Friday, December 9, 2011

Foxy Lady!

This boot - it's what's
for dinner.
It’s a little hard for me to talk to you right now - I’ve got a foot with giant platform boot on it in my mouth... Yes, it looks like some words are going to have to be eaten... by me. 

You see, my mom, who is going to be 81 years old in a week or so, is getting her very first computer. That’s right, you heard me... While she certainly can take care of herself in many areas, personal computing has not been one of them. Back in the early 80s - or was it the late 70s? - she took a class at the local community college in computers... back when they had those cards with the little square holes in them. Well, she did NOT take to it at all, and has been computer phobic ever since.

My mom as a young'un,
or is it Jackie Kennedy?
And so she spends her idyllic days gardening, making collages, reading The New Yorker, taking walks and doing water aerobics, cooking her low-fat, low-salt, yet nonetheless pretty good-tasting meals... Basically, anything that is off the grid, internet wise. She writes letters on pretty notepaper, balances her checkbook with a pen, watches basic cable and listens to WCPE on analog radio. 

Not that there’s anything wrong with that...! She has, though, missed being able to e-mail her kids and her sisters, see the photos we post online, read blogs... MY blog, in particular... which is where me putting my foot in my mouth comes in.

I mean, I know that I have not always been 100 percent kind when I spoke about my growing up years. And I wonder, now, if the things I wrote, I wrote with the confidence that my mom would never ever read them. Oops. Now, I really don’t think I wrote anything THAT horrible, so I’ve got that going for me... but just to cover my tracks, I’ll write some really flattering things. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making this stuff up – it’s all absolutely true. I just think I ought to correct any impression that I may or may not have given regarding the woman who gave birth to me.

Young Jackie Kennedy,
or is it my mom?
First of all, she’s a fox. When she was young she resembled Jackie Kennedy, and even now, she is always trim and well-dressed. And if that makes her notice how her kids look, what are you gonna do?! She studied art at UNCG (called Woman’s College back then) and continues even now to learn and grow creatively, taking classes in an array of subjects at Duke’s Continuing Education program and the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Her artist/design sense carries over into many areas – her home, her clothes, even the packages she wraps... They’re masterpieces in tissue, paper and ribbon. 

And my mom, well, her life has not been a piece of cake. She lost her husband when they were both just 49 years old - THAT’S HOW OLD I AM NOW!!! She was left with five children between 10 and 20 years old, in a big house full of reminders.

She turned 80 year,
but she's only just begun.
I look like an elf in this pic - 
see my pointy ears?
Needless to say, she was a tad depressed. Well, really depressed. Staggeringly depressed. Yet she carried on... Straightened out what had to be a financial mess, went back to school to earn her masters in Library Science, worked at the local library ... and sent all five of us to college and out into the world. And whether it was her successes or her failings that made us who we are today, we all turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself! And now that I'm a mom, I see what a feat that was. 

Could I have as much... guts? Or whatever the word for that is? I don’t know. And now she’s once again exploring a new frontier – the computer age and the world wide web. I think she’s a bit leery, but willing to give it the old college try. And I know it may take a while, but eventually she’ll make her way to this blog, where she’ll read this and know how awesome she is! Hi Mom!

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