Mothers and Daughters

Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers and daughters, for  “…all mothers are our mother and all daughters are our daughter…”  Lester Levenson

Mothers Day Lily

My daughter, Kathleen, just called, excitement coloring her words telling me about putting in a raised 6′ square veggie garden in her backyard, expecting me to tell her all she needed to know about growing cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and what-ever-else in a twenty minute phone chat.

When I explained that one healthy cucumber vine could cover her 6′ square bed, and corn needed rows of itself to produce, she wasn’t deterred.  Kat, busy seed shopping on the Internet was in the throes of throwing four types of seed corn and five kinds of seed tomatoes in her cart.   Her gardening steamroller was far beyond my capacity to slow down with the mere tool of reason. After all, spring had sprung and the sap was rising.

So I just listened, and while I listened, I remembered – back to the early fifties and Mama going through the seed catalogues, choosing with care what vegetables were best for eating fresh and those that were best for canning and drying.

Since most of my time during summer involved helping her plant, cultivate, gather, prepare and can from those gardens (notice the plural as in gardens) my watching what seeds she bought held special interest for me.

Especially the Tomatoes.

Each member of our family scarffed-down tomatoes, and it looked like Mama had at least six different varieties listed on the order form.
“I hope you don’t plant all those tomatoes you’re ordering.”  I whined, seeing my free  time dwindling.

“Why?  You do like my soup in the winter?”

“Well, yes.”

“And tomato juice with breakfast?”


“And all the tomato relish you can pour over ribs and pork chops?”

“Yes Ma’am.”  Mama could be relentless.  “Just don’t plant every cut in the field in one variety, so they all ripen at the same time like they did last year.”

“I’m ordering six different types with different maturity dates.”

“That’s what you did last Year.”

“Yes, but these are guaranteed to have staggered ripening dates,” she tried to assure me.

“And what will you do if they all ripen at the same time?  Ship them back to the catalogue for a rebate?”

“Don’t you sass your mother, young lady.  Have you practiced the piano today?”

“No Mama,”  I admitted, and  slunk off to perform that most onerous of tasks all the while dreading another hot summer.

I came out of my memory with a smile on my face and Kathleen’s voice in my ear,  “…and with these five varieties of tomatoes, we are guaranteed to have large fresh ones throughout the entire growing season,” she enthused.

My smile spread as I suppressed a laugh thinking – As my mother was; so is my daughter.

May 9, 2012 · Carolyn · 2 Comments
Posted in: country life, Family

2 Responses

  1. Melanie - May 10, 2012

    This is one of my favorite posts that you’ve shared!! I can hear Kat’s joy. How sweet it is that she is like your mother in that way! 🙂 We have 3 tomato plants – all three different types, and one pepper plant, and we too love fresh veggies from the garden. Nothing like it. As a child, we always had fresh lettuce, scallions, cucumbers, and eggs. Though the chickens were a mess, I enjoyed watching the vegetables grow.


  2. Susan - May 11, 2012

    Yes, like mother, like daughter. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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