The Mother’s Day Dreamer

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There’s plenty of days in the year, but only one has been set aside to honor that one person in each of our lives who did the most and had the greatest impact: the ladies who carried us and nurtured us; who encouraged us to succeed, and who wiped away our tears when we failed; the women who are lovingly called MOM! That day is Mother’s Day, and since it’s this Sunday, we wanted to do a special Diet for Dreamers about the lady who helped establish it as a nationally recognized holiday.

Anna Jarvis’ campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her own beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, passed away. Anna’s dream was to honor her mother: first, by continuing her mom’s work as a peace activist — Anna’s mom had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War; and secondly, by creating “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to address public health issues. Anna also had a goal to establish a national holiday paying tribute to mothers throughout the country.

The FIRST modern American celebration of Mother’s Day was in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial service for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Afterwards, due to Anna’s tireless campaigning, several states officially recognized Mother’s Day, West Virginia officially recognized the holiday in 1910. Several more states quickly followed. Ultimately, in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day — always to be on the second Sunday in May — a national holiday honoring mothers.

Anna had achieved her goal. Her dream to recognize and celebrate “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world” had become a reality.

Anna Jarvis hoped the holiday would become an ocassion for people to honor their own mothers and demonstrate their appreciation by writing personal letters expressing their love and gratitude. So she was actually saddened when Hallmark started marketing pre-made Mother’s Day cards in early 1920. She felt the commemorative holiday she’d worked so hard to establish, was being commercialized. Perhaps. But today it’s easier to be on Hallmark’s side: not everyone’s gifted with beautiful handwriting or the creativity to produce homemade gifts. Some of us want and need other ways to express our feelings; and besides, giving pretty cards has become as much a tradition as Mother’s Day itself.

Mother’s Day has since been adopted by other countries and is now celebrated all over the world. What a wonderful idea — because our moms are wonderful people!

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” (George Washington)

“She is clothed with strength and dignity…. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.” (Proverbs 31:25-28 NLT)

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Our Toaster Talks! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Note: “Our Toaster Talks!” served as an introduction to our ANGEL IN THE KITCHEN series. The best of these articles were published in 2016 and are available here:

A Toaster can talk? No! Of course not! Well … actually … sort of … in a manner of speaking. Ahem, please just read the post.

Our house seemingly lies still at night, but all is not at rest. Down in the kitchen it’s easy to imagine a party is in full swing. The clock on the range occasionally flashes and keeps time to the whispers, winks and furtive glances made by our appliances. No, we haven’t lost it. Although we may have overactive imaginations. Sometimes we just get inspired.

There’s an old Disney movie we enjoy, about a gang of appliances left behind in a summer cottage. When these anthropomorphic gadgets realize they’ve been long forgotten, they set out to find their master.  Think Disney’s The Incredible Journey, only instead of two dogs and a Siamese cat, this time our heroes are a loudmouthed radio, a whiny electric blanket, a fairly bright desk lamp, a tough vacuum cleaner (named Kirby); and their intrepid leader, the eponymous hero of The Brave Little Toaster !

Before we knew it, we were naming all our appliances! We have a large antique-style radio we dubbed Orson, in honor of the early contributions made to the medium by Mr. Welles (famed writer/director/star of “the broadcast that shocked America,” The War of the Worlds); the kitchen range is “Sparky” (when we switch on one of his gas burners, he snaps at us and sparks to life); “Luke” and “Nuke” (twin microwave ovens that allow us to cook two frozen dinners at the same time!); and then there’s “Fridgie.”

We live in the woods, in a house we named Woodhaven, and we love the peace and quiet. Outside, our days amid the trees are filled only with the sounds of birds, our nights punctuated by the lonely calls of a whippoorwill. Inside, things are just a bit more lively: our computer hums softly to himself (Thats “Hal”; remember 2001: A Space Odyssey?); the printer (“Flash”) clicks and whirs; all to the accompaniment of the ticking, murmuring, gurgling and, sometimes, even groaning sounds of the appliances. All these sounds become far more noticeable at night. That’s usually the time when a house really starts to talk.

When we first got our new refrigerator, before we got used to what he wanted to tell us, we’d often awaken from a deep sleep thinking that someone was downstairs raiding the kitchen: Fridgie calls out to us like a distant foghorn shrouded in the night mist, gently reassuring us that he’s protecting our food from spoiling. Periodically he alerts us that there’s plenty of ice ahead (crescents, not bergs) for a glass of tea or soda, by periodically sounding off with an encouraging ker-chunk!  Now, whenever we hear Fidgie talking in the middle of night, we just go back to sleep. We’ve come to recognize the sound of his voice!

Apart from learning just how silly we can be, you can glean another lesson from this story. Each day our appliances let us know exactly “what they’re about” as they go through their routines. All of our kitchen friends have discovered their voice!  We all need to do the same.

Most of us have heard that writers are frequently admonished to “find your own voice.” Until they do, they tend to imitate the style of some other writer. Then, one day, everything finally seems to click, and a writer discovers his or her own unique voice! But we all need to find our voice, not just writers. That’s what makes life so wonderful: we’re not trying to be you, you’re not trying to be her, etc.

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Read ANGEL IN THE KITCHEN for more wit & wisdom! Click to see Tom & Wilma’s book.

Apple innovator Steve Jobs once stated, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. …Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” 

When we sing, we each have our own key! We know who we are and what we’re about. We each discover our own, God-given voice. Thank You [God] for making (each of us) so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous….” (Psalm 139:14 NLT)

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