Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Mom musings


I’ve been missing my mom the past week or so even more than usual. Those of us with moms who are gone miss them every day, but sometimes the ache is just more profound.

A little poppy from our wildflower bed, in early morning light.

I’ve found myself wanting to give her a call. To ask her how she did so much with all of us when some days I don’t seem to get anything done at all.

I wonder how she kept her gardens up. I don’t have any memories of her weeding, though she had gardens in our house in Adrian, and again in Howell, and then in Alabama. I can’t keep up with the gardens we have, and I don’t have nearly the responsibilities she did when we were growing up.

The coreopsis lifts it’s face to the sun.

And meals. I know I’ve talked about this before, but how in the world did she manage to get a meal (or two) on the table for six of us every single day? I know we took it for granted and often asked her what was for dinner. I don’t remember ever reacting negatively to her reply, but just the question alone placed all the responsibility on her and she must have felt that weight.

Mama? I’ll wait right here while you take those pictures and think about your Mom.

When we were older, did we ever make a meal for the family? Sometimes on Sunday we’d make the coffee cake for evening supper. Wow, what a relief she must have felt, ey? One meal during the week where we made something, though I imagine she was there to supervise. I don’t remember ever working in the kitchen that she wasn’t there too.

The zinnia stands up straight and tall.

And let’s not even start talking about laundry. Though I remember knowing how to do laundry at an early age, I also remember mom sitting on the sofa with six growing piles of folded underwear surrounding her as she tried to match all the socks. It seemed to be never ending.

Just beginning to emerge.

I know we had Saturday chores, the vaccuuming and cleaning the bathrooms and probably a whole lot more that I can’t remember. I know the list on Saturday of things we had to get done before we could go off and do whatever kids did back then seemed long.

But I doubt it was that lengthy, and nowhere near the list she handled every day. Stuff we took for granted. Stuff we took for granted her entire life.

Red lantana can brighten anybody’s day.

I remember her finally coming down to the family room in the evening after she finished whatever chore she had attacked at the end of the day. We’d all be down there watching the big bulky television and she’d settle on the sofa between a couple kids, or next to dad.

And she’d instantly fall asleep, in what I realize now, was sheer exhaustion.

Light folds into the lilly blossoms.

She’d wake up at the commercials, because, as some of you may recall, they’d be louder than the television show they sponsored. She used to say all she ever saw on television were the commercials.

Once upon a time I thought she and dad were too old to up and move across the country when they were fifty, leaving everything they knew behind. Now I’m fifteen years older than they were then and I don’t think it’s odd at all to contemplate and even accomplish such an adventure.

So much glorious color at this time of the year makes me smile.

Mom and dad had plenty of adventures, both when we were kids, and after we had left home. But I think of those early years with all four of us and dad to take care of and I don’t know how she did it.

There are smiles everywhere you look.

I hope she knows that I recognize her work now and wish I had expressed that to her all those years ago.

I guess today is Mother’s Day in my heart.

It’s OK, mama. I think she knew.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

36 thoughts on “Mom musings

  1. Hugs. I never stop missing my mom 💔


  2. Oh, this sounds so much like my family. 5 kids and Mom and Dad. Dad worked at the office; Mom stayed home. It was a full-time job. Probably more than full-time. I know that, at some point in my teens, I had to start doing my own laundry. It was a mystery to me at first, but really it was one of the simplest chores I probably had to do then.

    You capture an essence of Traditional Moms’ lives. And flowers: My mom loved to garden, too. Thanks for the beautiful images and equally beautiful musings.

    Miss my mom, too.


  3. Your parents embodied “The Greatest Generation.”


  4. My mother still out-gardens me and she’s in her 70s. I haven’t seen her in over 2 years because of covid. When Canada eventually reopens their borders, I hope she can come down and show me how to prune my fruit trees again!


  5. Sweet memories and I agree how did Mom do it all? I’m one of six and she worked so hard. What a wonderful, beautiful post with all those flowers which I just adore. Thanks for sharing and I’m thinking of my Mom too! Sending warm hugs to all our moms here and watching over us all! ❤️


  6. Hmm, every day seems to be Pawthers or Mutters Day. You remember wise words, positive encouragement from your pawrents.

    Gemini, Normandy, & Dog Dad


  7. Lovely memories, reminded me of my mom too. 4 kids, and dinner on the table every night, laundry never ending, food shopping for all those meals, ironing, the list goes on. And she made alot of my clothes too. The world was different then, most families I know now need 2 incomes to survive, and those who do not have “help” for the mundane tasks. A new world, different, but not better in my eyes.


    • Yes, the grocery shopping and putting away all those items when she got home was one of her least favorite things. She always called us all in to help put away the groceries. I think of her when I’m doing that now days.


  8. That one made me a bit teary. A sweet sadness.


  9. Aw, such beautiful memories and thoughts about your mom. I’m with you in wondering how she did it with 6 mouths to feed! I suspect, at least for me, there were fewer distractions to take up her time? If I didn’t have a computer, or a camera to play with, I may just get my cleaning done LOL! But dust always returns, so it is never really done is it? Same with cooking, cleaning, and gardening. Your photos are gorgeous as always – I love all the colors you captured! Hugs to you!


  10. I’m with Katie — I think she knew, too. Your mom sounds much like my late aunt, who raised three kids while working full time. I never saw a speck of dirt in her house! That lantana is gorgeous — I must remember to try to find some for next year. Don’t be too hard on yourself, Dawn. We could go on and on about the things you *do* accomplish, things your mom didn’t have a chance to tackle (agility competitions, camping, photography, blogging, painting, music, etc.), right?!?


    • I know she knew…but I wish we had all expressed it more directly. And yes, she was happy I was playing in the community band, and my folks even came to one rehearsa many many years ago. She was a good photographer and a great painter too, so she got to do fun stuff along with all the drudgery.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, this post just resonates with me. My mom is never far from my thoughts. Sending hugs for you and your mom too! xoxo


  12. Beautiful and heartfelt! Funny, but I was thinking exactly the same thing as what you wrote in this post. How my mother did all that she did is a mystery to me.


  13. My husband and I were talking recently about how we had Saturday morning chores, and how that doesn’t seem to be the way it is now with kids. We both had to do our share of work before we could go outside and play. My mother made all the meals, too. She loved cooking but I don’t know if she thought it was a burden or an opportunity. Maybe both?


    • I don’t think my mom loved cooking, except probably when she was getting ready for all her ‘kids’ to come home in the last 10 years or so of her life, after she was retired, and when she didn’t see us very often.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Living on a farm we had daily chores inside and outside. I hated Saturday chores that took all day long and sometimes Sunday was busy before and after Church and to Grandmas for lunch. I helped do laundry and get meals. I was always envious of a friend who lived in town…she didn’t havre near the chores I did, she had to clean her room and her bathroom!


  15. Sounds like my mom too. There were six kids in my family and, when I was about 12, she went back to work. Imagine maintaining the house and making meals when you work. Dad did help with meals but Mum did most of the desserts and all the special stuff at Christmas. I have a hard time figuring out meals just for me. I miss both my parents.


    • I bet you do miss them both. It’s hard to believe sometimes that they’re all gone. I can’t imagine having six children and a job outside the home! Good for dad helping with meals. My dad never did that until it was just the two of them. Go figure, right? I think by then he had figured out he had a good thing going. I have a really hard time figuring out meals. Your meals always look so elegant and tasty too!


  16. I’m sure she knew too. You made me smile with the idea of her having to match six sets of socks and her only ever hearing the adverts. I’m sorry you’ve been missing her even more than usual and hope spending time writing so lovingly about her helped.


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