"Simple like an uncarved block."
Tao te Ching

"Like an acorn that holds the promise of a thousand forests."

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Bill and Juanita, 1940
I know it's Mother's Day, but I can't remember one parent without the other. They are a matched set in my memory. They were both elegant as well as the salt of the earth. Graceful and full of fun. I will probably use these pictures again in June to honor my Dad.
Mother was stylish on a budget and made our clothes and we always looked good on Sunday at church or on the streetcar going downtown to shop. In my childhood I remember that she always wore a hat and gloves to complete her ensemble.
She was a Tennessee country girl who went to Detroit to earn enough money to send some back to her mom to support the younger brothers and sisters. There were 11 children in the family and Mother was the oldest daughter and the fourth child. She worked as a general maid and housekeeper for a well-to-do lawyer and his invalid wife. The lady keep a very elegant home and taught Mother how to manage and entertain in a fancier style than Mother had ever thought to imagine outside of novels and the movies. When Mother had her own home she always managed touches of elegance and refinement that she felt was appropriate for our lifestyle.
My whole life is defined by my mothers faith in God and her love of family. She read poetry to me and since she was so sentimental she would read poems of childhood such as Little Boy Blue, The Old Oaken Bucket, Rock Me to Sleep, Mother and so many other tearjerkers. She'd cry and so I would cry. We were a sight.! Today when I cry at a corny commercial on T.V. I invoke my mother's spirit and say Hello, Mother, come cry with me.
Mother had the knack for extending friendship. When she died at least five different women came to me and told me that Juanita had been her very best friend. I think my mother's finest attributes jumped a generation and her only granddaughter, my daughter "Aisling" has shown me the same lovely nature that I beheld in my mother.

Bill and Juanita, 1990

For other strolling stories visit The Quiet Country House.


Aisling said...


You should have told me to get out an entire box of kleenix; not just my hankie. I loved reading your recollections about Grandma. I'd love to think I'm something like her. Thank you for saying so, and of course, for passing those qualities along to me.

much love,

One Woman's Journey said...

Beautiful story. We have a lot in common. I was born in Tennessee and my parents went to Detroit for work - then they moved back to Tennessee and I did also after I married. Your story made me smile.

Cloudhands said...

I have a picture of you and the boys above my computer. It makes me smile. It is there to remind me of the elements we have all stirred into our pot. Each of us giving a different flavor to the stew we have created with our stone soup.

Cloudhands said...

I appreciate your stopping by today. We honor our mothers by rmemebering how they shaped our lives. I have many friends whose folks went to Detroit and retired back here. We were blessed by our friendships and our common heritage.

Everydaywoman said...

What a lovely story of your mother on this Mother's Day and what a high compliment that Aisling bears these same wonderful qualities! I'm sure they came by way of you! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Cloudhands said...

Thank you for your kind words. I will have to write more Mother stories. She was a wonderful person.

Christy said...

Great story, love it. Happy mothers day to you, my friend.

ASouthernSunset said...

What a BEAUTIFUL story, and so moving. Thank you for sharing. Happy Mother's Day.

Tabbie said...


Mibsy said...

What wonderful memories and beautiful photographs!

Cloudhands said...

Christy, Thank you for coming by and commenting.

Yaya, How nice to see you here. I'm glad you liked meeting my mother.

Tabbie, Hugging you right back. Can't get to many, ever.

Mibsy, I also think my parents looked wonderful in their 20's and also their 70's. Thanks for coming by.