Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mother's Day at the Eisenhower's

Don't need a caption here, I'd guess.

The man on the grass is the 34th President of these United States, Dwight David Eisenhower. Even though you're not likely to have seen the woman before, you can guess--and you'd be right--that the woman on the throne is his mother.

Here she is again, this time with six of her sons, a sort of "before and after" shot--the Eisenhower boys and the Eisenhower men. And Mom.

It hangs on the wall of the Eisenhower home in Abilene, Kansas, the town where Ike--and all of his brothers--grew up on the Midwestern values so evident in President Eisenhower's personality and character. All six of them, in their own ways, made significant contributions, some to country, some simply to neighborhood. She must have been good at what she did.

Strangely enough, especially for time and place, when each of the boys left the home, they were well-versed in women's work. She made each of her sons learn to cook and sew and mend. On Sundays, two of the boys would leave church a shade early to get home to be sure the dinner was in the oven and ready to go, a dinner they'd prepared. Mother insisted on a day off.

Mid-Depression, she refused to sell the piano, even though there was no money and it could have brought some much-needed cash. Each of the boys took lessons, too, even though only a few of them ever stayed at it. One of the boys worked his way through college by tickling the ivories in a whole host of different venues.

She was, in certain ordinary ways, extraordinary. Here's her bread box, where she put the dough she kneed (excuse the can't-miss pun) when she'd bake bread, three times per week, nine loaves per prep. You do the math. That radio in the corner?--short wave. Her son, the Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, got it for her during the war so she could hear his voice.

The host looked nice, although the docent claimed it was, at best, modest in Abilene, and definitely on the wrong side of town. It wasn't in the oldest part of town, but built on what was once a cattle yard. Abilene was once full of cattle, the market for every single longhorn up from Texas. The 34th President of the U.S. of A., was born on a cattle yard. 

We just happened by Abilene on Mother's Day, didn't choose specifically to tour that day. But it may well have been the right day to walk through the house, to take note of the pictures, and imagine the mother of six boys--seven, really, but little Paul died of diphtheria at just ten months--managing the entire affair. She must have been overworked, and proud. 

But, seriously, nine loaves of bread, three times a week? You've got to be kidding.


Anonymous said...

Appreciate your bi-partisanship. Must have been difficult to tour across the aisle...

Jerry27 said...

From Ike With Love: The Age of Deception (1952-2016)

The Welch book on Ike should be required reading. I think it is a free download.

There was that liberation of Italian women that never made it into the official record.

The Women of Monte Cassino by Dr. William L. Pierce 1 / 2 ...