100 Things I Learned from My Mother

18 years ago today, my mother passed away. Here are some things my mother taught me:
  1. plant flowers
  2. use the term of endearment, honey
  3. sing to your children
  4. let them smell you and your breath so they know you intimately
  5. speak gently to them in the evenings
  6. rub their backs when they are in bed
  7. take extra good care of them when they are sick
  8. get them a fun comforter and sheets so their beds feel like "theirs"
  9. stop at rummage sales, spontaneously
  10. find the good in something old

  11. know the value of the dollar
  12. reuse a Ziplock bag of if you can
  13. reuse good wrapping paper too
  14. know how to wrap a gift properly
  15. know that you can use another small present as a bow instead of a bow
  16. make really really good dumplings with real chicken stock; it will warm your stomach
  17. eating too much butter is not good for you, but it's ok to have a little
  18. take time every afternoon for a little something sweet and a cup of coffee
  19. clean corners, cracks and crevice
  20. get in the car and just "go!"

  21. take a vacation every summer
  22. distance doesn't matter, leave the city and go exploring on any afternoon
  23. always stop what you are doing to check out something interesting
  24. grow your own tomatoes
  25. fill up your yard with flowers and beautiful things
  26. play outside as much as possible
  27. always come home to eat dinner at the table
  28. watching television is a treat, not a necessity
  29. have a desk and a place to write and color
  30. use a napkin

  31. can your own peaches
  32. grind your own meat
  33. just b/c it's new doesn't mean it's better
  34. don't waste leftovers
  35. coffee is better with cream and sugar
  36. it's ok to drink a little coffee when you're a kid
  37. have fun with whatever you do
  38. go to church
  39. respect the church
  40. light a candle for those who have died

  41. visit loved one's grave sites
  42. be of service to others, older folks especially
  43. send a meal back to the kitchen if it's not right
  44. and take home all your leftovers
  45. keep involved in your community
  46. when you do buy furniture, get something good that will last
  47. take good care of your pets
  48. get to know your neighbors
  49. dress up warm if it's cold outside, don't be afraid if you look funny
  50. keep the gray out of your hair

  51. dress in a way that you like, not worrying about what other's think
  52. stay involved with your kid's schooling and activities
  53. be loyal to your family
  54. have a lot of friends, get to know all kinds of people and talk to them
  55. cook dinner for your family
  56. have your own money and your own car
  57. get a college education; it's the most valuable thing you will have
  58. it doesn't matter what age you are when you have kids
  59. work if you can so you understand what that is all about
  60. take the bus if you don't have a car; find your way to where you need to go

  61. don't be afraid to find new places
  62. don't be afraid to drive for hours to visit a new state
  63. take an airplane trip every now and then
  64. be as independent as you can while staying dedicated to your family
  65. don't worry about what other's think of you
  66. stay married and try to work thru problems
  67. take care of your parents
  68. don't spend money foolishly
  69. shop for sales
  70. finding a career that makes money is important; it's good to follow your heart but make money too

  71. there's always room for coffee at the end of a meal
  72. and for desert too, just a few bites
  73. carry a big purse, you never know what you might need at any given time
  74. it's OK to drink coffee while driving
  75. music is lovely
  76. playing records is a great way to pass time
  77. having a friend along always makes the journey better
  78. having a pet along makes traveling even more fun
  79. a scarf makes a great leash for a pet
  80. wear comfortable shoes whenever possible; at the end of the day, you will be glad you did

  81. when gas prices are low, get in the car and drive somewhere!
  82. visit relatives every now and then
  83. corner grocery stores are the best; get to know your butcher by first name
  84. keep the windows and blinds open to let the sun shine in
  85. have a kitchen window so you can watch your children play outside while you do the dishes
  86. a TV in the kitchen is not necessarily a bad thing
  87. let your spouse do his thing; don't trap him
  88. let the husband mow the lawn
  89. remember what it was like when you were a kid
  90. get good grades in school

  91. don't be afraid to apologize
  92. do not swear or talk back to your parents!
  93. some things are better kept private; don't air all your dirty laundry for the world to see and know
  94. celebrate holidays
  95. saving money is very important... find good ways to invest
  96. don't be afraid to ask for help
  97. always talk to your children's teachers
  98. you'd better be really sick if you're going to miss school
  99. brush your hair
  100. it's better to hand make a card than buy one from the store


  1. These are beautiful gifts that your mother gave to you. I'm so glad you took the time to write these down.

    Based on the list, she sounds like the kind of woman I'd love to have met for a cup of coffee and talked about life with. I think you're making her proud and honoring her memory well, Andrea.

  2. Thank you! :) It's amazing how easy it was to write the list. I could have gone on and on! :)


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