I don't suppose there's any question that I am inspired by home and family and contentment.
My mother required very little to be happy. She would ask me to drive her to Southern Maryland to the Amish Farmer's Market. She got as excited over a bag of bright oranges or an extra-large head of cabbage as anyone I've ever known. She loved to ride along rural route 231 through the Amish farmland. After our visit to the Farmer's Market, she often convinced me to turn down a farmer's driveway to get fresh eggs or honey, or buy handmade quilts, baked goods, birdhouses or nursery plants for her flower beds.
I considered most of this a pain. I didn't understand why we couldn't just go to the grocery store and be done. I always complied with her requests, but I was reluctant and often in a rush to get back home.
I am just old enough now to appreciate what she loved about these day trips. She wanted adventure. She was open to the world and all its offerings with her big heart and easy smile. Everything was a big deal to her, which sometimes made for drama, but also made for celebration out of ordinary days. She wanted to show me – and each of my sisters – this way of approaching life. She did what all loving mothers do; she taught us to live fully by her sweet example.
It's taken me a long time to see my mother's wisdom. Her ways seeped into me when I wasn't paying attention. I appreciate, in the fullness of my own adventures, how much I owe to her – for teaching me how to have fun, how to love life, how to see the beauty of clothes hanging on the line to dry.
Like all good stories, this one is never-ending. I see in my sons this same pattern where they might seem disinterested in my way of life as they seek the separation that is necessary to grow up and mature. I find great comfort in knowing . . . I seep into them, too.