Having just celebrated Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of my Mom who, sadly, is no longer with us.  I think of my Mom often, but especially on that day.

My Mom was a left-brained person for sure. Like many women of her era, the “success” she could have realized outside of the home wasn’t to be.

Instead she poured her creativity and energy into her home and family.  Just like most stay-at-home mom’s did doing the 50’s.

Our home would never have graced the cover of Architectural Digest.

But it could have been in any magazine that had to do with a home designed with love.

What I remember most is that home was fresh flowers, a lot of books, home cooked meals, fresh smelling linens and lemon furniture polish.

Much of what I experienced with my Mom, I’ve carried over into my adult homes.

What about you? What are your memories and what do you continue to do in your own home that you learned from mom?

Following are some recollections of HOUZZ readers remembered about their own mom’s and home.

They’ll strike some chords to be sure. At the heart of them all, they’re about love and family.

“My mother and my grandmother taught me that houses are to live in, not to live for, and it has served me well. While I was taught to keep a clean house, and how to cook a mean Southern dinner when the time is available, I was also taught that a basket of laundry needing to be folded, or a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded, can wait. A long talk in the backyard with your spouse, 30 minutes spent laughing at a silly TV program with your teenager, a loved one or friend on the phone needing a shoulder to cry on — those things should never have to wait. Your house will always be there. The people you care about the most may not.” — gigi4bee
“My mum was a single mom raising two kids with very little money. Sometimes, times were so hard that the heating company would cut us off and we had to camp by the opened stove to keep warm. I remember those times as super fun family moments where we would do crafts in the kitchen. She knew how to make a terrible situation really fun! She taught me to figure out how to fix things myself rather than buying new stuff. She taught me that elbow grease takes you much further than a wad of money. Most importantly, she taught me that what makes a house a home is a purring cat on a windowsill, the smell of lemon oil rubbed into antique dressers and a welcoming kitchen table to sit and chat at. Now, I have a home of my own (with a cat). I have a decent paying job, but still, I believe in the magic of elbow grease and carpenter’s glue.” — ameliahanna
“To hire a maid! My mom was a post–World War II wife who valued her degree and job over cooking and cleaning. Thank goodness for Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house for a taste of home cooking!” — lc29
“My mom didn’t care what the neighbors had. We had no matching furniture, thank God. She and my dad made the couch by attaching legs to a door and covering it with a mattress and pillows. It was modernist. He’d build a tall box planter, and she’d make it a room divider with a large driftwood branch and pebbles gathered at the beach. They constantly redesigned and rebuilt the house for twenty years. I learned from her that you can never own too many books or too much art or music.” — Fine Art & Portraits by Laurel
“I love my mother dearly. She’s a wonderful woman and grandma who would give you the shirt off her back. However, I learned from her to throw things away and not stash stuff you don’t use in closets and under beds, and not to buy things to store in these places simply because they’re on sale (she’s a bit of a hoarder). I also learned to clean out my fridge occasionally and to keep my kitchen clean, clean, clean. Sometimes you learn to do things by having an example of what not to do!” — krissyb92603
“My mom taught me that putting an onion in the oven, then cooking whatever you want, makes it seem like you’re always cooking a gourmet meal.” — AtWell Staged Home
“Mom was a so-so cook, could shrink a favorite sweater to doll size and piled stuff on the top of the dishwasher until I put it all away. But she could tidy up a room to make it look like it was out of Good Housekeeping in record time. Sometimes it’s the shortcuts that you remember the most.” — uberv
“My mom was a professional advertising copy chief writer when women in the office were secretaries. She knew how to play with the big boys, and she was twice as good as they were — she had to be, to rise to that level in the ’50s and ’60s. She was talented and gutsy, and had no time to cook or clean a house. She hired someone on occasion to clean. I never learned how to cook anything but basic meals to feed my family, and now, in retirement, am finally developing a knowledge of fine cooking.

“That said, my mom had a heart of gold and was the rock and anchor to my brother and me. She would do anything for anyone (and did), and taught me the meaning of love and honesty by her example. She fought an 11-year battle with cancer, never complaining, mostly upbeat and always with a zest for life that reminded us of the importance of living each moment fully. She taught me what was important in life, and showed me how to die with grace and even humor … and I miss her every day. Stuff like cleaning and cooking, I can teach myself.” — appytrails

“‘When you are making corn tortillas, and a hole appears, you can patch it up. Flour tortillas need to be handled with care, because if you tear a hole in the dough, you have to roll it back up and let it rest.’ If I applied this to anything in life, it meant some things, like housework, are not that important. Others — like one’s marriage, mortgage, etc. — you have to be more careful with, because patching up the holes takes more effort than if you were careful from the get-go.

But, really, my mom was talking about tortillas. And her recipe/lessons continue to feed my ever-expanding tummy and that of my spoiled friends and hubby.” — tiachocolate

“My mother is amazing at taking care of a home, and has always worked full time outside the home. She taught me to be great at the things I care the most about and let the small things slide. For her, that means we use the kitchen twice a year and otherwise eat out, so she had more time to spend with her kids! For me, that means hiring someone to clean for the same reason!” — docmack

019.Mother's Day 2013

 

As noted interior designer Nate Berkus says: “People, pets, and things. What else is there?”

Indeed, I would say nothing is more important. Those are what make a house into a home.

And most often, a lot of what we carry with us came from mom.

Until next time…

Blessings,
Nancy


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