Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who Is Sixty?

Momma turns 60 today, April 24, 2013. 

Not much has changed since this photo was taken. 
She still loves livestock, has the flip in her hair on the right side and she never did get rid of those kankels. 

I can laugh about that. It's genetic. 

Linda - Debbie - Susan

Granddaughter Marlee, 55+ years later

Momma has had a hard time wrapping her mind around turning 60. 
30 was fun - she was still having kids. 
40 was easy - we forgot to celebrate. 
50 came and went in a flurry of preparation for someone else: her youngest was about to graduate from high school. Finally, an empty nest. 
But at 60, she has begun to read the obituaries just to keep up on what everyone else "her age" is doing these days.
Have you seen my mother? She has a lot of years left in her. 

But I'm not going to discount the amazing woman she is today because of those 60 years that have flown by. 
More than a stupid number, in 60 years, who has Momma been?

The Multitasker - Kind of
Momma still packed my lunch well into high school. As in, until the day I graduated from high school (guilty). Every day, second period, I would take a sneak peak into my lunch bag. One Thursday I got a great surprise.   
A cube steak. 

Quite surprised and a little freaked out, my lunch bag went straight into the trash and Dustin Dickey gave me a couple dollars for lunch that day. I got home that evening to a frazzled mother. She had been searching for the cube steak she laid out for supper, and all she could find on the counter was a thawed ice pack. My thawed ice pack. The one that usually kept my yogurt cold. In the morning rush, she laid out the ice pack on the counter and packed the cube steak in my lunch bag. We had left overs that night. Things happen. 

The Trend Setter
Momma wore coral lipstick before coral lipstick was cool. I'm serious. For decades she has kept a few tubes in her purse (should she lose one), one tube in the truck (should company arrive), one tube in the downstairs bathroom (should company arrive), one tube in her coveralls (should company arrive) and another in the same location where our spare house key has lived for 30 years. I've never understood that one, but at 60 I'm not about to question it. 

The Chef
In forty-five minutes I have watched Momma pull together a four-course meal for twelve using nothing more than yesterday's beet salad (homemade), canned beef (home grown) and Frankie Valli on the radio. She has an amazing ability to stand in the pantry door, look around for eight seconds and develop an entire menu for our family, plus unexpected guests. The only use she has for measuring cups these days is to ensure she's drinking enough water daily and at dinner last weekend she recited to me the recipe - and timing, and stirring techniques - for the best all-purpose gravy I've ever had. Her mind is a cookbook with an incredibly accurate assessment of what lurking leftovers are in the fridge that can still be served when Luke shows up for lunch. 


The Cowgirl
Let's put it this way: The only difference between my Momma and John Wayne is that he didn't use Frizz-Ease hairspray.
But she can - and has - pulled calves, hand milked stubborn, free-standing cows, given her breath to a calf on it's way out, missed social obligations (that she bought a new outfit for) because she was trying to confirm a heat, gotten an entire herd in and off the road, played chicken with a bull and sat up all night with a calf, holding it's little frozen body in a blanket. She's maternal. She's also one hell of a worker. 

The Detective
Our family has lost PTA fundraiser checks, spare keys, passports, pompons, living pets, registration papers, show halters, hub caps, insurance cards, mower belts, receipts, hitch pins, bobby pins, good luck charms, remote controls, baby dolls and even wedding rings. Somehow Momma has always been the first to find them. I haven't lived in her house for almost ten years and I called her last week because I couldn't find my favorite red heels. I thought I'd give it a try. Didn't work.

A lot of experience and love is packed into the 60 years we celebrate with Momma today. I remember being a very young girl and Momma lifting me onto the washing machine so she could put shoes on me. We were going somewhere special; I studied her perfectly painted red nails.With her red sweater, denim pencil skirt, white button earrings and red flats, she was the prettiest person I had ever seen.

Twenty-five years later and I see the exact same, incredibly beautiful woman, who has traded in those "clean" clothes for full-time Muck boots and mom jeans. And because of that sacrifice for Dad, Laura, Luke and I, she is exponentially more admirable and beautiful than she has ever been. 

Happy 60th Birthday, Momma!


  1. I love your mom and am so glad to have her in my life as well as all of you! I know why Aunt Chris loved her so much she's an amazing woman and friend! Happy Birthday Linda!

  2. Happy Birthday, Linda! Adding to your list of wonders, she lets us know if the cows our out or a baby is/or is trying to be born! Bill and Teresa

  3. Your Mom is one of the nicest ladies I know. I love her spirit and attitude about everything. Someday I hope to grow up just like this one very classy lady.; ) Happy Birthday Linda, 60 is the new 40 right!

  4. Linda Bowman is one incredible person and I am so glad I have been able to get to know her as a friend. Happy birthday Linda!

  5. What a celebration of words to a wonderful woman I also look up to! Love ya Linda! Denise