Thursday, September 08, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom

September 9th is my mom's birthday. She has been riding this rock since 1928...as has my Dad, but this is her story. She's not a computer girl and won't read this, but I wanted to share a little bit about her...

Mom grew up in the coal stuffed mountains of western Pennsylvania. As a little girl, she REALLY did walk to school through a couple miles of snow. After a world war and college, she moved to Florida with some girl friends to teach. At the St. Augustine post office, she met a handsome mail clerk who flirted with her on each visit. It worked.

She has been married to that mail guy for over 50 years and they still live in the house they built in 1957. She's tough. She's raised 2 boys. She taught 2nd grade for 30+ years. She's been through a few hurricanes, including Dora which wrecked much of St. Augustine back in the sixties. She didn't allow my dad to install air conditioning until about 5 years ago. "I like my fresh air", she'd say, as we listened to the drone of the neighbors A/C units. " How can you hear the birds with your house all closed up?"

To this day, I credit her with my high tolerance for heat and humidity.

She allowed an incredible menagerie of critters to pass through the house. A long sequence of dogs, many garter snakes, ratsnakes, turtles, baby birds, lizards, tadpoles, fish,rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and one baby gray squirrel. She did draw the line when I brought home a 3 foot long alligator. He went to the alligator farm.

When she was younger and the beaches were emptier, she would surf fish for hours while we played, fished , and swam around her. She loved to catch whiting and we spent most of our family time on the beaches of St. Augustine.

"The bull whiting always run in September, just when I have to go back to school" , she'd lament as the August calendar ran out.

According to her rules, "Shut Up" was swearing and you did not swear in our family. I know the taste of a bar of soap...but the lesson stuck, and we don't swear in my house either.

She never learned to drive and still doesn't, but she did make sure that the driver (Dad) took us all over Florida. We hit everything and had a great time doing it.

Tomorrow morning, Dad will make her breakfast in bed and tease her about her age. His birthday follows just 2 weeks behind, but for those 2 weeks, she is a year older and he does not let her forget it.

She likes to say, " Well , you know my birthday is the peak of hurricane season and there's always a storm approaching on my birthday."

Hurricane Ophelia is pounding the beaches of St. Augustine as I write this on the eve of her birthday.

...Right again Mom.


Happy Birthday!

8 comments:

the Contrary Goddess said...

Please wish her a very happy birthday from another of coalfield stock!

Hick said...

What a wonderful tribute. Your story explains much about you. Your mama didn't raise no slacker. Happy Birthday Mama FC.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Hope your mom has a wonderful birthday. I just heard that Ophelia veered east away from the Florida coast. A calm weather birthday present from the skies!

roger said...

happy birthday floridacracker's mom. your son's fine character is a testimony to your own.

Deb said...

It sounds like she knows what's important in life. Happy birthday to her!

swamp4me said...

Now that is the kind of post a mother of two sons like to read...

Happy Birthday Mother of FC!!!

thingfish23 said...

Ditto for me, Mama FC. Happy Birthday (now belated).

Floridacracker said...

Thank you all,
I just got back from celebrating her birthday and we did manage to spoil her for a day. Thank you again for your kind comments.