Wednesday, May 14, 2014


This post is about Mother's Day. Tom and I went home to my mother's farm. Memories of growing up in the fifties and sixties and how everything has changed in the interim years come together in one big tidal wave of relatives. Bittersweet, for sure. The older ones (that includes me) remember how we used to be just like the younger ones. In other words, we were young back then. Nowadays, holidays bring my siblings, cousins, nieces, great-nieces, nephews and great-nephews, plus respective spouses, all to the gathering nest of my mother, once home to me, my brothers and sister.

My mom has a specialty dish that everyone wants served on holiday occasions. Mom makes homemade spaghetti sauce, a recipe my great uncle brought from Italy when he was only a lad of twelve. I know the younger ones don't remember my uncle Virgie (married to my grandmother's sister), but I do. Uncle Virgie was a short, rather portly man with a cigar always in his mouth. Whenever I smell a cigar even today, I think of him. At any rate, mom's interpretation of Uncle Virgie's sauce is amazing and filled with memories.

As you can see, the food spread out on the counter is a feast. Everyone dives into the buffet, takes their place at the table or outside patio table and digs in. Conversations overlap each other, memories float in the air, younger kids dart around the tables, for sure making their own memories of my mother's farmhouse and grounds.

My mother is happy when she is feeding people. Although eighty-seven, she is smiling and working around the kitchen like a mother hen gathering in her family with the love of food. I'm amazed by her stamina and ability to put together holiday feasts. Of course, I must interject that my sister, Barb, helped my mom in the kitchen the day before Mother's Day, in making the sauce and meatballs (my mouth is still watering just thinking about the sauce and meatballs).

The "kids" or "the cousins" are mostly in their thirties now, with children of their own. I caught this photograph of them walking in the yard toward my brother's house next door. I love this shot, because in my mind's eye, I remember them as small children, riding bikes or playing outside at my mother's house. When did they grow up? Jeez, I feel really old, seeing them as young, beautiful adults, raising families of their own.

In the afternoon, mom had bought flats of flowers for everyone to pot a plant, the little ones especially getting a kick out of putting their hands into the dirt and planting their own special arrangement.

Another Mother's Day has passed and more memories are recorded for future reference, future conversations, future laughs and chuckles and bonding of family. Always the stories, always the laughter.

The "laughing story" of this Mother's Day was how my niece's cat accidentally jumped into the open microwave oven after my sister pulled out a warming dish. Someone else came by the microwave and shut the door. Unbeknownst to them, the cat had decided to check out the inside of the microwave. Don't worry. The cat didn't get baked. Ronan, my niece's son, pulled up a stool to eat his dinner and saw the cat's face looking at him from the other side of the microwave. Thank goodness. Funny things happen in families. This story, I'm sure will be told for generations to come.

Sherry Hartzler is the author of Three Moons Over Sedona, Island Passage, and Chasing Joe, available on

1 comment:

  1. Sher,
    I see where your nurturing and love of home and family comes from. Your childhood home reminds me of your beautiful cabin in the woods built with love of family and roots firmly planted. Such a sweet place. Loved all the photos. Thanks for sharing.