Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day OR The Celebration of ALL Women?

Yep!!  Mom's Day has come and gone and it was a very nice day at my house.  Oldest daughter and her hubby and mom-in-law came for a day visit, brought half the meal (I fixed the other half) and then she gave me a beautiful cymbidiam orchid and a very nice little cross necklace.  But the best part was just being together.

Now hubby really went all out:  he gave me a really BIG mom's day gift:  a new riding mower so that I can take care of the nearly two acres of lawn we have to mow every week.  And yes, it's a blast to ride and a really neat "toy."  He told me that he was going to do his part -- haven't seen that happen yet.  I guess the thoughts I had most, though, were that there were so many women who aren't biological mothers, yet they have "mothered" me at some critical times through the years.

There was the really special lady that lived upstairs from us when I was living in Chicago -- a 7 or 8 year old kid in a neighborhood that was not particularly an easy place to make friends. Lots of apartments, lots of fences, and apart from some kids from school, it was a lonely time.  She was a retired school teacher, and she invited me upstairs two or three times a week and we sat and talked about stuff--what was happening in school, what kind of books I liked, and so on.  We read together, and I think she was partly responsible for my love of reading, for moving me ahead of many my age in that we read some pretty hefty stuff.  She will always be special to me.

And then there was the ninth grade English teacher who was about 4'10'' and yet her presence was enormous.  She was a stickler for getting the parts of speech right, for not ending a sentence with a preposition, and for thinking through what one says before it is said.  She was also one of those visionary readers--she helped us to visualize what the words in the story were trying to convey, and for me that was like pushing open a huge door to my imagination.  I will always treasure the gifts she gave me.

Lastly, I am especially grateful for my grandmother--Willie Pearl Woodring Vaughn, a woman who was always ahead of her time.  She was the U. S. Postmistress of her town when she was 17--no one else would do it--and she taught school in the one room school house after she graduated from high school.  She was one of the few girls who had a high school education and in her day, that was almost the same as graduating from college now.  Have you seen what they had to know then in order to graduate?  It's mind boggling!!  She raised all her siblings--four sisters and one brother--and she successfully predicted the winner of every presidential election her entire life.  She graduated from college when she was 72 years old.  And she always understood and applauded every choice I made in my life, even when others in my family were not so supportive.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the women who have impacted us.  What would we have done without them?

Mother's Day Recipe -- Roast Beef (Brisket) and Roasted Potatoes
One fresh brisket -- 4-7 lbs.
Garlic Salt
Onion Soup mix
Peeled russet potatoes

Place fresh brisket in large baking/roasting pan, fat side up..  Surround brisket with peeled russet potatoes.  Sprinkle meat and potatoes heavily with garlic salt--meat should look almost white.  Don't worry;  it's not too much.  Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over meat and potatoes.  (One envelope is usually sufficient.)  Pour water carefully into pan--avoid pouring on meat or potatoes--until about half way up the side of the pan.  Cover with foil and bake for 12-14 hours in 200 degree oven.

Meat will be extremely tender.  Best to cool in refrig, slice in 1/4 inch slices, and then reheat in microwave. May keep juice as au jus or make gravy.  Will yield lots of good meals and makes absolutely wonderful roast beef sandwiches.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

This was a really nice post. And your grandmother sounds positively kick-ass!