Mom was a big fan of snow, and her hopes for that particular form of precipitation were frequently and fervently directed to the heavens – and to anyone she thought might have influence in that sphere.
Given that longstanding preference and Mom’s record of getting her way, it was no surprise that the day her memorial services were held, March 21, 2013, the second day of Spring, the Ozarks were visited by a unseasonable snowstorm, as evidenced by the above photo taken from the deck of her home on Table Rock Lake following the funeral.
A week after my mother’s death, there is much about her I still don’t know.
I don’t know, for example, why my mother, who lived alone, kept four heads of lettuce and three packages of pie crusts in her refrigerator, more than a dozen sacks of beans, seven cans of sauerkraut, eight cans of fruit cocktail, and three cans of water chestnuts in her cabinets, and fourteen large boxes of cereal on her shelves.
I don’t know why my mother amassed a collection of several dozen kitchen towels, all new, with the sales tags still attached.
I don’t know why my mother accumulated enough yarn to knit scarves for every man, woman, and child living in southwest Missouri – with enough left over to make mittens for all the children currently enrolled at the Shell Knob Elementary School.
I don’t know why my mother kept the bill of sale for the Chevy Fleetmaster she and my dad bought in 1951, why she stashed away 60+ empty envelopes that once contained house payment checks received by my parents in the 1970s, or why she stored both the original & amended 1994 financial reports of the Eagle Rock Missouri All Faith United Methodist Church Women’s Group.
And I don’t know why my mother, who kept the walls of my childhood home pristinely bare, free of decoration other than the obligatory portrait of Jesus with the eyes that follow you wherever you go, moved to a log cabin and filled every wall with meat grinders, trivets, flatirons, two man saws, butter churns, china sets, hay hooks, augers, toys, cooking utensils, china, brass buckets, ceramics, decoys, …
I do know, however, that my mother was tremendously important to many, many people.
I do know that for a number of individuals my mother was a stabilizing force – and sometimes the only stabilizing force – in an dangerously unstable, chaotic world.
And, I know, with absolute certainty, that my mother always loved me – without reservation, without conditions, and without end.
The best photos of my mother’s impressive collection of Ozark artifacts had gone missing for the past two years. I have recovered and posted these at Mom’s Collections.
Credit Due Department: The photo was taken by Gwen Stockton.