Mother’s Day

Our mother died young, out in the lonely middle of Montana, when my sisters also were quite young.

Three girls on horseback 2
Sisters on the 71.

One of them just asked me by email if I remember any Mother’s Day in particular. I cannot, after all these years. All I could think to say was that I always enjoyed being in her company.

I wish there had not been such hardship. But she put joy in every day.

Scan 42
Mom, Carl and ever-present Bugler can. She rolled her own.
Scan 6
Bjelke family after the death of Grandmother. (Brother, father; two sisters; Mom, left). After leaving home, she never had fancy.
Scan 14
Probably still keeping track of kids with binoculars. (Big screen TV, right).
Brother Pat (That’s brother Rob in the “home” page photo).
Scan 13
Last home, Lennep, Montana.


*Note on the cover photograph, showing my mother bathing my youngest brother near a stove, cooking utensils and food stuffs: This was a trailer or the equivalent in Iowa City, Iowa, about 1955, and I don’t think it had running water. I believe we walked down the road to what I remember as a laundry building for running water needs. I’m sure my mother, who grew up in a neat and tidy home in Granville, Ohio, was careful about sanitation. As we soon moved up in the post-World War II married student housing world to a Quonset hut in a place called Hawkeye Village, which featured indoor plumbing. Actually, one of the first things that always catches my eye in the 1955 photograph is my mother’s trusty copy of the Better Homes and Garden cookbook.  

One thought

  1. Thanks John. Just finished kneading some bread for baguettes, weeding and repotting a red carnation in the tiny greenhouse which was added onto the chicken house last year – all therapeutic. Soon I’ll head in to watch Will’s 5th baseball game of the weekend. Then we hope to walk around one of Helena’s old neighborhoods and look at the flowers. Loved seeing the top photo of “riding home”, after a long trail to “The Basin”, just northeast of Ringling, final summer destination for 71 Ranch pairs.


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