Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Queen for a day....x3

Meet my mom.

Born Kathleen Caroline Morgenthaler on November 5, 1922 in Pickneyville, IL. She was one of eleven children, the oldest surviving sibling. Her sister Christine died giving birth. Brother Junior died as a youngster from a sad case of what my mother refers to as “blocked bowels.”

Her mother, my grandmother, Nellie, was a tough old broad. Not in a good sense. She was married three times. So she said. Once to my grandfather, Clarence. Then a shotgun wedding to her second husband, Chester (who my mom always calls The Old Man). The third, Aaron, well…no one is absolutely sure there was an official wedding.

The men in the family seemed to either disappear or die by odd circumstances. My grandfather was “calling” at a square dance when he fell off a porch, broke his neck and didn’t survive. My great grandfather met his maker by a means at the extreme opposite of Junior – caused my mom says by eating watermelon rind. The other husbands just seemed to wander off.

Mom led a pretty hard life. Being one of the oldest, she was responsible for much of the care giving to the younger kids. My grandmother, pioneer woman that she was, gave birth to all of her children at home, except one. So my mom can truthfully say she knows somethin’ about birthin’ a baby.

The rotating dads weren’t around much and the family migrated from town to town in southern Illinois. My mom tells a pretty harrowing story about one point in their life when they all actually lived in a chicken coop. But as you can tell from the early photo, she was a pretty sharp looking kid.

Anyway, getting back to the current picture. If you look really closely you can see a teeny tiny tiara on her head. She was voted Sweetheart Queen at the Senior Community where she lives. Sweetheart Queen twice. And Harvest Queen once. The other two tiaras were bigger but I don’t have a photo of those.

So life has come ‘round for her. After taking care of so many sisters and brothers, then marrying young and raising two kids of her own, she now gets to live a royal life in a cute little apartment where someone cooks all her meals, cleans, and monitors her health.

She’s become quite the competitive poker player, crochets lap blankets for her friends and manages to put together a record number of jigsaw puzzles every month. But she hasn’t quite let go of taking care of folks. Being one of the sprier residents, she seems to always be helping out one of her fellow residents. That’s how she earned all those crowns.

All hail Katie! Long live the Queen.


Vina said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mom. I just love the "teeny tiny tiara"! By the way, I had a grandfather named Clarence too.

Bruce said...

I you hang in there long enough......and have the right attitude, life always has it's rewards.

Cormac Brown said...

Vive La Regina Phayzan!

Utah Savage said...

Your mother sounds lovely.

Blueberry said...

Pinckneyville - been through that town many times and always stopped at that restaurant/diner with the good pie! It was a landmark stopping point driving from Carbondale to either St. Louis or Scott AFB.

Ma dad's real name was Junior. He was born in Makanda in 1923 - same size family.