Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day 2017

Today is Mother's Day, so by way of celebration I'll post a few pictures of my own dear mother, Jane King Cameron Emery (June 28th, 1925 - July 8th, 2015).

Mom demanded that we attend church services on Sunday, a chore to which my father very reluctantly acquiesced.  I was too young to have much of an opinion either way.  I didn't enjoy being scrubbed within an inch of my fragile life, but I did want to do everything my father did.  Mom knew this and capitalized on it, so off we went.

Church on Sunday
We attended a Presbyterian church, where I learned to sit quietly for what seemed to be six eternities while some old guy dressed like an Arab (robes) droned on and on about nothing at all - at least, nothing I could understand.  When I began to fidget, Mom pointed out that my father was sitting quietly.  So I would imitate Dad, and that was that.  Eventually the torturous service would conclude and we'd all go out to breakfast.

Note that my mother is wearing a fur stole, which was in fashion then.  These days the animal rights activists have made such a fuss that people have stopped wearing fur, which I kind of think is a shame, even though I've never liked the idea of decorative fur.

The photo was taken around 1957.  Looking through the open barn doors you can see one of two giant willow trees that grew in the back of the barnyard, and a split rail fence just beyond.  There was a picnic table between the willows where Mom would sit with me and play with the barn cats.

Mom on Guided By Pot O' Gold (Jim)
Mom used to ride Jim in the palomino show horse class.  He was very well behaved, and a real gentleman of a stallion.  Mom bought the show suit she's wearing and sewed the decorations on herself.  Back then she applied the rhinestones with a tool that looked like a little vice, and was hard to operate.  She spent many long nights working on that suit, but it was worth it.

Mom on Emerydale's Henry
Here's a rare photo of Mom riding sidesaddle.  Once she got the hang of it, she claimed it was perfectly safe and secure.  I tried it once, and that was enough for me.  Mom was always athletic, for which I was grateful although I didn't realize it at the time.  When I was a child, I liked to climb trees and naturally would get stuck in the top of a tree.  Mom thought nothing of climbing up and getting me down.  I vividly remember looking at other kids' mothers and realizing that most of them couldn't climb a step ladder, let alone a tree.  I felt quite blessed by that.

Mom and Dad with Margaret Rose
When you breed two palomino horses together, there is no guarantee that the foal will be a palomino.  Often times you'll end up with a chestnut or, worse yet, a white horse.  Such was our fortune the first time we bred Emerydale's Cindy to Guided By Pot O' Gold (Cindy and Jim).  This is Margaret Rose, so named because she was born on Princess Margaret Rose's birthday.  Dad's father, Marion, immediately gave the new foal to my mother, who was happy about it.

"Good," Mom said later, when we were back at the house.  "Now if we want to sell her, we'll sell her."

Margaret never did become a show horse.  She didn't have it, whatever 'it' is.  Saddlebred show horses reach a stage when they bloom.  They hold their head up, and lift their feet when they trot.  They show.  Margaret never did that, but she would have made someone a nice pleasure horse.  When my mother declared that it was time to sell Margaret, Marion had a fit.  Sell Margaret?  Oh no!  So she stayed, much to my father's oft expressed unhappiness and my mother's chagrin.  Dad would refer to her as 'That white animal' and Mom wasn't far behind him.

While Margaret would never be a show horse, she had a nice stride and was broke to drive.  Dad bought a sleigh one winter and hitched Margaret up to it, and we had a new hobby.  She really did look good in the winter time, pulling the sleigh.

I remember quite a few other things about Mom, and her mother Ruth Cameron.  For one thing, Mom taught me to read before I started school.  I'm pretty sure that I never would have learned to read otherwise, public school being what it was back then.  Mom also got me Polio shots, for which I am very grateful.  Several children in our neighborhood had parents that didn't believe in the Polio vaccine, and as a result their children were crippled up for life.  Mom also attended to me when I had cancer, and was a comfort to me when Ellen very unexpectedly left Sylvania for St. Louis, Missouri without warning or fanfare.

I certainly miss Mom, but I wouldn't have her back in this lousy world for anything.

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