I feel compelled to say a few words about my mother, Marilyn, as this is her birthday month. She would have been 78 years old this year. I lost her when I was just 21 years old, and about to enter into my senior year of college. She was a gentle, creative soul, and managed to do some wonderful things during her 49 years of life.
She cooked the best damned pot roast I've ever had, although I did not come to that realization until I had failed for many years to replicate it. You know, the kind of meat that just falls apart, and the carrots and potatoes that simmered with it all day just melted in your mouth. I still have her Betty Crocker cookbook, the white and red checkered one with the 3-ring binder. The pages are tattered and falling apart, but I believe that this is my favorite treasure she left behind. Some of her own killer recipes were skillet corn bread, chicken and dumplings, banana and vanilla wafer pudding, antelope steak fondue (my father was a big game hunter), fried okra, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Christmas rum balls...she was a child of the deep South.
She also went back to college in her 40's and studied business and art history. She belonged to the Colorado Mountain Club, and climbed 9 or 10 "Fourteeners" (mountains over 14,000 feet). She was a volunteer candy striper at the local military hospital. She encouraged me to pursue art, and took me to many performances such as the opera, ballet, plays, art exhibitions. She could do a killer imitation of Lucille Ball 'on the verge of tears' when she knew Ricky had found out her scheme of the day. She could laugh at herself. Here's lookin' at you, mom...
The picture? Taken by my father, of course.