Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Girl and Her Dog

It's Sepia Saturday again.
Since my dear mother is recovering 
from shoulder replacement surgery,
I thought I'd feature her image this week.

This is little Betty with her dog Spot.
She was born in a small town in Oregon,
the third of four sisters.

The Depression defined her childhood,
though I don't know how much she knew or understood.
Her high school years were spent in the shadow
of World War Two.

She went to college at a time when women
sought an "MRS." degree.

She had a lovely singing voice and often performed 
as the vocalist for weddings and funerals.
I remember once when I was really little
that she was on television in Indianapolis.

She worked in the library at Butler University,
putting Hubby through school, so to speak.

She worked on and off through my childhood,
when working mothers were somewhat odd
and not at all normative. It wasn't a matter of personal choice
as much as necessity, because her husband's ministerial salary
couldn't quite stretch far enough.

She survived divorce, though it took a while.
And then, when she was in her 60s,
she asked her three grown children
if we thought it was silly that she wanted 
to become a lay minister in the United Methodist Church.

She thought she was too old.
We told her she was old enough not to worry
about what anyone thought
and just do what she wanted to do.

So she did. After some schooling, 
she was given a church flock to shepherd
until her retirement. 

Let's hear it for women learning to live the lives
they want to live!

For other Sepia Saturday participants,
click HERE


Barbara said...

How wonderful to start a whole new life in your 60's. A very inspirational story. I hope she's recovering well.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

yeah to your mom! what a wonderful role model and the photo is priceless.

hope the shoulder surgery well an recovery is going smoothly.

The Silver Fox said...

"She went to college at a time when women sought an 'MRS.' degree."

Great line! And a great lady, pursuing a dream at that age. Wishing her all the best.

Delwyn said...

Hi Meri

What a soft lovely photo of your mother to cherish...and I loved the story you told- the quick precis of a life well lived...
Don't tell me you are going into the ministry!!!!

Happy days

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What an interesting woman - and a beautiful girl! Hope her recovery is smooth and pain free.

Valerie said...

Well done to your Mom. I hope she gets over the shoulder op fairly quickly. I like the picture very much.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

A wonderful story about self discovery. It's never too late, and the right time comes for everyone. I bet she was a wonderful minister filled with compassion. My mother was from the same generation and dealt with the same frustrations and of being under valued by men. And the photo at top is so wonderful. I love photos of children and their beloved pets.

Leah said...

Beautiful, inspiring portrait of a lady. Best wishes to her for her recovery!

tony said...

Bless Betty.Her Generation Had It Tough But They Got Going!

willow said...

I adore vintage photos of children with their dogs. This one of your mother is priceless! Best wishes to her for a speedy recovery. xx

Poetikat said...

Hear! Hear! for your Mom. (My mom's a Betty too.)

That's a great photo with Spot.

Hope she's back in the swing soon.


rebecca said...

thank you meri for sharing your mother with us.
she is beautiful, as are you.


Martin H. said...

More power to your mother. I hope she heals quickly and returns to full health.

kt said...

lovely photo and story

Elisabeth said...

So many careers and different avenues to follow. Your mother is some lady and she was also very beautiful as a child. Still is no doubt. Thanks, Meri.

Anonymous said...

What an iconic image!
"Betty and her dog Spot". I think she should have a book written about her.
Your mother's life echoes so many of her generation --doing the 'right' 'regular' normal sort of thing and then later discovering/ growing.
She sounds so lovely.
My mother's name was Betty too.
I think it is due for a revival.
All best wishes

Barry said...

She was certainly a woman ahead of her time not letting age or sex circumscribe her choices.

I've never head of shoulder replacement surgery. I hope she recovers soon.

lettuce said...

what sweet picture - and she sounds truly inspirational

Pat said...

I enjoyed the way you displayed her story in verselike appearance. Yes, so many of the women kept their place. My mother worked too, a rarity back in the day. I love that she went on to become a lay leader! And speedy healing to her!

PattyF said...

What a beautiful photo, and what an inspirational life story. She sounds like an amazing woman. I wish her all the best for a speedy recovery.

Annie Ha said...

Great post. We owe so much to our women ancestors, they took great, scary strides that laid an easier path for us.

Kaotic said...

Lovely picture, and I hope your Mum recovers soon. Also, it's lovely to start the week with the thought of it never being too late for a new beginning.