Since Mothers Day is Sunday, I want to write about my mom. Mom was a Kansas girl, born and raised on a farm in the times of dust storms, jackrabbit infestations, and the depression. She met my dad when she was in high school and married him a few months before graduation. She became a mother in 1944 when I was born and went on to have 9 more children after me. She was only 5' tall, but managed to herd us kids through life pretty darned well. I don't know how she managed it, but when she got a certain "tone" to her voice, we pretty well knew she meant business when we were acting up, etc. Control in the midst of chaos most of the time. She told me once that all she ever wanted to be was a mother.....however, if someone would have told her she would have 10 children, she would have told them they were crazy. But she did, and she did it well. She didn't have a lot of the things that we all have today...for instance, she didn't have a clothes dryer until I was a Senior in high school. She (and we) hung the clothes outside to dry them. And with that many kids there were always clothes on the line. And no permanent press...we had multiple baskets of clothes to iron which we would "sprinkle" with water in a coke bottle with a sprinkler lid on top, roll the clothes up and let them stand for awhile, then iron for hours. She would never let us older girls iron the younger girls dresses with ruffles, tho. She said we didn't do a good enough job. That's another thing...we were always clean and people used to comment on how clean the Ritchie kids were when they went to town. That took some doing, too, as we didn't have inside plumbing until I was probably 8th grade.
After we 10 kids were grown and gone, she started babysitting for other people and over the years we counted dozens and dozens of different kids she took care of. She especially loved getting the tiny babies. "Grandma Roxie" was loved by every one of them and she loved them back.
This will be the second Mothers Day without her as she passed away in 2006. I miss her. We all miss her. She was truly a blessing to many, many lives. Thanks, Mom.