Saturday, September 23, 2023

Whose Example Did You Follow?

Harret Elen Torris age 89.

 In this time children may find it hard to worship a hero...I really have no idea how that works for children anymore. Actually even in my days as a child I did not even think about such a thing. I wanted to be like the people that were popular. Did their "look" or attitude or even academic ability matter? I think so. Those people were the ones I wanted to be like. 

But an example remains important even at my age. So, I have been channeling my mother-in-law lately. In a strange kind of way, this woman that I really never knew guided me. She didn't do it by talking. She simply did things and I watched.

She died at the age of 90 in 1990. Up until she had to go to a nursing home a little while before she passed away, she smoked a pack of Camels a day. That I didn't and don't admire. But that little woman was strong as a horse. She was barely 5' tall but she had very large hands, long arms and big feet. 

She picked cotton as a young woman and was married 3 times. Her home as a child was in Oklahoma. I am assuming she married at a very young age but I don't really know that for sure. She bore 4 children, two by a previous married and two by my husbands father.

She had very little education but she read each and every day. Zane Grey was her favorite. She loved crossword puzzles. She wrote letters to family in Oklahoma and Texas. And she kept track of what was done for her and to her. 

There was never a telephone in their home. If you wanted to talk to her, you went to her house. 

She never gave me a name that I could call her. My sister-in-law called her Mrs. Torris but I just didn't call her by that name. I was Mrs. Torris too. Another sister-in-law called her mom. I didn't call her that because she was not my mother. It was a very strange relationship. We were both stubborn.

She didn't like me very much for many years because I took her baby son away. But, in the end, I was the one she looked to for help. I was glad for that.

She was methodical, patient and tenacious. She planted a giant garden and fed everyone that would have her produce...she wouldn't pick it for people but if they were able to come and get it, they were welcome to take what they needed. No weeds grew in her garden and a flock of bantam hens kept bugs at bay. Even today I can picture her leaning on a hoe.

When she baked, the batter bowl would be scraped so clean you would swear the dog had licked what was left in there. But no, she did that with a spoon methodically and slowly. 

The batter bowl has inspired me many times during my life...patience to complete a tedious tasks is my goal as I work.

So, it has been very obvious to me that she was one of the people whose example I followed. There are so many parents and grandparents were truly awesome I think but their examples led to success in studies and business. But my mother-in-law...she was the daily bread on our table...she taught me the value of patience. That is very important. 

So, the question would be: "Whose example did you follow?"



  1. Barbara,

    I enjoyed reading about your late mother-in-law. She sounds liked like an amazing woman. I learned a lot from my beloved late MIL.
    She taught me how to make the best homemade buttermilk biscuits. I swear I believe work was her hobby. I never saw her not doing something if it caught her attention then she was on the job pronto. I wish I were more like she was but I still have a shot at it.
    I appreciate your interest in the Monday's Music Moves Me linky up and I'm confident you signed in to it not knowing that it's party for music enthusiasts. Your posts need to contain at least one music video, so maybe next time you can include a tune that moves you. ;) Have a boogietastic week, my dear!

    1. Thank you Cathy...I will do better next time. I apologize and wish I had included the song that was a part of my 60 year wedding anniversary video. Music moves us all. Add a story and you have something even better. Have a great day.

  2. Well thank you for stopping by. I like NEW friends to add to my list. I hope you are reading the about pages when you make new friends...that is what makes this whole thing so interesting. Have a wonderful day.


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