Today, March 10th, would have been my mother’s 100th birthday.Caroline Moorman Saathoff (1913-1970)
I am writing this post as a tribute to my mother as well as to tell you about a wonderful coincidence.
Last Sunday as we were nearing the end of my church choir rehearsal, I asked the choir members what they wanted to sing on March 10th. One alto stated her choice immediately! She loves “In the Garden,” and old hymn everyone in the choir (and the congregation) knows very well.
We rehearsed the hymn briefly… I think we had just enough time left before the service to sing one verse. That went great, so I am not concerned about tomorrow in the least.
Then on Tuesday, I needed to choose a prelude and postlude and send the titles and composers to the office for Sunday’s bulletin.
When I looked at “In the Garden” closely enough to learn the composer’s name and the date it was written, I found that it was composed in 1913, the year of my mother’s birth! (Other sources put the composition date at 1912.)
So tomorrow, Sunday, I will focus on the coincidence and the hymn rather than the death of my mother 42 years ago. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you.
Happy Birthday begins at 1:32.
This video is from a Young People’s Concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein. “Happy Birthday” was played in honor of Igor Stravinsky’s birthday.
Today is my birthday, so I wanted to hear this.
My mother’s birthday is today.
She would have been 98!
Since I’m thinking about her, I thought I’d make her a Facebook profile. I think she’d like it. It might look like this:
Name: Caroline Elise. She had one or two more middle names which I no longer remember. Her birth certificate lists only Elise.
City of birth: Metropolis, IL, all the way down on the southern border. Yes, THAT Metropolis, home of Superman. My mother grew up outside of town, and it’s pretty small (pop. 6,482 as of the year 2000 census).
How she left home: my mother was the only one in her family to go to college. She left home with $8 in her pocket, found a job, and sent home for her trunk.
Most distinguishing characteristic: her hair! She had the same hair as mine. Many people from Friesland, where my ancestors are from, have very finely textured blonde hair. It’s slightly wavy, but the second the wind blows, it goes completely straight.
Most unusual word: cattywampus (means “kitty corner,” and it’s not in the dictionary). The only other person I’ve heard say this is from Lexington, KY.
Best spelling: M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback-humpback-I. (Get it? That spells “Mississippi.”)
Funny thing she did: She loved to write silly poems on family birthday cards. They were really bad, eliciting groans every time. And she knew they were bad. But I know she had fun writing them.
How she got me to vacuum the furniture: by hiding change under the couch cushions! I thought for a long time that people had lost change from their pockets.
When I was sick: whenever I had a fever, she would make orange-flavored slivered ice. I still don’t know how she did it. It was so good.
Favorite activity: riding her bike to the park and back with her friends Ellie and Edith.
Favorite food: tomatoes! She was still eating entire platefuls in August, long after everyone else was tired of them.
Favorite flower: dogwood.
What I admired most: her unwavering integrity and incredible determination.