As I've noted before, Mother's Day is not one I have reason to celebrate, my own mother being gone many years now and me not having any kids of my own. Yet in this last week the surprise emergence of blooms at my new abode of little more than 6 months has brought thoughts of my mother to the forefront. She loved flowers, especially wildflowers, and knew most of their names. She seemed eager each year to get out for the Sunday drives in the countryside or off on weekend camping trips to see the blooms emerge. She especially delighted in her children bringing her offerings of flowers found on their explorations of the woods surrounding our home. So when I discovered wild syringa blooming all up and down the wooded area that abuts the backyards of the townhouses where I live, I immediately thought of how pleased my mother would be, all smiles.
Syringa is the Idaho state flower, as my mother would be quick to tell you, sometimes known as mock orange, and emitting a lovely scent. It doesn't bloom for long, but when it does, it fills the woods with these bright white blooms.
Mom often shared memories of her own childhood in South Dakota and her talk of gathering chokecherries for jams always stuck in my head. Chokecherries don't sound like the sort of thing you'd want to be eating but she assured me they made wonderful jam. This week the little tree in front of my townhouse also burst into bloom and I have discovered that it is a Canadian Red Chokecherry tree. Well, hello mom again!
All was not sunshine and lollipops with my mom, not with the strain of raising 4 rambunctious boys and a little girl who couldn't understand why she didn't always get her way, but I have to admit that when I think of her, she is almost always smiling. This is a picture taken in one of those photo booths, and I actually remember this: first dressing up, then going to the hotel where the booth was and especially how, even sitting on mom's lap, I had to strain to get into view. Can you see the love in my mother's expression? On the back of the photo she's written "Daddy's girls."
Mom and I developed our own special rituals over the years, one of which was enjoying tea served in bone china teacups from her collection. I especially remember doing this on Easter morning, but we'd find other special occasions too. Once I left home for college and then to start my own home, just my visiting on a weekend was special occasion enough to get out the china tea cups. Not the best picture of mom but the only one I have of us and our little ritual, one we would be partaking in today were she still with us. Love you mom, and I'm still finding special occasions to use our teacups.