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Happy 75th Birthday, Mom!

My mom is a fascinating and extraordinary woman. I could tell many stories, but one more time I am scheduled to get a short night of sleep and I can not type enough for them all.

Suffice it to say she grew up on a farm in SE Minnesota, without electricity, with a party telephone line,  a pump house to pump/carry water, a wood stove for heat, and an outhouse. All this in a community of 430 or so people, most of them Norwegian. Where everyone was in the same situation for the most part, no big deal.

Mom went after a teaching degree and got one, in spite of dyslexia and the fact that she was legally blind without glasses until high school. She is brilliant at teaching reading. Colleagues are fond of saying “Liz can teach a rock to read.” I tend to believe they are very close.

Mom taught school before I was born, before she married my father. She loved teaching right away. For a handful of years she raised us and did not teach in a school. However, she went back to teaching when I was in 4th grade. She was widowed at age 38, with two young teens. Here she is with her two “kids” at either side, at Matthei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, a few weeks ago.

LynnH, Mom, Eric, Fred at Gardens

LynnH, Mom, Eric, Fred at Gardens

She and Fred win ballroom dancing medals (lots of them). She rides her bike to exercise class at the mall, usually twice a week. She is a tough cookie, not one to complain much and always full of hope.

And she’s my mom. We almost lost her to cancer about 12 years ago. After losing Daddio in 1973, we really know how lucky we are to have her around.

Mom’s beau of over 20 years, Fred, took her to the Grand Canyon for her 75th birthday. I left her a voice message (sang her the birthday song) on his cell phone, but she was too busy to call back. This is a cool story, I think.

Mom and Eric, Birthdays 2009

Mom and Eric, Birthdays 2009

Here is a photo of Mom next to my brother Eric, blowing out birthday candles together a few weeks ago. We celebrated both of their birthdays together, though they are 5 weeks apart.

Mom, you rock. Happy, happy birthday!

5 Responses to “Happy 75th Birthday, Mom!”

  1. Jan Says:

    She does rock!

    I never get tired of hearing ‘Liz’ stories and I love to see photos of her, they always lift sprits. She is such a special person and has been blessed with a loving daughter who loves to tell her story.

    Give her a big birthday hug (if you can catch her) and tell her it’s from one of her fans.


  2. Diana Troldahl Says:

    Happy Birthday Liz!
    I am so blessed to have her in my life.
    I tell Eric Oscar that I love him and would have married him regardless, but Liz and Lynn are such a bonus!!!
    I didn’t have any birth sisters growing up, but now I have Lynn :-}

  3. Charlotte Says:

    How nice that you still have your mother to celebrate birthdays with!

    I’d be interested to hear about what changed re her vision so she was no longer legally blind.

  4. Mom Says:

    Hi Lynnie, Thank you for the lovely tribute. I loved the birthday song by phone! Fred gave me the greeting Sunday. It is four hours later here, no daylight savings time. I was going to call both of you, but it was too late. The Grand Canyon took my breath away. I was surprised. It was unreal.

  5. snowbird Says:

    I am a little late wishing your Mother happy birthday, but I hope it was a wonderful day.
    Happy birthday to your brother too! What a special post!

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