Mother’s Day (including a nostalgic textile)

I’m on an extended visit to the family farm in Bygland in northern Minnesota, so I am able to be with my mother for Mother’s Day, a treat. Here we are, in the basement of the Bygland Lutheran Church this morning.



One of the fun things about being home with Mom for a few days is the opportunity to hear stories and funny sayings.  For example, she was telling a friend this morning that she thought she might be back at the farm for another month this summer, but you never know–she’s at the point in life when you don’t buy green bananas.

I have been in this church basement room hundreds of times, and there will be another time this week. There is a funeral for Barb Short, who was the church organist forever, when I was young, too. Mom mentioned a funny story about my Grandpa Anchor, who was asked once whether he was attending his neighbor’s funeral. “Why would I go to his funeral? He’s not going to mine.”

Mom told me earlier this week that when she attends church in Bygland, she is the oldest one there!  How could that be? I still picture my mom in the group of women with young children. Now the older ladies of my childhood are all gone. That makes looking at this quilt on the church wall all the more poignant.


I date it about 1970.  When I was 16, I briefly dropped the ‘e’ on Robbie, thinking it was cooler.  (I also used a heart for the dot above the ‘i’.) Like a time capsule, there are the names of us three girls (Robbi, Terry, and Barb), my Grandma Nan (in her beautiful Scottish handwriting), and my beloved great-aunt Valborg.

Interestingly, my mother wrote “Eileen Wurden” at the same time that some of her contemporaries, and definitely the older ladies, either wrote “Mrs. Harold Thorson” or added their first names in parentheses, like “Mrs. Ernest Egeland (Norma).”

Mom recalled the first time she came to Bygland Lutheran, newly married to my father.  Pastor Field said he was happy to meet her, and “I hope to see you serving soon.”  Of course he meant he hoped she would join the community activities of the church.

At the lovely church service this morning, the high school graduates, including my nephew Evan, were celebrated.  Here is a family shot that never would have happened without Mom (and Dad, of course!): Nicky, Mom, me, Evan, Sheila, and Jon.


Happy Mother’s Day to moms and kids! To my children, Joe and Margaret.  And to mom’s grandchildren, and to my grandchildren, even the one who is on the way.



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