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The Mother’s tree

I have a box of memories. This box holds everything which I could take with me from my past life in Latvia after I moved over to Canada. It is amazing how little space can be filled with memories of 46 years, and that’s all I have from there.

As I’m going through yellowish pictures, some as old as I am now, some even older which makes them 70 or 80 years old, I’m having a look at my mom. She is so diligent, loves moving and doing everything so much that even now at 85 she is still busy in the garden and at the sewing machine. Her eyesight has worsened a lot, but that does not stop her. My dad was like that, too: always busy with something. We had a fantastic place over there in Latvia. It was a semi-detached house; quite honestly, it later caused a lot of problems just because it was not solely ours, and my dad built it practically from scratch, when we moved to this small town Saldus, it had only the outside walls and sort of main structures.

Mother's day

He and my mom worked hard to make it a lovely living space. My mom is a born gardener, somebody who genuinely understands the nature and character of every plant and tree, and I believe I have inherited this knowledge because I have green thumbs, too. We had a huge orchard, 2 greenhouses and many flowers and vegetables, all kinds of them. These, who know what life was like in the late soviet era, can recall how nothing was in the store, so most food which we had on our table came from our own garden. Thankfully, gardening was the greatest thing I could ever learn. I started helping early, we were just small kids: sister and I, but it was an unwritten rule that everybody has to participate in order garden and orchard received the attention they deserved.

My mom in her 30

My mom in her 30

In my memories, there’s always spring and blossoming apple tress in this old place which doesn’t even exist anymore. I suppose, that will be my most favorite time of the year for as long as I live. There were white and sweetly pinkish clouds of blooms all along the garden path as we walk down the hill. The house was at the top of a hill, so when standing there, one was overlooking the most beautiful scene imaginable. Cherries, apple trees, plum trees, pear trees, black, white and red currant and gooseberry bushes were on both sides of the path. I think it’s not a coincidence I love painting garden path images. Whenever I think back, I am seeing my mom under these blossoming apple trees. It is spring, it is warm and sunny and dad works in the small shed he built, as well.

Whenever I think about a mother and her importance in our life, I am seeing a huge apple tree, wide and strong and it carries its fruit through dry, rainy or stormy summers straight into the first frosts of the fall. Branches are so strong and flexible at the same time, but they are in a full beauty in early May. Mother and a blossoming apple tree are synonyms for me.

My mom working at greenhouses

My mom used to work in huge greenhouses, I was quite often with her, I was 4-5 since we didn’t have kindergartens 

I never developed extreme attraction or attachment to things one can buy, but I found an endless opportunity to express myself through things one is able to create. Therefore, creativity became my true existence. That is thanks to my mom who is the most creative person I’ve ever known. She created home decor, pillow cases and curtains, thousands of dresses, skirts, blouses, dresses, coats and jackets. She still loves designing and sewing aprons. She gives them as a gift to people who love cooking or doing work around the house. She could create any outfit one only can dream off. I took over this skill when I was 12; and when I was 13, I was wearing everything made by myself, that included coat, pants, skirts, blouses and tops. It takes my mom nothing to create the most beautiful flower arrangements, and I obviously am good at that, as well. I think my feel of good composition and balance within a space or image takes its origin right there: that is the way my mom would arrange things. Harmony and balance was the main feature of any of her creations. I’ve never eaten more delicious patties or home- made pies. Thanks mom for allowing me to become not a consumer, but so much more a creator of anything beautiful around us! I think it is a precious skill which carries me through life and makes my living so much simpler.

My mom at her sewing machine

Returning to the memory box: I was surprised how few photos I had from all these years. Well, cameras and smart phones were not available as they are now, so having taken a picture was a big deal. I cannot describe the heartache when these pictures didn’t come out as good as planned. It does not really matter whether I have only a few or lots of pictures. My memory has it all: the old house, the orchard and my mom under a blossoming apple tree. That’s all what matters.

My mom in Latvia

A recent picture of mom, just last year, she is 85

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love your posts on here, the content is great!

    Like

    May 8, 2016
  2. Anonymous #

    Very interesting family history. Thanks Inese

    Like

    May 8, 2016
    • Thank you for stopping by! I simply adore my mom, so I thought to mark my come back after a while of being away with a story about her.

      Like

      May 8, 2016
  3. I love this story, Inese. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Now: why are your posts not showing up in my WP Reader? I am going to unfollow and follow you again to see if it makes a difference.

    Like

    May 8, 2016
    • Thanks Cynthia! I really appreciate your nice comment.
      WordPress makes it fairly hard for secondary blogs which the lifeschool is to show up on reader. However, I believe, if you are following it, it should show up. I have the art blog, as well, and that is the primary, and that probably shows up in the reader.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 9, 2016
  4. Inese, what a wonderfully creative mother you have—you have certainly taken after her in so many ways, and you’ve helped me understand why you’re so talented at painting nature. I agree it’s satisfying to make things from scratch. Homemade and homegrown food are my favorites.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Like

    May 9, 2016
    • Thanks Wendy! I think we didn’t have a choice, but to become creative with everything. When we cannot get something, but we really need it, we will think about ways how to make this happen. Life was so insanely different over there that I practically feel I have already had more than just one life. The basic approach to life was very different, and it’s not helping me here. I’m somebody who’s very strong because I’ve seen one has to be. My dad, my mom, every person I knew could survive only because they were strong. My dad was in Siberia, as you might know, and only one out of every thousand returned. The amounts of work we got done was not a joke, yet, it taught a lot. Believe or not, I could not understand for quite a long time how people here can just sit for hours and have dinner or sit and do nothing at some entertainment place. We never had such a luxury there, and I am used to always do something. I feel just so bad when my current health doesn’t allow me to be as I was. My mom loves flowers and she has been growing them for many years, 50 maybe, her hands are so small, but rough, and so strong. I feel sorry about her hands and that she had to work so hard, but she never complained. I don’t mind work, even very hard work, and when the health isn’t an issue, I think work always rewards us.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 9, 2016
      • Yes, having a good work ethic is a blessing to all concerned. My mom and I both have osteoarthritis, but we love being busy–it takes our minds off our aches and pains too. 🙂 But I’ve noticed I can’t garden for hours on end like I used to do. But I’m thankful to have a flower garden and vegetable plot. Many people have never had the chance to grow their own food (except in pots on a balcony).

        Like

        May 9, 2016
      • I completely understand you. My former fractures are a big issue, too, and I don’t want to get into too much detail about other stuff that prevents me from doing things which just like you, I love doing. I have to be more careful, I wasn’t for a moment and got a new injury last week, back on the terrible and strong antibiotics. They make me so upset and lethargic, it’s so difficult to make myself move. I’m still trying. I’m very much used to pain, and that’s not such an issue, but this feeling of that I want nothing is pretty difficult to overcome. I mean, it’s not possible for the time of taking these strong things. That’s why I haven’t posted much recently, cannot even sit at computer.
        I regret to hear you have these health issues. Oh well, as long as one has the willpower, it should be ok. Chemical reactions shadow down and decrease the willingness to be active a lot. I just really need to rest a bit now. I painted quite a few flowers, etc. They need some small finalizing touch,but I will post probably something unfinished for now.
        You know what doesn’t stop surprising me? I look at some stuff, and I cannot believe I have done it. With the present absence from a normal busy world. You are doing just great. I have no energy at the moment. Maybe later at night I will feel more energetic.

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        May 9, 2016
    • Also, thanks so much Wendy for always checking out my stuff on Facebook and liking it! I really appreciate that! You are such a great person, so kind and spiritually inspiring!

      Like

      May 9, 2016
  5. That is a beautiful tribute to your amazing Mum. I love how the apple tree in blossom reminds you so strongly of her.

    Like

    May 9, 2016
  6. Dear Inese, how I love this story and the photos. Your mom was and is still so pretty and you look so much like your mom. I love what you said about creating rather than consuming.

    Did your mom miss her Latvia home much? I am sure she did. It sounds so beautiful – I would too. Thank you for sharing your box of memories. I have my own box too, about my grandma. Will share with you another time.

    Like

    May 9, 2016
    • Thanks Monica! I believe we had gotten so much farther if we were not that deep in consuming things.
      My mom, my daughter, my sister and my grandchildren and everybody else are in Latvia. I Skype here and there with them. I’m the only one in Canada, I would say I miss them, especially on such special days.

      Like

      May 9, 2016
  7. “It does not really matter whether I have only a few or lots of pictures. My memory has it all”

    After all, we can nothing to take with – at the end nothing counts but what you have left for others.

    May God bless you and your Mum, Inese

    Like

    May 9, 2016
  8. Lovely memories to always have.

    Like

    May 9, 2016

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