Monday, November 22, 2010


"Is this it?" I asked as I handed it to her. She raised her glasses with one hand and squinted her 91+ year old eyes to see what she held in the other hand. "Yes. Yes. That's it. Where was it?" "It was right where you said it was, except across the street. Now that no one is mowing anymore, I saw it."

Heaven knows that in my time on this earth and growing up in that town, I've been on that road hundreds, if not thousands, of times. And all that time, this plant was growing there, defiantly withstanding lawn mowers each summer. Now that the mowing has ceased for yet another winter, the low spreading leaves of the Common Mallow were easy to spot as I drove by.

Success! This was my greatest triumph. So often I feel like I'm racing against the clock, trying to solve mysteries for my mother and myself while she is still with us.

The plant from her memories still exists, as it did 60 years ago when my grandmother made cold remedies from it. I carefully placed the leaf in my mother's Woman's Home Companion Cook Book (1946), which she had given to me several years ago.

Elusive, still, is the sweet cicely and the "bread and butter" tree she speaks of, whose leaves she would stack in threes and chew, as one would a sandwich. Perhaps that discovery is for another day.


MyStory of HiStory said...

Nice detective work! Funny - that it was hidden in plain sight so to speak. Hope you are successful in finding the others as well.

Courtney at Scattering Lupines said...

How sweet! It's such a romantic idea-- you out solving your mother's mysteries and bringing back the evidence to her...

Now, those sandwich leaves sound interesting. I can see it on the deli menu now! :)

farmlady said...

My mom died last year and there were so many things left to talk about and do. Death waits for no one and now any of the forgotten remedies, the little remembrances, what she added to her recipes and how she felt about things... is with her in another place. Be your Mom's advocate and enjoy every moment. Listen, talk to her and write things down.
I was so lucky to have these last few years to be with my Mom and do some of this. It wasn't long enough but I treasure every day of the time with her.
Here's to the Common Mallow.... Some day it will not be common at all. It will be a very special leaf between the pages of a very special life.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hello friends,
Thank you for stopping by, and sending kind thoughts.

Hi farmlady,
I'm glad you were also able to spend time with your Mom. What it does for the heart is worth more than all the riches in the world. Keeping memories alive is a family heirloom.
Thank you for your support. Life's choices are never easy, but moving back was the right decision. I would have regretted it, had I not.

Best wishes, everyone!

MyStory of HiStory said...

Just wanted to pop in and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.