, handicapped parking spots (just running in for a minute), full stops at stop signs, driving over the speed limit, joining a drive-through line that extends out into the street, giving a complicated special order in the drive-through line, being rude to service sector employees, and not leaving a store immediately when your child starts to have a temper tantrum. Add to this people who hoard vital supplies, cheat (cheat at Candyland? Will probably cheat on taxes and spouse.) refuse to mask up, don’t believe in vaccines, and cherish Fox “News.” That latter might be more of an IQ test than an ethics test, but sometimes the two blend so thoroughly, it’s hard to tell the difference.

To go out in public at all is a risk and shouldn’t be done unless absolutely necessary now, but to go out in public socially, for no actual reason, and to do so without regard for the safety and lives of others should be a crime.