Monsoons and Mother's Day
By Alicia Reban / May 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM
It’s raining again today, and I still don’t have those rain barrels together – my Mom used to tell me “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Guilty! I could have watered my entire lawn and garden well into summer with our roof runoff during the mini-monsoon over the past three days. Given my luck of late, I’m willing to bet that if I got those barrels installed, they’d be empty for weeks or (good grief, I hope not) months. These three days – plus the couple of inches of snow that fell a few weeks ago, probably topped us out on moisture here in our Great Basin home.
Fortunately for me, Mom also liked to remind me that “hope springs eternal,” so I’ll do it anyway. Guilt complex aside, I’m so grateful for my Mom and all she taught me. Compassion and sensitivity to others, taking responsibility for community and neighbors, cooking (except for deboning chicken or picking bones out of canned salmon as a pre-dinner chore– gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it), the joy of reading, gardening, balancing work and family (I think she did a better job!), and kicking me out the door to play outside for hours on end.
As a young woman of 20, following nursing school, she boarded the train from Michigan and headed to Colorado to spend the summer as a camp nurse in the Rockies. This was before she decided to supplement her education with a college degree at Michigan State – she went on to get two Master’s degrees and became a terrific college instructor, grant writer, and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She helped start the senior bus system in Denton, Texas, and a clinic to give University of North Texas students real-world experience providing much-needed care to area seniors. She helped start a program that engaged seniors who remembered life before immunizations to reach out to ensure babies received their shots. She set a pretty good example of being a change-maker.
So yeah, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. Thanks, Mom, for setting the example of change and the value of being passionately involved in a cause. For letting me stomp through creeks, collect cicadas to study their fantastic creepiness, and for taking us camping with Dad. Thanks especially for letting me roam for hours on my bike to explore distant (I realize now it was only a mile or two, but it might as well have been a hundred) hills and build tree forts. It gave me a sense of freedom and accomplishment – and cemented my connection to nature. I’m trying to do this with my kids, but it’s harder these days with the constant barrage of scary media stories and constant reminders about the sad things that do happen. I try to remember the real statistics suggest it’s much safer out there than we are led to believe, and that this kind of freedom begets independence and inner security and happiness.