As I wrote the date today I realized that it is my mom’s birthday. She died in 2008. Here are some photos as I’d like to remember her instead of the the shell of a person taken by Alzheimer’s.Mom (long before I was born) and her brother, Walt, who was the youngest of the four siblings and died just last month.Another from “the old days”. Mom was a WAC during WW2.My brother and I were born in San Francisco and lived there until 1965.
We moved to Sonoma County, CA near Cotati in 1965 and Mom had the place until sometime in the late 70’s.Raising us as a divorced “older” mother (having kids at age 38 & 40) Mom faced personal challenges. It was an additional challenge to move from San Francisco to “the country”. We lived on 2-1/2 acres in what I remember as a fabulous old house (the termites and drafts and well problems didn’t bother us kids) and mom encouraged–enabled–us to learn a love of the outdoors and animals. She had no experience with livestock but through 4-H I raised dairy heifers and eventually a milk cow. My brother raised sheep……and when he left for college Mom, who had always knit and learned to spin around that time, had her own small flock of sheep.Mom on the front steps of our house with Murka, named after a dog in a book called Thanks to Noah by George Papashvily. (It’s amazing how things come back to you. Seeing this photo made me remember that book. I just googled it, guessing at a spelling for that last name, found it on Amazon, and bought it!) This photo is probably from the late 60’s.During those years in Cotati, Mom turned her pottery hobby into a business (sound familiar?) and supported us by selling pottery and teaching.Although she made mostly functional high-fire pieces (plates, mugs, teapots, etc) she liked to make some more artistic raku pieces. I remember her pulling the fiery hot pots from the kiln, plunging them into a metal bucket full of straw, and quickly covering with a lid. Mom and her friend, Ursula, collaborated on some fountains. This is at our back door. I was just thinking that this photo is kind of like me with my Farm Club and spinner friends. Yikes! Mom is younger in most of these photos than I am now. By the way, I found this on the wall at the Barinaga Sheep Dairy in Marin County a few years ago and I am sure that it is one of Ursula’s pieces. This isn’t much of a photo but it is probably typical (and reminds me of my desk now except for the typewriter). Two cats on the desk. Clutter. That’s mom’s foray into stained glass in the window.This is mom with her five grandchildren taken probably about 1997 or so. That’s my three on the left and my brother’s kids on the right.
I’m glad I have these photos to fall back on when I think of mom’s last years.