Grit Blogs > Rosedale Garden

Mother's Day

A photo of MaryHope 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. 

My Mom

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. 

13 yr cicadas on Solomon seal
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.

  Lilium Stones
 Black gamecock iris 

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.

May sunrise

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. 

shirley vanscoyk
5/12/2013 4:01:12 PM

Thank you for sharing your Mom's story! She is a survivor!! War does change things up - my Mum is a war bride from Australia. She came to the US on a troop ship with my sister who was only an infant, in the middle of the Japanese domination of the South Pacific. When I asked her how she could leave everything she knew and move here in such a dangerous time, she just said, "It was a different time."


mary carton
5/12/2011 8:29:13 PM

Thanks Dave for the compliment. It's never dull around the hooligans. I couldn't figure out why they were stinking so bad and saw Blackie rolling around in a cicadas she had caught. I've tried to get Mom to write a book or write down some of her memories. She did a bunch of tapes one time, but bought cheap tapes, and they've deteriorated. We've had folks as far away as Ohio to show up, it's been amazing. A couple of my co-workers helped out in Phil Campbell this weekend and there was over 800 volunteers there in a town with a population of 1200. My hospital has another group going to help out in Moulton this weekend. I'm still having trouble with my knee. I'm off the crutches. If I would stay off of it like the doctor said, it might get better. I thought about finding a trailer to haul my tractor the next weekend if it's better. From what David and Matt my co-workers said they really could use a loader as volunteers are pulling trailers around by hand. Brent Favre was in Hackleburg yesterday visiting. Not sure if he brought help or just looking. Over a 100 pen pals by hand, I'm impressed. Mary


nebraska dave
5/12/2011 7:40:13 PM

Mary, America does seem to be at it's best when we have a common goal. When there isn't anything to pull us together, we have a tendency to start squabbling among ourselves. It brings a lump to my throat as well to see how many responded to the disaster in Alabama. My information says that there were so many that it's difficult to keep them all busy. We had the same thing happen here a few years ago at a boy scout camp when a tornado came through destroying the camp. Many scouts were hurt and some were killed but the response came from up to 100 miles away to clear the camp and find all the boys. The authorities had to ask TV stations to announce that there were enough folks to help. During those times I am proud to be an American. The true heart of our nation is to help those folks in need. We just lose our way sometimes and have to be reminded it's better to help those around us in need then it is to wine about our hang nails.


nebraska dave
5/12/2011 7:39:10 PM

It sounds like your Mom is quite a lady. Tough when needed and soft when required. My Mom has been gone for many years but she was the life force of the family during my youth and teen years. Dad was the income earner and Mom run the household. Many of the character traits that I have came from my Mom. Writing was one of them. She started writing at the age of sixteen to penpals all over the world and when she died she had over 100 penpals that she staid in touch with on a monthly basis with pen and paper. Your life is never dull with the hooligans around is it? I always like to see what they have been up to. Your posts are always a good read. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.