Sunday, May 25, 2008

For Mom


She loved the fragrance of Magnolia trees in bloom. She didn’t have Magnolias in the city but I remember her stories of growing up on a farm with them, taller and wider than her two-story house.

It’s been two years today since she left us. I vividly remember her voice, still. It’s strange how I need to glance at her photo now and then to remember her face that well.


Young Mary “Helen”

Living in the city since she turned eighteen, she was always a farm girl at heart. Now I wish we all appreciated her stories while she was alive…the horse that exploded from over-indulging in the feed (eyes wide, we wondered, “exploded?!?”), nasty geese, slopping the hogs, snakes in the fireplace, her thirty-six cats, handling a shotgun well, and working the farm with her four brothers and sisters before and after school, everyday, without a holiday. Times were hard in the 30s and 40s. We were never exposed to such a life, so it was difficult to imagine what it must have been like to work and live on a farm, as we were surrounded by asphalt and concrete, a few patches of grass, and inhaled transit bus fumes instead of Magnolia blossoms. Oh, she tried hard to open our minds and share her past with us. What she never knew was that I remember everything she said.

Mom watched birds and knew what bird what show up in the maple out back at four in the afternoon. We watched Blue Jays often and once she told me a story about Bluebirds on the farm, describing how beautiful they were in a freshly plowed field before the sun set. I was in my forties before I saw one.

I can’t count the number of times she harped on me during my adulthood, “You need to find a way to relax, do something for yourself, find a hobby, and use your creative side.” She was an avid reader and writer.

Regret!!! I’m too darned late - bitten by the photography/blog bug six months after she was gone and I could kick myself.

She would have loved it here at Mary’s View, so this series of photos is dedicated to her today…

The Bluebirds eat mealworms out of one of my Corelle salad bowls.



How many mealworms can a Bluebird hold?



Mom liked Zinnias. Now I'm off to plant some Zinnias I bought today.


Cheryl said...

Mary...Your Mum is sitting on a cloud and looking down, she has a smile on her face.

Best wishes.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A lovely tribute to your Mom.

BJ said...

That was a beautiful tribute to your mom. She was such a gorgeous one in that photo. I love that you wrote, "I remember everything that she said". And it seems like you remember plenty! What a lovely story you told here.

I love the fragrance of Magnolia trees myself. I haven't the opportunity to see or smell one recently. But I'm gonna keep my eyes open looking for them.

And thanks for sharing your memories with all of us.

NCmountainwoman said...

She knows, Mary. She knows.

BJ said...

Mary - I would love to e-mail you if you are okay with giving out your e-mail address. This is just unbelieveable that you lived here in Bel Air too! The next time you are here, I would love to meet for coffee or lunch! Looking forward to hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mary! She knows! Enjoy the zinnias!

Texas Travelers said...

this was was a wonderful post. It brought back a lot of good memories.
Thanks for sharing this.

I try to visit regularily,
but don't alway leave comments.
Too many good blogs,
so little time.

Alaska Sunday is posted.
Come visit,
Troy and Martha

Beth said...

Oh Mary, your mother must have been very special. Thanks for sharing a bit of her with us.

Anonymous said...

Mary, Such a wonderful tribute to you mother and those are some stunning Bluebird pictures! She would have been very proud!

Wendy said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Oh, I'm sure she knows that you have found your creative passion.
My Mom also died in May. It's been 10 years and I still miss her.
I love the bluebird photos. Lucky you. I have a bluebird house in my backyard, but no bluebirds yet.

NatureWoman said...

Your Mom would love your blog and photos very much, Mary! I was thinking about my Dad's voice today. I was going to take a video of him and my Mom after I got back from Arizona, if only I did before then, argh! I have pictures hanging where I can see him at least once a day, not that I'd ever forget, that is.

Annie in Austin said...

Your posts are always good, Mary, but this one is more than good. What a great photo of your mom, showing how beautiful she was, but allowing the mischievous part of her to shine, too. My mom's stories were not of exploding horses and farms, but of hardscrabble city life during the Great Depression - we love to retell them, too.

May the zinnias bloom and bloom for you!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Michele said...

Mary, your blog is absolutely beautiful... your mother is smiling down on you today at these wonderful bluebirds... absolutely stunning!!! Very impressive.
The Rocky Mountain Retreat

JeanMac said...

Oh, Mary, how touching. She'd be happy with your wonderful photography skills. What a nice tribute to her.

Susie said...

Dear Mary,
I'm sure your Mom is smiling down from above. I totally understand about having to look at photos to picture her face. I love to dream about my Mom, as then I hear her voice and see her too.
May your memories comfort you today.

Debbie said...

Lovely entry, Mary. I'm sure your mom would be pleased.

Mary C said...

A lovely tribute to your Mom, Mary. Thanks for sharing it with us.

The Quacks of Life said...


ta for that mine would have enjoyed the bluebirds.


Jayne said...

What a lovely tribute Mary. I am sure your mom would be (and is) smiling today at your blog entry. Love your marvelous photos of the bluebird with beak full of mealworms!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

The answer appears to be: seven?

My mom's gone, too--here, but gone--if that can be.
And with the regrets that always follow with age, is a realization of how we grow.

Never there, always arriving.
Know that she is watching.

Rose said...

A lovely tribute to your Mom, Mary. I think Cheryl's comment said it best.

The bluebird photos are so much fun--I've never seen a bluebird here in Illinois, at least they haven't come to visit me.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a lovely post! I LOVE the bluebird pictures! I wish they had chosen my nesting place too. Maybe next year.

entoto said...

All your photos are stunning today, Mary. Your prose is a lovely tribute to your mother. In her portrait, I see you. What a fantastic picture to have, you are so lucky.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I know exactly how you feel, wishing your mom could see what you're up to now.

I have to believe my dad can see my kids somehow.

My mom likes zinnias and the smell of magnolias, too. I could just bury my face in that first photo! We had one in our yard in Richmond. Smell them for me?

Susan Gets Native said...

Thoughtful. Deep. Lovely.
That's you, Mary.
And your mom was so cute! Love that hand under her chin!

Nora said...

Your Mom is probably somehow smiling at you and knowing that you are loving photography and that you have found a creative home here at Mary's View... I always think that those whom we have lost are not far away and are angels smiling down at us...she knows....

Anonymous said...

Great Tribute Mary.

You certainly are "Your Mother's Daughter", you look just like her.

RuthieJ said...

Sounds like your mom was a pretty special lady, Mare. I'm sure she was very proud of you. Even though she's gone, she passed her appreciation of nature on to you and now you're passing it on to Gina.

TR Ryan said...

I can't stop thinking about this post. Its stayed with me for days. It is very special. Your tribute is a tribute to all moms and an important reminder for those lucky enough to still have one with us to cherish these moments. I had to jump in the car and go hug my mom. While I still can. Thanks for reminding me. Beautiful!

Larry said...

Lovely photo of your Mom and a nice tribute.It seems like her influence is still guiding you.

Mel said...

Miles de besos para ti y tu mamá. Ella te está mirando desde el cielo :)

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I love your Mother.
I know she loves you too!
Zinnias are perfect flowers.
Thank you for sharing your Mom.
I miss mine too.