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I just started to figure out it was April when here it is May! I remember my mother saying, “The older you get, the faster time flies!” I’m here to tell ya—she was absolutely correct!

Now that we live in Arizona in our retirement years, I don’t look forward to summers, but when I was growing up in north-eastern Washington State on a small farm in wide open country, summer meant the best of times to us kids.

Not only were we thrilled with the thought of school being out by the third week of May, (much earlier than today since we didn’t take looooonnnng breaks for anything they could manage to call a holiday, or miss several days because there was an inch of snow on the roads) but we were also ready to celebrate having warm weather after a cold winter, and wet, muddy spring. It was enough to make us giddy with excitement.

May meant more outdoor fun and folly, and less time shut indoors by the stove playing cards, and board games. It meant blessed freedom to roam new territories we had yet to explore, and high adventures away from the noses of authority figures day and night—no teachers, no moms or dads watching our every move. It was almost a euphoric emotion to be released from captivity of house and school simultaneously. I can feel that joy yet clear down to my toes.

Yes, we had to do some summer chores to help out, but still our days were filled with a special feeling of freedom all small town kids of the day, (and today) could relate to that city kids had no concept of the thrill.

We knew in late May, the first task we would be assigned was to gather rake, hoe, shovel, and weed-pullin’ gloves to haul to Beaver Creek Cemetery with our moms, and clean up family plots so they would be clear of the remnants of winter, and new weeds getting a thriving start all spring. Beautiful flowers decorating the graves would be lost in the jumble of tumbleweeds, and tall growth if not for diligent families doing this much dreaded, but necessary task the week before Memorial Day every year.

In those days, no grass was planted in luxuriant acres making the cemetery look more like a city park than resting place for the dearly departed. Nope…our local cemetery was just a huge dirt field with tall headstones that had to be cleaned completely around and up close. I remember sweat and dirt covering us from head to toe by the time we loaded up the garden tools, and called it a day. But ya know what? There was a real feeling of accomplishment too as we scanned the weed free, neatly raked dirt across every plot.

Because ninety-nine percent of our fathers were WW11 Vets, honoring those who had fallen by placing little flags on their graves, and being aware of patriotism to the maximum was not a passing thing in families of the fifties and sixties—it was a sacred event of which no one was exempt…period! Not that I think that’s a bad thing for kids to learn today. It would do them good to think of someone besides their own precious, egotistical selves—forgetting those who risk it all for boys to run around showin’ their underwear with their pants draggin’ on the ground, girls letting what should be their modesty hang out for all to see, and college-twisted brats having the freedom (there’s that word again) to protest everything their Marxist professors convince them should be the American Way! And Lordy, don’t get me started on piercing and tattoos. I don’t want to break my promise to God to curtail any bad words from leaping from my lips in a passionate spewing of righteous indignity on that subject.

But I digress…

We also have our Mothers to honor this month, and though mine has been in Heaven this past two years, I’ll not forget her, and the nurturing roll she played in my life right to, and including, the last day.

One never outgrows their mother, and if they have any brains whatsoever, they will start heeding her words when they get out in the real world, and find they aren’t little Gods to be pampered and bowed down to as their parents lead them to believe today.

I don’t think, in our day, we ever heard the word, self-esteem. I think we were mostly told we were all knuckle heads without a brain or means to run our own lives, so stickin’ to the rules, Mom’s apron strings, and Dad’s punishments was the easiest road to follow if we didn’t want to face the consequences of our actions.

I personally think that very treatment built more self-esteem, responsibility, and character in us than any teachers or parents of today patting their darlings on the back with atta-boys, and candy every time they don’t scream like a banshee in the grocery store, or celebrating like its their birthday when they are finally potty trained and off the pacifier by three or four…Give me a break—three or four in diapers and talking around a pacifier? Oh well, there I go again. But if you still have a Mom on this earth, tell her how much you appreciate and love her, will ya? It won’t fall on deaf ears—believe me.

Below is a poem for Vets, and one for Moms too...


Gray soldier-stones now guard

my child through seasons lost.

There is no sunshine, only rain.

Gray skies weeps—

My soul weeps.

Life is no more…

Understanding shall not come

Separation forever—I cannot conceive.

Eternity, Eternity!

I wait for death’s reunion.

Dark days dwell in my heart …

A soldier has fallen.

Tamara Hillman


Mothers are special in so many ways—
they greet you at start of every new day.

Moms make special dinners when each day is thru’,
wash and mend clothes especially for you.

They kiss away owies, chase the boogie man away,
make sure you are warm and snug on a winter’s day.

Moms sometimes keep secrets even from Dad,
and you know you are loved—even when you are bad.

She’ll worry and fret when you go on a date,
and set a strict curfew making sure you’re not late.

Moms teach you the bible, and how not to sin,
to just accept Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit in.

And even when grown, Moms always take care
to be a good helper in the life you then share.

She makes the best grandma, and never says no
when ask to tend grand-kids while you take in a show.

When you grow older, Mom becomes your best friend,
and you wish you could relive life with her again.

But it’s time to say “THANKS” for all that you do,
and just know in my heart, Mom, I’ll always Love You!

Tamara Hillman

1,273 Posts
Tam love your post this have no home after your Mom is gone..

Super Moderator
8,861 Posts
Great Work Tamara! Moms and Vets are the best. The one thing that is so different now from summers past is that our parents knew we could mostly take care of ourselves, and they didn't have to worry about us being safe from harm by others. It's not the case anymore, and that is a poor releflection upon our society.

4,628 Posts
Even when she's gone, you never foeget your mother, and say a special prayer for her on Mother's Day.

4,485 Posts
Tamara thanks for the good reminders .
Mom did work hard to see that all 7 of us kids
were cared for and loved no matter what .
With in a year a sister and brother have gone
to heaven to wait for the gathering of other Family
members. What a day of rejoicing that will be.
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