Being a mother is the greatest blessing of my life. (And with a son like A____y, I am grateful every day to be part of a bright new life.) One of motherhood’s great gifts is to draw out all the knowledge and wisdom learned from my own mother and grandmothers. Here is a very small portion of what they taught me. I hope it will make others remember and feel the lovely feeling of gratitude. (Sorry for the departure from the quantitative).

My mother taught me:

- — To test a pineapple for ripeness: Pull on one of the top leaves. If it comes out, the pineapple is ready to eat. (She knew this from working in Hawaii during WWII.)

- — To make spaghetti and chili without a recipe.

- — To look for the good in other people.

- — To apologize

- — To give warm comforting hugs

- — To look on the bright side

- — To get along with little

- — To finely mince garlic.

- — To make garlic bread in the broiler.

- — To make gingerbread cookies and Christmas breads

- — To make gifts

- — To invite the neighbors over for parties.

- — To make shabu-shabu.

- — To eat salads.

- — To cut out recipes.

- — To know that it is possible for a woman to knock down walls with a sledgehammer.

- — To create nursery schools, clothes, pottery, baskets, paintings, Girl Scout troops, friendships.

- — To love plants.

- — To use fish fertilizer on everything growing in pots.

- — To smile at others.

- — To swim.

- — To play piano.

- — To read.

- — To put my shoulders down.

- — To enjoy bouillabaisse.

- — To have a gentle sense of humor.

– To not drag my feet.

My mother’s mother (祖母) taught me how:

- — To test a watermelon for goodness. Knock on them and listen for resonance. She knew this from growing up in the South

- — To make a great coconut cake without a recipe.

- — To heat the pan and sprinkle it with salt before throwing on the lamb chops.

- — To harangue butchers for fresh meat.

- — To tell stories.

- — To keep sit with legs together.

- — To use nail polish.

- — To dress up for Easter.

My father’s mother (奶奶) taught me:

- — – To speak in a musical voice.

- — To grow vegetables and berries by the back door.

- — To know that it’s possible to settle down and thrive thousands of miles from home.



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