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Image Mom's column clipped from the Vidor Vidorian

I was sorting through some of my Mom's things a couple of weekends ago and I came across some of the articles Mom had written for our town newspaper, The Vidor Vidorian. She had a regular column called, "To Home Makers," which ran every week. I was so proud of her writing and I wanted to be a writer just like her. I like to think I get my optimistic attitude from that wonderful woman. Mom passed away in March, 2010. Yesterday was her birthday; she would have been 78. I thought this would be a good time to share some of her wonderful writing so I'm transcribing her column just the way it was published. I've attached a scan of the original.

TO HOME MAKERS By Bertha Parfait

Old House offers wonderful lesson There is an old abandoned house not far from here. It looks as though one day it heaved a great sigh and gave up. Vines have grown up one side of it, obliterating the outside boards (and part of the roof) from view. Weeds have taken over the lawn. I cannot see such a heartbreaking sight without wondering about the people who once lived there... the laughter of children as they ran though the house... clothes hanging on the line... busy hands preparing meals...music of days gone by. And I wonder, too, if the people whose memories those crumbling walls hold, ever drive past the old house. This isn't a flight into Sadness. There is a wonderful lesson we can learn from an old house.

GREEN YEARS We ought to realize that we are going through our "green years," and that one day this too will be the past. We ought to listen closely to everything the little ones say. We need to be thankful we can share their happiness and soothe their pains and counsel them when they have problems. And I think it's almost impossible to grow old where there are children. They keep your mind alive with the newness only they can discover. As they become aware of the slightest thing, love reveals to us the significance of REALLY seeing, as they do... the way the wind tosses the treetops... evening shadows across the yard... the flight of a butterfly and the beauty in the gift of a slightly crumpled bouquet of wildflowers. What more could anyone want than to live today, fully seeing and appreciating and being thankful for whatever each day brings? Surrounded by the love of your family, who could dare hope for more! Perhaps our trouble comes NOT from having too little, but from not being able to see how much we have.

REALLY SEE My abilities as a writer are sadly lacking. I become aware of this whenever I try to say something close to my heart. But this is the main thing: Grab hold of today. Open your eyes and really SEE. Form the habit of counting your blessings daily, instead of once in a while. You who do so have discovered already how absurd it is that one of your greatest desires was a new car! And you are richer for knowing it.

(Wise words written by my Mama on May 3, 1962 . Happy Birthday, Mom! I will love you always.)