Libby and I have have traveled together so much that I believe we could pack with our eyes closed no matter where we are headed. Traveling to Minnesota for Mom’s funeral is a little more difficult when the average temperature will range from 0-15. But we are ready.
There is one thing doesn’t take up a lot of space in your suitcase… your memories. When you are fortunate enough to have your Mom 91 years, you have a lot of memories to chose from when you look back on her life.
As the oldest son, I left the farm heading for college in Minneapolis in 1963. At that time, Mom and Dad did not have in-door plumbing or a television on the farm. The privy was behind the house and in the deep snow and cold, it seemed like a long walk. Even further away was the well. Water to drink was hauled into the house in 4 gallon pails from the well. A life of physical labor.
News was available from KWLM, a Willmar radio station on AM Radio that sat on top of the refrigerator. Not much time for news anyway as the 240 acres of land needed tilling, the cows, pigs, chickens and ducks, needed food and care along with four kids. Guess who did a good part of that physical work? Yep, that little 5’2” Mom. Yes, she could drag a full 10 gallon milk can to the cold water tank to cool after she got done milking the 10 cows.
I could go on and on but this memory shows how hard she worked during her life. She never complained as she was the help mate for her husband who worked just as hard as she did.
Her life slowly got less physical as the kids got older and could help her with the “chores.” Running water and even a toilet was installed. A milking machine for the cows even came later and milking by hand disappeared.
The high-light of Mom and Dad’s life was their yearly vacation to Dead Lake. It started out as four days and ended up being a full week. Early on, the vacation was a competition of seeing how many northern pike Dad and Uncle Joe could catch and the family could eat. Mom and Aunt Ruthie’s vacation was not a luxury affair. They cooked every meal for nine kids and 4 adults and kept the nine kids from drowning and injuring themselves. Vacation in those days. Wonder if heaven has a luxury Dead Lake vacation available?