Friday, May 8, 2015

The motherload.

With Mother's Day upon us this weekend I've been thinking a lot about the women who raised me -- which was no small feat.

These are three strong, amazing beauties.
Lee.
This was my Grandma Ewart, my mom's mom. 
Her name was Emma but she apparently didn't like that name.
She changed it to Emily and went by Lee. These things that make me think of her:

  • Cream of Wheat with globs of real butter and heaps of brown sugar.
  • Baking. Christmas cookies. Those peanut butter cookwith the Hershey's Kiss pressed in the middle. Any kind of homemade cookie.
  • Day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches on homemade rolls with mayo and cranberry which were better than dinner the night before.
  • Camping in the Catskills. I only camped with Grandma and Grandpa Ewart in a camper where you slept in the part over the drivers seat. 

Eleanor.
My dads mom, Ella. We spent every Sunday at her house. 
I think of Grandma when I:

  • Hear about or see photos of an old Woolworth's five-and-ten store.
  • Frank Sinatra. She still loves him, sings along with him, and refers to him as "her boyfriend."
  • Card games -- bridge and solitaire. She's 94 and still plays them.
  • The song "Stormy Weather." Belted out at any party, wedding, holiday or opportunity where a microphone was available.

Bonnie.

This is my mom. 
She made me who I am today. I'm very lucky. 
Growing up I remember my mom:

  • Had the Time Magazine cover with John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever on it hanging in her closet.
  • Made every holiday extremely special, especially my birthday.
  • Was home waiting for me when I came home from school.
  • When I was sick and had to stay home she would make me soup and bring it up to me in bed on a little tray. She would also roll in a small, black and white TV so I could watch The Rockford Files while I ate lunch. 
  • Took me to see the "PG" version of Saturday Night Fever in the movie theatre even though my dad was against it. Empathized with me when I didn't get into the million things I tried out for. Made fancy dinners like tomato noodle dandy and beef stroganoff. Drove me everywhere. Doll cakes. Bought me that ESPRIT sailor dress she knew I really wanted. Banana bread. Always cheered for me and was there for me when others weren't. Made our house feel like home to all of my friends. 

I'm lucky that today Mom lives just a few blocks away. Today she loaned me her car because mine is in the shop and we may go for a walk after dinner tonight. 

Grandma Ewart passed away a few years ago, she was able to meet my first born and I was happy to go back for one last Thanksgiving sandwich with her.  

I miss my grandma Ella back in New York. We talk on the phone and she's still sharp as a tack. She likes to try and argue with me about politics. She still calls me "baby." She would sing "Stormy Weather" over the phone anytime if I asked her to. 

I can only hope to be half as smart, helpful, kind, funny and nurturing with my boys as these women were with me.

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