Dear Mom, luv Judy

Mom listening as I talk about our adventures
Mom listening as I talk about our adventures

By Judy Berman

Any time I get a whiff of a fresh-baked apple pie, it takes me back to my teen years and our home in the country.

The apples for that pie might have been picked only a few hours earlier. As it bakes, my Mom prepares spaghetti sauce made from tomatoes in our garden.

Savoring her dishes, it’s hard to imagine her as a novice in the kitchen. But she was when she first married. Mom would lament, years later, about Dad’s ordeal when he was in the Army during World War II.

She said Dad had three choices: eat her cooking, the food at the Mess Hall, or starve.

Evidently, Mom was a quick learner, because Dad survived. Not wanting me to repeat her mistake, Mom made sure I was better prepared and knew my way around the kitchen.

Her lesson in survival skills didn’t end there.

While I was in high school, she taught me how to type on a manual typewriter in our kitchen. Mom blindfolded me so I wouldn’t focus on the keys. It worked. As a result, my typing speed and accuracy improved.

Mom was most in her element when she was reading by a cozy fireplace. Her constant companions were Alexander Dumas, Charles Dickens and Jane Eyre. She’d take my brother, Hank, and me to the library, where I’d immerse myself in adventure stories, Agatha Christie mysteries and exotic places.

Mom and Dad outside their home in Boulder City, Nevada
Mom and Dad outside their home in Boulder City, Nevada

She hated the cold. So why did she leave her comfort zone? Some moms do just that when their child gets involved in sports. They sit on the bleachers or sidelines for hours to root their child on.  In my case, when I joined the Girl Scouts, Mom became an assistant leader, and encouraged me to learn more while having fun.

Mom would brave the night’s chill to point out the constellations to help me earn one of my many badges. She’d join me on camp-outs, and make s’mores and other treats over an open campfire.

There are so many things that remind me of Mom. I just wish I could share one more day with her to tell her how much I appreciate the time she spent with me and for her love – even when I was being an ornery teenager.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms on Sunday, May 12th.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Music Video – Alan Parsons Project, “Time” 

Main Photo: My Mom, Milly Fiet, and me in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo: Mom and Dad outside their home in Boulder City, Nevada

      1. I can tell… your words radiate love x

        comment from earthrider to Sue Vincent: 🙂 Your comments mean a lot. From reading your blog, I know what a caring mom you are. Happy Mother’s Day.

    1. Thanks, Darla. Perhaps the funniest star gazing incident involved the Northern Lights. She looked up at the sky, amazed by their beauty, and I was puzzled. I thought she meant a mall by the same name and wondered how she could see the Northern Lights mall which was 10 miles away. That memory still makes me smile.
      Happy Mother’s Day, Darla.

      1. That is hilarious! I’m sure you cherish those memories.

        comment from earthrider to Darla of She’s a Maineiac: Thank you. You’ve given me many chuckles as I read about you and your children. I can tell they’re your pride and joy.

    1. She truly was a wonderful mom, Deb. She could be strict when needed, but she showed her love for us in many ways: by sharing her passion for reading, music, family, the outdoors, and at mealtimes (always my favorite).

  1. It sounds as though your Mom was the very meaning of motherhood — that miraculous ability to make sacrifices and do things that are uncomfortable, all for the sake of the children. And do it for years, much of the time completely unnoticed. There’s no other relationship that works that way. Beautiful post, Judy.

    1. Charles, my Mom did make many sacrifices for me. At one point, she worked two jobs so I could go to a private school. (The public school was a real rough one and I was a runt. I never would have survived.) She gave up other things so that I could have and never complained about it. I always thought ‘that’s just what moms do,’ only to discover that not all do.
      Thank you for your comments. I know from reading your posts how strong your family connections and love are.

  2. Love your memory walk with your Mom! I am sure her Spirit is reading your words with all of us! Your wrote: “I appreciate the time she spent with me and for her love – even when I was being an ornery teenager.” Your appreciation and love for your Mom is evident in your writing…I only have difficulty with one thing: imagining YOU as an “ornery teenager”…smile.

    1. I made a brief mention on how that name came about in one of my posts. On a bus in Vegas, when visiting my brother, a passenger complained about how the pricier casinos screen who they’ll allow to play. When they asked what he did for a living, the man said: “I told them I’m an Earth Rider.” He wasn’t admitted to the game, but I loved that and decided that’d be the name for my blog – once I got it going. 🙂

  3. Nice pics, hadn’t seen the one of you and Mom at the picnic table before. BTW, I got your birthday card but I’m so old I forgot to open it LOL Thanks for remembering for both of us

    1. I have very few pics of Mom. You’re right. She didn’t like to be in photos, but she did enjoy taking them.
      Happy birthday on the 15th, Hank. Hope you have a rocking day.

  4. Great memories of Grammie! You sacrificed a lot yourself so that Danielle and I never wanted for anything, and I am grateful for it. She taught you well on how to cook always loved your home cooked meals. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Another good song but very tear jerky is “One More Day” by Diamond Rio. I miss both Grammie and Granddad but have such wonderful memories of them both. And that picture of you and Grammie almost could be you and Danielle.

    1. As you know, there are times when I wish I could have done more. But I do appreciate your loving comments. I will have to check that song out. As it is, I got too weepy today – which surprised me. Mom’s been gone since 2001.
      Some think I look more like Dad, others say I look more like Mom. In the photo at the park, I do see more of a resemblance to Mom.

  5. Brought a tear to my eye. My mother loved that Dean Martin song. Still miss my Mom after all these years. Yours sounds like she was a treasure too.

    1. My Mom loved Dean Martin. I know she’d be dancing around the house if she heard it. Our moms do have a special place in our hearts, Kate. She is missed. Happy Mothers Day to you, too.

  6. Such sweet memories. I appreciate all the sacrifices you made for me and the great traditions I get to pass down to my kids. They will be blindfolded this summer to improve their typing. 🙂
    Happy Mother’Mother’s Day. I love you.

    1. Danielle … If the grands wind up typing ‘blahblahblah,’ I will take no credit for this. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet comments. The sacrifices were few, the rewards of motherhood are great. luv, Mom

  7. Oh, Judy, what a wonderful and touching post. The pictures–especially of you sitting together when you are very young–is one I hope you have framed and see every day. It’s beautiful of you both and says so much about your relationship.

    1. I’m sad to report that photo was tucked away in an album that included my baby and toddler photos. I’m glad you liked the photo and the post. I have so enjoyed the touching stories you’ve written about your mother.
      Thanks for following me, Marilyn.

      1. My pleasure, Judy. You have a touching, inspiring, informative and enjoyable blog. This is the second time I’ve “followed” you, but for some reason I didn’t receive the emails informing me of a post with the first one, and then I’d miss out.

        comment from earthrider to Marilyn:
        Thank you for the compliments and for your persistence. If this happens again, I try to publish every Saturday. But there might be a few hiccups to that plan this summer. 🙂

  8. Such a beautiful tribute, Judy. Your mom sounds like a remarkable woman. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
    p.s. (I hope she didn’t use the blindfold technique when she taught you how to drive). 😉

    1. Thank you, Lisa. My Mom was a wonderful woman and I’d like to think she taught me well.
      Just to reassure you, my Dad tried to teach me how to drive. No blindfold, but my Dad might have been better off if he had been. As I recall, I spent all of 15 minutes behind the wheel of his standard-drive Volkswagen before he asked me to pull over. I decided to go to someone with a bit more patience and took a driver’s ed course. That saved both my Dad’s and my sanity. 😆

  9. Another great piece — especially like the main picture. And I of course can see the resemblance.

    And it brings back memories of things my own mom did for me after what must have been a hard day’s work as a secretary at county social services. She would drive me to Le Moyne one night a week, then pick me up later, when I was on the school paper. Stuff like that.

    1. Thank you, Mark. Your remarks mean a lot as I’ve been an admirer of your writing for many years. Our Moms really do a lot for us. From what you’ve told me about your Mom, she sounds like a wonderful mother. I only hope that my Mom knew how highly I thought of her and appreciated her.

  10. “There are so many things that remind me of Mom. I just wish I could share one more day with her to tell her how much I appreciate the time she spent with me and for her love.” Beautiful, and heart warming my friend. We need to tell our moms how much we love them as much as we can and to remember them always and let their legacy live on even if they are no longer with us. Thank you.

    1. The time we spend with our family – as you do with yours now – build that reservoir of memories. It’s those times together that I look back on, grateful that my parents spent quality time with me and cared enough to prepare me for life as I was growing up. Thank you for your comments.

  11. Tributes just don’t get any more beautiful than that. Loved the image of your mom reading by the fire, and the thought of her braving the night chill to point out constellations to you. Stories like that remind us that you can never buy or even touch the truly worthy things in life.

    And I can see you’re becoming a lovely person didn’t happen by accident. Thanks for sharing, Judy. : )

    1. Very sweet. Thank you, Mark. I’m glad my Mom stepped away from the fireplace to share those special moments with me. She was a wonderful role model, and was there many times for my daughters as well.

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