Dirt in your skirt blog

Mothers Day 2012

Posted on May 14, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter


To all the mothers out there, a special thank you today. I hope each of you received a thank you from a loved one today. For me I am abundantly thankful of my mother and grandmothers each day. All three are exceedingly strong woman and worth looking up to. So instead of writing about me, it’s all about them tonight.

My grandmother on my dads is a fiercely independent woman. She is currently in her eighties and still living alone. I spent many summers visiting her up on the Saint Lawrence River in the most northern part of New York. Literally, we use to look across the river from the living room at Canada. It was from her I learned the valuable lesson, the Amish make the BEST baked goods. This I am very serious about. She use to take us to the Amish who lived within an hour to get baked goods. She is a woman who has endured several hip surgeries and still manages to get everything done herself.

My grandmother on my mother’s side is a woman who has accomplished more in her lifetime so far than many can ever dream of. She is known to many by certain names to me she is, Auntie Mame and will always be Auntie Mame. She was never one to wear the title grandma. She has dined with royalty but can also tan a hide of a black bear. She once had her own cooking show well before the Food Network existed. Her experiences and life to date have been rich and diverse. She once asked me where I got my sense of adventure from and in the same breath, why do I do these races. Well you decide…

Geographic North and South Pole, yes she has been there in the same year. Both she did after the age of sixty. She sponsored an iditarod team as well when her peers were retiring to Florida. Not only did she sponsor the team but also rode part of a leg in the sled. She has spent many summers around the Adirondacks of New York and knows how to clean a fish, and tan a hide. There was a famous story about how she had come home from a formal gala many years ago to her horse farm in Kentucky one of the mares was in foal. She headed to the barn in her gown and helped the farm manager with the newborn foal. Today my grandmother is still active and always traveling. I could go on and on about her but many have before. For all that she has done and places she has been at the end of the day she is still my grandmother and for that I look up to her most.

Last but certainly not least is my mother. Everyone says this but my mother is an incredible woman and role model. Some of her adventures shadow my grandmothers. She and my grandmother both instilled a deep sense of giving back to the community at a young age. She took the different path in college attending school in Switzerland and living in the Alpes. Much of my young life was spent in the woods of the Adirondacks with her picking berries, making moss gardens, and learning about deer, sailing and what a fiddlehead was. She and I are very close. She encouraged me to be outside so much as a little baby that my first word in this world was Deer, not momma or dad. No, I pointed at the animal and said deer.

She also has a bit of the wanderlust streak in her. She has been fortunate enough to travel to many countries and has some funny stories. Some of my favorites. She was once on safari in Kenya. She wore a large skirt each day while they toured. When I asked why in all her photos was she wearing a skirt, she replied with it was much easier to pee on the side of the truck. All she had to do was squat down. Another one of my favorites was the way my step-father proposed to my mother. They were on a trip in India together, part of the tour was watching a polo match, however in India it was being played on elephants. During a break in the match they offered rides to the spectators. So on the back of an elephant my step-father proposed to my mother. Still one of my favorite stories almost twenty years later.

Not all I have learned from my mother is so exotic. She also taught me how to plant my own food. We always had a garden growing up and she still has one today. She is a big fan and known among her friends for her jams, apple butter, pickles and now branching into dilly beans. It is not uncommon for her to go pick wild berries for six hours or so then the next day spend it in the kitchen making jars and jars of fresh jam. My mother puts her friends and family above all. She loves the outdoors and could spend days fishing, picking berries and swimming in lakes. Today she is probably most excited about her newest title, being a grandmother herself. My mother taught me how to do many things, and she continues to each day.

So today, I thank my grandmothers and my mother for all that they have done and continue to do. When asked who inspires me truly these women inspire me and have shaped much of who I am and who I hope to be in the future. I didn’t send flowers this year but I send them these words.