My mother's birthday is soon. You might be wondering why that is important and what it has to do with The Pickled Pearl...
We almost lost her last year. It was Christmas Eve at our house. My husband, Roger, and I were planning our usual feast for Christmas dinner. Turkey, ham, browned butter and garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, and homemade pies. You get the picture.
Mom and I spent all day in the kitchen prepping food for the next day. I hadn't seen her in a few months and we had a great time together, like we always do. She is an expert washer and chopper, and I was my usual bossy-pants self. I planned, shopped, and orchestrated the steps that would turn bags full of groceries into a delightful, gut stuffing, gastronomic event.
By dinner time, we were sick of the kitchen. With enough food laid out to feed a small army the next day, we just couldn't face starting all over again to cook that night's dinner. So we did what any self-respecting, food obsessed family would do. We went out for Chinese food.
We ate lemon chicken, minced beef lettuce cups, and whatever else struck our fancy while we gabbed. We just enjoyed being together again. After dinner, we had a glass of wine at home, and then decided to call it a night.
I had settled into bed with my book, and Roger was watching TV. All of a sudden my dad started screaming bloody murder. As I raced to grab something to put on (standing in front of my dad in my birthday suite wasn't an option), I was thinking that this wasn't going to be good.
I burst out of our bedroom. Roger was right behind me. I ran across the hall, and as soon as I opened the door to my parent's room, I knew my mom was dead. Among other things, I have been an emergency room nurse, and I know dead when I see it. She was a horrific shade of violet blue, indicating that she had been without circulating oxygen for some time.
Sure enough. There was no pulse. I started CPR. Roger, who is a paramedic, called the ambulance, got the oxygen and defibrillator out of his truck, and opened the front door so the ambulance could see which house needed help easily.
By the time he got back to the bedroom a couple of minutes had passed. We stopped CPR to check for a pulse. Unbelievable gratitude and relief washed through me when we felt the bop, bop, bop of a slow but strong heart beat.
I won't bore you with all details of several days in ICU and battery of tests. What I will say is that my mother made a 100% recovery and is now the proud owner of a brand new pacemaker.
So my mother's birthday is soon. And I haven't seen her since she was released from the hospital and drove home to North Idaho. I planned a surprise visit. She is turning 70, and I want to be with her.
I gave her a new sewing machine last fall as an early birthday present. She is crafty still and loves to sew. Her old machine dates back at least to the 1960s. Still, I wanted to give her a gift that she could open on her actual birthday. But what?
I textured. Then molded it with my hydraulic press. Then soldered and drilled.
Added a bail, and set some stones - a garnet on the front and a white topaz on the back.
And finally polished.
I hope she loves it.
My mom is such a good friend to me. I am thankful beyond belief that I get to spend more time with her. Please remember to cherish your mother while you can.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You are, and always will be, my favourite