Decades before ever hearing the name Martha Stewart, my mother Faye was a “Martha Stewart.” Regardless how busy my mother was raising two daughters, she did so much for others. She baked cakes for her friends’ birthdays as her gift, made pies and incredible food. She hosted dinner parties using her good dishes and silver, which we referred to as “having friends over.” Of course, when having friends for dinner, she would make beautiful centerpieces of fresh flowers from my dad’s garden for everyone to enjoy.

On holidays, my sister and I were expected to wear frilly lace blouses with a long “hostess” skirt. Neither my sister or I enjoyed that fashion, but we would not dare say.  As soon as dinner was over, we raced to change into our choice of clothing. This was our life even after I was grown and had little ones running around. Did I mention they too wore special clothes those days? There’s nothing like finding size 2 children’s slacks! By the time I was 18 or 19 I had developed this vision for my life. I would be as great a mom as she was. I would welcome my children home from school with fresh baked cookies and host dinner parties. THEN life happened.

Failing My Vision

As a mother to three adorable boys, there would be no need for “Hostess” clothing, no need for dinner parties or fancy plates for them to break. My life in fact looked nothing like what I had pictured so many years ago. With three sons growing up it was soccer games, bikes laying on the lawn, and birthday cakes from the bakery or and of course a McDonald’s birthday party here and there in the early years. Not as I pictured, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I do hope, however, that I did accomplish one thing from that early vision, to just be a good mom.

Now in the later years of life, children grown, grandchildren and great-grandchildren now to love on, I once again seem to fail my visions. No cookie baking as grandmothers are supposed to do, but I try to let them know I’m here, and I’ll always be here for you. (Thankfully, daughters-in-law and granddaughter are great bakers!) And what about those “dinner parties?” Nope, here I am with a husband that loves to eat on his TV tray and watch sports. The table in the kitchen gets very lonely, no fancy dishes or centerpieces needed. Instead, I garden and thrill over the first ripe tomato and often throw things in a crock pot. Nothing like my vision of my life from the young me and it’s ok.

Planted in Different Soil

Reflecting back on my life, I have decided while visions and goals for our lives are wonderful, it’s better to adjust to the life that develops for you. Never would I have expected to be serving meals to a TV tray. That one still pains me a bit. But his vision was not the same as mine and he loves the informality. (I do make him eat on real plates. 😊) I never had the large formal house my mother had or was able to be a stay-at-home mom, but I have been blessed beyond any expectations. 

The lesson I would share is to have dreams but be flexible, decide to be happy where life has planted you. Certainly not saying we should not have a nice home, a great life, but don’t make hard rules as to what will make you happy. Remember that was her life. Mine didn’t have to be the same for me to be happy. But I still strive for being the best I can be. Those visions and life that I lived were my roots. Now I am blooming above my roots where I was planted and treasure those memories while I create new ones. When flowers are planted in a garden, some need shade, some need bright sun. Each flourish where they are planted.

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