Mom and Alex on board in New York for the trip to Chicago
Mom, Alex and Jeff sightseeing in New York
Mom traveled alot by train during WWII so she could be with my Dad wherever he was stationed in the Army. She was so young then~~ only 15 when they married in 1942. She wanted to travel by train again–it was on her bucket list & she got to take a wonderful trip from NYC to Chicago to Longview, Texas with Kelly & Alex. She thoroughly enjoyed it! It was Alex’s first real train trip. I’m so glad she got to enjoy it with Mom. Mom passed away in September 2013. Mom loved seeing Jeff, Chris & Henry in Brooklyn, NY. Henry is 3 & is Mom’s 7th grandchild. She was so proud that the Bush name would go on.
I am no where near the gardener my Mom was. Oh, she tried to get me interested when I was a little girl but I just didn’t get the magic she felt when she planted a seed and watched it grow or the satisfaction she felt when she “worked in the yard.” In 1974 we planted a garden together because I was determined to learn about organic gardening. Mom had studied organic gardening for years. Our garden was successful but it didn’t make an “outdoors” person out of me! So, in Mom’s memory, I bought a yellow rose and a climbing rose a few weeks ago. I intended to plant them right away but they were so full of buds and the promise of blooms that I didn’t have the heart to subject them to my “green” thumb so I left them in the pots they came in. They are doing beautifully! I feel Mom rolling her eyes and heaving a heavy sigh! Really, Mom, I WILL plant them!
Mom loved working as assistant county auditor. After Dad died in October 2006 she was looking for something to fill her days and to help her feel useful. At Kelly’s suggestion she submitted her resume for the position in the auditor’s office. She was so worried that the person looking at the resume would think she was too old to hire! But hire her that person did–thank you Eddie Gray! Mom was a born accountant and she introduced Kelly to accounting when Kelly was eleven by asking her if she wanted to work in her office. Mom at that time was partners with Evonne Blackwell in their own accounting firm in Corsicana, Texas. Kelly enjoyed the work so she went on to get a Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate and her license as a CPA. Mom was so proud of Kelly and her accomplishments. Mom’s last day at work was July 16, 2013, although she didn’t know it would be her last day. She passed out at the office and that was the beginning of a journey through illness and finally to passing away on September 10th. We, as Mom’s family, are so grateful for the friends and fulfillment she found in working for Angelina County from March 2007 until she officially retired on September 6, 2013. Susan, Jill, Renea, Sandra, Faye and everyone in the Treasurer & Auditor’s offices were an important part of Mom’s life. They were there for Mom and for us as Mom’s life ended. For that we are forever grateful to them.
No blog about Mom would be complete without a posting about my Dad whom we all called Grandad. Grandad passed away October 15, 2006, leaving Gran alone for the first time ever. She & Grandad were married May 3, 1942, when Gran was 15 & Grandad was 18 & the United States had been pulled into WWII by Pearl Harbor Day on December 7, 1941. Grandad was drafted in 1942 & spent 2 years in the European Theater of operations fighting as an infantryman. He lost a good friend when their foxhole was hit by a mortar shell. When he was discharged in 1945 he sold insurance for awhile then drove a truck but finally settled in 1948 on being a salesman for Kellogg Cereal Company where he worked for 17 years then quit & bought a small convenience store i West, Texas. Gran worked along side him in the store while getting her associates degree in accounting. Growing up I lived in Dallas, Houston, Waco, San Antonio and Fort Worth since Grandad was transferred every three years with Kellogg’s. We had an interesting life prior to the adoption of my sister in 1960 and the birth of my brother in 1962. At that point our lives certainly were more settled. Gran & Grandad were married 64 years. Were they happy years? Some were. Some were not as is the case with long-married couples.
Nancy Atherton, author of the Aunt Dimity mysteries, was a favorite of Mom’s. She really enjoyed reading the adventures of Aunt Dimity so when we had an opportunity to meet Nancy Atherton in Houston at Murder By The Book mystery book shop we piled in the car and drove to Houston. Mom had just had knee replacement surgery so she was still on crutches. We had dinner at La Madeline’s before we went to the book shop. Nancy Atherton was a really nice person. She gave a good program and answered alot of questions about the creative process. She talked to each of us and signed our Aunt Dimity books. It was a fun evening & Mom & I talked about it often.
I went to Hobby Lobby recently for the first time since Mom passed away. I was not prepared for the memories that rushed me when I walked through the doors. Each year Mom and I went to Hobby Lobby as soon as we knew their Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations were on the shelves. On one visit Mom was having so much pain from her hip that we used a wheelchair so she could “cruise” the store! We spent the most time in the Christmas aisles looking at the ornaments, the Santas, the angels, the greenery and the poinsettias. Neither of us bought very much–we’ve been doing Christmas a long time and we pretty much have our collection complete. Usually I’d buy a Santa for my collection and Mom would buy a pretty ornament for her tree.
My visit to Hobby Lobby was to pick out an Autumn bouquet for Mom & Dad’s niches in the mausoleum. I couldn’t handle going to the Christmas aisles. I just feel like Mom should be with me.
Gran (Mom) loved to plant a garden and she was delighted when Alex showed an interest in planting a garden, too. In Alex’s backyard they planted potatoes and collard greens. Edward the iguana loved the fresh greens and Alex enjoyed digging the potatoes when they were ready. They also planted tomato plants that they kept in a green house in Alex’s backyard. The tomatoes did really well.