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8 responses to “From Ross Howell for Mother’s Day”

  1. Kurt Sipolski

    What chores indeed..too numerous to mention..but she did them all from making crusts for vegetable pies she grew in the garden to picking cherries off the tree for another pie to a closet full of feshly ironed shirts..and now girls go to the gym to get exercise!

  2. Jimin Han

    Those precious details. Reminds me of how my mother hung clothes and sheets to dry on a line outside. Can’t describe the smell that the fresh air brought to those clothes, but it was better than dryer or form of Bounce you threw into the dryer. Thank you for sharing this memory.

  3. Louise Perry

    Thank you, Ross, for sharing your memories of your mom and Wash Day.

    Making yeast rolls for a special meal or simmering a huge kettle of soup on a chilly day call forth wonderful memories of my mom. I also feel that her spirit is hovering near any time I work in the garden or dig a hole for planting.

    What a nice way to start Mother’s Day Weekend!

  4. Jennie Fields

    What a gorgeous scene you draw, Ross. I hope this sort of moment will appear in your fiction soon. It’s a world long gone. We forget the struggle and beauty that women put into accomplishing simple things. Bravo!

  5. Ross Howell

    Thanks, everyone! I’m humbled now to think how as a child I took all that labor for granted.

  6. Dick Cummins

    Lovely piece Ross – made me want to get going on a vignette of my own.

    When I was six my own hard driving mother deciding to get a job for the whole sardine season down at Hovden’s cannery so she could buy three contiguous lots on the hill overlooking Monterey Bay ($350 each in 1949).

    The purse seiners would waddle in from a night of fishing – 7 days a week – only nights off due to full moon – so every morning around 5 am all the cannery whistles would blow at once, fish in their silvery millions being dumped from the boats into the siphons, workers zombie walking down the hill for one hell of a day’s work.

    Work that wasn’t over until the last sardine was in the last can and pushed into the steam cookers every day – which was sometimes after dark.

    I just read that in 1949 over 200,000 tons of sardines were caught and processed out of Monterey Bay. Several years later the fish were all gone and so were the cannery workers — but my father had built our new house on the three lots my mother bought — with the prettiest view of Monterey Bay you’d ever want to see.

    Need to write up this chapter — now that you’ve motivated me Ross – a nice kick in the pants my friend! Thanks.

    FYI – here is a ‘Wash’ line I loved – and of course added my own two cents as I read it… “As rinse water spurted from the wringer … ” I mentally ‘Lished’ in: ‘As rinse water spurted from the wringer, I saw the uncried tears of my mother from living with a drunk for all those years – for the sake of her children — for the sake of me …” something like that…

  7. Ross Howell

    Write that chapter, Dick!

  8. Dick Cummins

    Will dedicate to Ross!

    Chapter title? — How about “A Woman’s Work Is Never Done”?

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