|Mom and me in Virginia|
"Tell me a story about your mom," my friend Lisa said during a lull in the conversation. "I love hearing stories about your mom." My college roommates and I had met for a Girly Getaway in Denver as summer was winding down this past summer. I smiled. Lisa remembered with fondness some of my stories about my mom.
Before I share this one, let me just tell you how much admiration I have for my mom. She is an amazing woman who has endured one trial after another in her life, and she has shown me that no matter our circumstances, we can always be happy. My mother has buried three husbands, her mother, and her father. She was the caretaker for her own mother, and one of my step-grandmothers. She grew up in the Great Depression, but there's just nothing that seems to ever depress her, at least not for long. She has a zest for life, and a compassion that runs deep for everyone she meets. My mom has always been my hero. I have so much to say about this wonderful woman, but for today, let me show you where I get some of my undying hope, and a bit of my naïveté.
When grew up in a very small town in central Virginia. Our family lived in the big, old farmhouse up the hill from the railroad tracks. Four boys and four girls, in a his, hers, and theirs family. One of our annual family traditions was attending Nelson County Day. Most of the kids in our family were involved in 4H, so we entered various items in the 4H displays, and we enjoyed seeing our friends, and stopping by the different vendors' booths. Neighbors were spread out along the state highways and dirt roads in our county. This was a great opportunity to get out and see people.
There is a Nelson County Day stands out in my memory. That year it was held at the junior high. There was a sprawling mowed lawn behind the building that extended to the woods beyond. One of the highlights for the little kids was the greased pig contest. (Yes, "Rustic, Rural, and Real" was the perfectly named theme for Nelson County Day one year, as I recall.) During the excitement in a pen full of children diving for the poor pig, this little piggy squeezed through the fence, and took off for the woods. To my knowledge, he was never found.
Later that night, most of my seven siblings were lounging around the family room, sprawled on the floor or couch. True to form, when that many kids gather together, there was a lot of noise. The evening news was on TV, and mom was trying to shush everybody. Normally, Mom didn't pay attention to television, so she had my interest.
"Please be quiet!" she requested again from the kitchen sink. "I'm trying to hear the news." I couldn't figure out why she would be watching the news that night. "I'm hoping they'll tell us about the pig."
"What pig?" I asked, the runaway piggy already all but forgotten.
"The greased pig that ran away at Nelson County Day. I sure hope they caught him!"
"And you think they'll announce this on the evening news?" I asked incredulously.
"They should! I've been wondering about him all day. I've been so worried about him."
We all had a good laugh. That's our mom. She even has compassion for little greased pigs who escape from Nelson County Day. It's hard not to love her, and her simple way of looking at the world.