Tag Archives: mothers

A Mother’s Magic by Sherrie Hansen

Have you ever noticed that in many novels, the mothers of the main characters are conveniently vacationing in some remote spot on the other side of the globe, or even dead? Having grown up in a family where my mother and grandmothers, even my aunts and cousins, were involved in almost every aspect of my life, I have a hard time relating to a world without a mother’s magic.

Gloria Grandma

When I was 9 years old, I joined 4-H and got sent to Aunt Shirley’s house (my dad’s sister, who is married to my mom’s brother) to learn how to sew. I remember getting into arguments with my mother when she told me a seam was crooked and had to be ripped out. When Aunt Shirley told me something needed to be redone, I very meekly said, “Okay,” and did it over until I got it right. From that time on, I made most of my own clothes.

Pansy

Going to Dorothy’s Fabric Store in downtown Austin, Minnesota to pick out fabric and notions was an adventure that was shared with the extended family, too. The first thing Mom did when we found a time when we could go to town – preferably without my little sisters and brothers – was to call my grandmas and aunts and invite them to meet us at the fabric store. I can still remember them crowding around me, holding this and that bolt of fabric close to my face, giving their opinions on what color looked best on me and reminding me that vertical stripes were the most flattering to my figure. Which fabric would work well with the pattern we had selected and what kind of cloth would hang right and stand up well under repeated washings were important considerations, too. Dry-clean-only fabric wasn’t even considered because of the extra cost of upkeep. Anything on the clearance rack was given double consideration. Their favorite materials were the rainbow selection of polyester double knits, considered a modern miracle of inventions because the seams didn’t ravel, it didn’t have to be ironed, and it was practically indestructible. When the fun part came – deciding which buttons would accent the fabric to its best advantage and what kind of zipper was easiest to put in – options were discussed at length, a truly matriarchal affair.

Grandma Victoria and Auntie Lu

Perhaps the fact that my mom, grandmas, and aunts were so involved in my life would have driven some teenagers to madness, but it made me feel surrounded by love, special, and deeply cared for. To this day, I have trouble making decisions by myself and almost always call my mom or dad to see what they think I should do before making a major purchase. I still think about calling my grandmas for advice when I’m stumped even though they’ve been gone for over a decade. I’m blessed to have both parents living and hope it stays that way for a good long time.

Blog - KY - Mom and Dad

As for writers who leave mothers out of their fictional equations and plotlines, I would say that they’re missing out on some of the best fodder for character development – and yes, conflict – there is. Mothers and daughters have a very unique relationship. They love, they adore, they disagree, they despise. The imprint our mothers make on us, good or bad, affects us more deeply than anything else in life. And what is more endearing and heroic than a son who loves and respects his mother? Mothers know their children inside and out. They meddle. They make us laugh – they break our hearts. Mothers are our biggest cheerleaders and our worst critics. They’re not afraid to say what they think, and they sometimes don’t approve of the choices we make. And they show us the true meaning of love, over and over and over again.

Grandmas

In Sweet William, Lyndsie’s mother (Kelly, who you’ll remember from Wild Rose), and her Aunt Rose, are very influential figures who chide, defend, and lend a listening ear. William’s mother, who is convinced Lyndsie made everyone at their family gathering sick when she served them her homemade smoked haddock pies, takes an instant dislike to the lass her son is in love with, putting William in a very awkward position. To see how it all ends, you’ll have to read the book.

Sweet William

Mothers really do make the world go round. Without them, nothing would be as it is – we wouldn’t exist. A mother’s magical presence, woven into the plotline of a novel, may not be as high intrigue or titillating as  murder and mayhem, but it can tear at the soul and tickle the heartstrings like no other relationship.

Grace Corner - Bleeding hearts 2

If you sometimes take your mother for granted, be sure to give her a hug and tell her how much you love her this Mother’s Day.  Next time you read a book, think about how much impact a mother has on what’s happening between the main characters. There are fictional mothers we love, and those we hate, and those we feel lukewarm about, but whatever their make-up, they’re one of the – maybe the most – pivotal, primal component in our lives.

Cherish your mom, today and always.

 

 

Almost twenty-five years ago, Sherrie Hansen rescued a dilapidated Victorian house from the bulldozer’s grips and turned it into a B&B and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Sherrie and her husband, Mark, who is a pastor, live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart. Sherrie writes murder mysteries and novels whenever she’s not working at her B&B or trying to be a good pastor’s wife. Her contemporary romantic suspense novels include Night and Day, Love Notes, and Thistle Down, Wild Rose, Blue Belle, and Shy Violet, her Wildflowers of Scotland novels. Watch for Sweet William coming soon! You can see what’s she’s up to at: 

https://www.facebook.com/SherrieHansenAuthor/ 

https://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/

www.BlueBelleInn.com

https://twitter.com/SherrieHansen

https://www.pinterest.com/sherriebluebell/

 

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The Perfect Storm by Harry Margulies

“There’s a mother of a storm on the way.”

 
 
 
 
 
“That’s good, honey. Tell me who won the 1948 World Series. Seven letters.”
 
 
 

I glared at my wife, who appeared fully mesmerized by the crossword puzzle in her lap. I was pretty sure that’s what she’d called honey – not me. “Indians. So what’s good about a storm? I’ve got tickets for today’s game, which they’ve just cancelled by the way. Also, the rain always messes with my hair. And I just washed the car.”
 
 
“You don’t have any hair. Why would you worry about it? And you called it a mother of a storm. Mothers are good. Mothers are the best, right?”

 
“Right, dear. But it’s a storm. A mother of a storm is a really nasty storm. I didn’t invent the phrase. I’m just using it. And I still have a couple hairs left. I like them to look nice.”
 
 
 
“Well,” my wife paused, just long enough to draw attention to her insightfulness, “maybe you should start thinking before you speak. You could just as easily have called it a nasty storm, instead of the M word.”

“Aha! You referred to it as an M word. Right there, using just the first letter of a word, that implies it’s something nasty.”

“Stop being such a D. Admit it; a mother of a storm suggests that it’s a nice storm, one that nurtures the earth, makes it happy.”

“Yeah, I’m sure the earth is thrilled, but that’s not the point.” My eyes were trained on my wife, the mother of my children, and, less technically I suppose, the mother of my kitties. Her eyes were still trained on the puzzle. “A mother of a storm is a really bad storm, not a nice storm. I don’t care what you think.”

“Really? So, you’re saying mothers are dreadful and annoying.”

“Absolutely not. Mothers are not dreadful.”

“Just nasty then. And annoying.”

“No, mothers are not nasty, at least not the ones I know. I was only attempting to describe the bad weather that’s rolling in, okay? Mothers are incredible, magic 8MotherswithChildreneven. I am fully aware they should not be lumped together with thunder and lightning. It’s just a phrase, damn it. Why do you have to take everything I say so literally?”

“I’m only trying to point out your mistake. I’ll say it again. You should think before you speak…what is it now?”

“Hang on, I’m thinking.”

“When I’m done with this puzzle I’m going to make some tea. Do you want some, dear?”

“Is it instant?”

“No.”

“So, you’re brewing, is that what you’re saying?”

“You’re so weird. Yes, I’m making it in a pot. Okay, help me finish this: A real doozy. Six letters.”

“I have no idea.”
 

* * *
 
Harry Margulies is the author of The Knowledge Holder and the recently released The Weight of the Moon. When he’s not writing about romance, money, women, and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about, he’s frittering his precious time as a cartoonist.
 
 
 
Photo Credit: Baseball game courtesy of Jmj1000.

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Mother’s Day Commandment

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and all over our country, mothers are being celebrated. My mother gave me up when I was very small and then I had foster moms for several years. After that, I settled in with a full time mom until I grew up, married and became a mom, myself. Over the years, I’ve known lots of moms. Does that qualify me to write intelligently about them? I don’t know.

I think it’s fair to say, being a mother is a difficult task. Some of us do it well, some, not so well, but we never set out to be bad moms. We all try to do the best we can within the parameters of our circumstances. In other words, there’s no “owner’s manual.” I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we have become. That holds truth for our kids, as well.

I was lucky. My first mom realized she was in over her head and she sought help. Even with that, she wasn’t able, for whatever reasons, to handle the job. She made the decision to give me the chance of a good life with another family. That couldn’t have been easy for her. I’ve tried for years to find her to tell her I don’t hold any animosity toward her for giving me up. Quite the opposite. I’m glad I had the chance for a better life and I salute her for her bravery.

My adopted mother had some hurdles to traverse since I had some emotional and physical issues to deal with, but patience, attentiveness and her version of love pulled us both through. Sure she made mistakes, as have I, but love was the basis for the effort to do a good job.

How do we know we’ve done a good job? Do we measure the level of success of our kids, their degree of happiness, whether or not we approve of the lives they have chosen? Again, I don’t know. We seem never to be sure. I do know most of us have said at some time or another, “I wish I had done so and so, or I wish I had said or not said so and so.”

Whatever the answer, I’ve created a mother’s commandment: “Thou shalt not SHOULD on thyself!” Relax and do the best you can…and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

Thoughts, anyone?

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