Mom’s Rhubarb Makes Pie For Sunday Friends

The rhubarb that we transplanted last summer from my mom’s long row in the garden back in Hancock, has produced amazing plants at our home in Madison.  Over the past couple of weeks the plants have literally exploded with growth.  Saturday night we picked some rhubarb, and James turned it late this morning, along with some strawberries, into one of his amazing pies.  His pies are truly creations to make the mouth water.  We called two dear friends that are of my mom’s generation who live at Kennedy Manor, and asked if they wanted to stroll across the Isthmus for a piece.  They often wander over on a walk, and this time hoped they might do so again knowing what treat awaited them.  After whipping up some cream for a topping, and pouring the tea, we all sat on our picnic table looking out on Lake Monona.  Two neighbors, a  musician and a political friend, walked by and joined us adding to the smiles and laughter.

There is naturally a place that is empty here on Mothers Day.  However, there is a continued connection through things as simple, and yet as meaningful, as the  rhubarb that my mom tended and cared for that bonds the past with the present.  This might be the perfect new tradition for Mothers Day, and a way to make new memories from the old and dear ones.

Martha Mason, 60 Years In Iron Lung, Dies

Another interesting obituary.  When they are written about interesting people, an obit can be a great read.  (I think my readers know what I mean.)

Paralyzed from the neck down as a result of childhood polio, Ms. Mason was one of the last handful of Americans, perhaps 30 people, who live full time in iron lungs. There is no documented case of any American’s having done so for quite as long as she, David W. Rose, the archivist of the March of Dimes Foundation, said on Friday.

From her horizontal world — a 7-foot-long, 800-pound iron cylinder that encased all but her head — Ms. Mason lived a life that was by her own account fine and full, reading voraciously, graduating with highest honors from high school and college, entertaining and eventually writing.

She chose to remain in an iron lung, she often said, for the freedom it gave her. It let her breathe without tubes in her throat, incisions or hospital stays, as newer, smaller ventilators might require. It took no professional training to operate, letting her remain mistress of her own house, with just two aides assisting her.

Ms. Mason often gave dinner parties — she ate lying down, with her guests around the table and the iron lung pushed up beside it — and savored lively conversation, good gossip and the occasional bawdy story. Amid the rhythmic whoosh … whoosh of the iron lung, the local book club met in her home. High school graduates stopped by so she could admire them in their caps and gowns, as did just-married couples in their wedding finery. Souvenir magnets from faraway places, gifts from traveling friends, adorned the yellow exterior of Ms. Mason’s iron lung like labels on a steamer trunk.

President Obama At White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Part One

Part Two

Wanda Sykes Comedy At White House Correspondents’ Dinner

We watched this last night on C-SPAN, and laughed heartily. 

If two cars pull up and one has Dick Cheney in it, and the other a stranger….

Part One

Part Two