Friday, May 06, 2011

Mother's Day

A twenty acre woodlot backed up to our farm house. It provided firewood for our ever hungry wood stoves. In fall it offered a steady supply of squirrels and rabbits for our supper table. It was a place to explore, to hike and watch the birds, to find peace and quiet. And when you did something wrong, a place to run to while you waited for Pa to cool off and reconsider the punishment you knew was coming if you’d not escaped to this wonderful hiding place.

On Mother’s Day, the woods was an especially important place for on a hillside on the north side of the woodlot, in a little clearing, grew a big patch of purple violets, light purple, some a dark velvety purple. My brothers and I would pick bouquets of these beautiful spring flowers and give them to our mother for Mother’s Day. She put the fragile flowers in a jelly glass and then place them in the middle of the kitchen table where we’d all enjoy them. For several years, this was our Mother’s Day gift, and one that Mother seemed always to enjoy when she saw her three little boys, each holding a fist full of the purple flowers emerge from the woods with big smiles on their faces.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s not the size of the gift, but the size of the thought that counts.

May 14, 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Books signing. Dregni’s, Westby.

May 18, 7:00 p.m., Beloit Library. Ames County Novels.

May 23, 7:30 p.m. Brodhead Historical Society. History of Wisconsin Agriculture.

May 26, 7:00 p.m. Eagle River Library. Campfires and Loon Calls.

June 2, 7:00 p.m. Luck Library. Campfires and Loon Calls.


Jeanne Engle said...

My sisters and I were like you and your brothers, Jerry. My dad had 40 acres of woods on his farm and we would pick flowers for Mom on her day in May. And for Grandma, too, since she lived just a few hundred yards down the road.
The wild flowers were the best - we didn't have to plant or weed them and they came up year after year after year.
Thanks for bringing back such a fun memory. said...

Hi Jerry,

I continue to follow your writings and am so happy to see that you continue to write so prolifically. Amazing!!

Will you be doing any book signings in the Madison area soon? I'd love a signed copy for my husband and one for our church (my husband has canoed in the Boundary Waters with our church and our church does a trip each year). If you're not doing a signing nearby, maybe I could buy you a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop and bring two copies for your signature. Let me know if that would be possible...

I "transitioned" from UW-Extension (The Pyle Center) a year ago and am doing writing, consulting, and presenting now. I'm continuing to write about distance learning for Jossey-Bass (now co-authoring a third book) but am considering going in a different direction after the current book and writing about developing our prairie and preserving our woods and Indian mounds on our acreage. Your books have inspired me!


Rosemary Lehman
PhD - UW-Madison 1991