I took a music box down from the shelf today. I wound it and as the song, “Memories,” played, so did many recollections of my mother and me.
Peaches and Cream, My Mother and Me
It started with the time she and I rode the Empire Builder to the West Coast. I was 5 and the train had barely rolled out of the station when Mom surprised me with a gift – a beautiful doll to keep me content on the three day rail journey. I immediately fell in love with that doll. We named her Peaches and Cream because of her peachy creamy complexion. I don’t know what ever happened to Peaches and Cream, but I still think of her and cherish a photo of me holding her with my mother by my side.
Then for some strange reason, I saw my apron-clad mother mixing the ingredients for bread in the huge bread pan she used for all of 70 years. When she punched down and kneaded that dough, that pan spun around like a top on the kitchen table in our farm house. I mean it was fast! Almost speedy enough to generate a “whirrrrr,” like tops do. Among my souvenirs – that beat up old bread pan.
Just a minute. The music stopped. Wind! Wind! OK. We’re back in business.
My thoughts turned to the day I accidently mowed down Mom’s prized black walnut tree with the David Bradley sickle mower. I couldn’t make it stop. She was so proud of that tree. It was well on its way to greatness and then zap, it was felled like a small but mighty oak. Mom didn’t even holler at me. I think I cried.
Nor did she become unglued when I spilled ruby red ink on the new gray living room carpet and drapes. She just raced for a bucket of water and towels and I do believe she got most of it out of the carpet. Luckily, the drapes had red flowers so whatever ink remained on them wasn’t that noticeable.
I have several things that once were my mothers. I treasure each and every one of them right down to her old metal sugar scoop that now is at home in my sugar canister and her berry spoon which dished up many a tasty raspberry from our patch.
But perhaps what I hold most dear is Mom’s white and worn prayer book with a gold cross on the front. My sister gave it to her for Mother’s Day in 1958. Inside the front page, in her handwriting is this: Genesis 31:49. “The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from the other.” She probably prayed that scripture verse with all of her children in mind until she died seven years ago at the age of 98.
The music has stopped once again and it’s time for the box to go back on the shelf. I gave Mom this music box, a ceramic creamy colored carousel horse that’s trimmed in gold and adorned with petite pink and yellow roses and tiny green leaves. Mom took excellent care of this — one of my gifts to her. It has not one chip or a crack anywhere. Not even one little rose is wilted. Peaches and Cream would love it. I wonder where she is!
Beside the horse and down near the bottom are the words, “My Mother, My Memories.”
Yes, indeed – on this Mother’s Day 2010.