Hope all Moms had a happy Mother’s Day this past weekend. My Mom was born in Yugoslavia. Her Dad was German and Mom Hungarian. After WWII broke out a German officer rode up to the door of their house and told my Grandfather that he was to report for duty, and if he didn’t, they would come back and shoot him. After much discussion with my Grandmother, he decided to report. He came home a few times, but is listed as MIA in the area of Yugoslavia now known as Bosnia. In the mean time, my Grandmother was taken to a Russian concentration camp. Mom at seven years old was left to fend for herself, begging for food, after her Grandfather’s death, her brothers took off for Germany. After a year on her own, she eventually found her Mother, who was rented out by the Russians to work in farmer’s fields during the day. She was then also placed in the concentration camp with her Mother for 18 months until they paid to escape with a group of 60 from the camp.
After going to Austria, somehow they were united with my two uncles and came to the U.S. as refugees aboard the troop carrier USS Hanselman. How did Mom and Dad meet? My Dad requested a family to come and work for him through the Catholic Relief Services. Another family was to come and work for him, but their children developed the measles, so Mom’s family was selected. After a brief courtship, mostly hiding and kissing behind a stack of milk crates, they were married and had five children.
Mom is one tough lady. She recently had an aortic aneurysm repair. Her doctor told her she was not to get on her riding mower for six weeks. I had to hide the keys to her mower to keep her from getting on it before the six weeks were up.
The hooligans have been busy chasing the 13-year cicadas that started hatching this weekend. They are everywhere and raising a lot of racket -- like a bad water pump. Patches has been breaking out at night and waiting at the end of the driveway for me to let her back in when I go to work in the morning. I checked her new collar and for some reason, it only gives a warning a few feet from the line. I swapped collars with Levi, and she sat for the longest time just staring disgustedly at me. She’s staying at home as of this moment. They sat and watched me plant my tomatoes yesterday, and before I turned in for the evening, I put newspaper down and mulched them and placed a hooligan cage around each. My tomatoes were still there today in great shape.
This evening they kept stopping in front of my tractor while I was trying to mow and fussing at the horses in the pasture next door. I’m not used to having a roll bar yet on this tractor. I keep forgetting that minor point when I try to mow under my fruit trees. The black mulberries are nice and juicy, and my clothes are full of black spots from those knocked off by the roll bar. Being bombed by green plums doesn’t feel great either. My last of my late blooming iris are finishing up. Oriental lilies are starting to open and some of the daylilies will be open within a week. Last week temperatures were 15-20 degrees below normal; this week they will be 10 degrees above normal. The morning sunrises have been spectacular.
Clean up and searching for the missing continues in the areas hard hit by last week’s tornados. The stories of the survivors have been amazing. Stories told by some of the first responders put a lump in your throat. The Phil Campbell & Hackleburg area have a large number of chicken houses that were destroyed, and now the task of disposing of three million dead chickens is underway. The number of volunteers from surrounding communities as well as from other areas of the country helping with the clean up makes you proud to be an American.