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Friday, August 16, 2013

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To – a correction

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To – a correction

A couple of weeks ago I posted a story about the toughness that was my mom (see .)  My brother sent me an email to correct the story.  I had mixed parts of two stories into one.  Ordinarily I try not to let facts interfere with my posts, but in this case the truth is better than my feeble recollection.

I posted that my mom broke her hip slipping on ice.  Actually, mom was trimming a tree branch that was hanging over her driveway and annoying her.  At 5’2” she could not quite reach the limb even with some long handled “loppers” (mom’s technical term*.)  In order to reach the limb, she climbed into a wheel barrow for extra height.  

From my brothers correction: 

As she reached for the limb, she put her weight on the front of the wheel barrel and felt it tipping.  She recalls Dad appearing in her mind and saying something to the effect, "Do not press your luck" (something that my dad would have said) and then the wheel barrel threw her to the ground, breaking her hip.


The rest of the story where she refused to call for help, not wanting to bother anyone was essentially true.


The ice story as told by my brother:


My recollection with the garage was that she locked herself out of the house one night when temperatures were approaching zero.  She decided not to bother anyone and to just curl up in the car in the garage until morning.  I was calling her and could not get her, felt something was wrong and called Wanda and David Scott (a handyman friend of my mom.)   David went by and found her half frozen in the garage.  I think he had a key to let her in because Wanda also worked for her.


Now I know mom kept a spare key in a fake rock near the door, but in the dark I guess she could not find it.  The funny part of this story, if there can be any humor in an 85+ year old woman almost freezing to death because she didn’t want to be a bother to her neighbors, is mom was always locking us (me) out at night.


Mom was a nut about security and constantly checked and locked the doors an night.  For those of us (me) that smoked and at 50+ years old were still afraid to let their mother know of this habit, we (I) was often locked out at night while sneaking in a quick butt.  Somehow this time mom got herself caught by her own paranoia.




Kooky, paranoid, or on the edge of approaching dementia, Mom was one tough lady!


*Dang! I just Googled that tool and Lopper is the correct term…who knew!



  1. yup, i knew lopper was what it was really called. :)

    your mom was, indeed, feisty. thanks for both stories!

  2. Ack.. I guess your poor mother was independent to a fault. Still, I admire the strength she must have possessed.

  3. Old women and trouble. Fortunately for me, most escapades require two hands and since I need one to hang onto a cane, I've been spared so far.

    But, I love old toughies. My great grandmother, who was in her mid eighties before she finally fell off a chair switching out curtains. My aunt, who did the same. I raise my cane and salute them all.

  4. I have a feeling that your mother and mine were cut from the same piece of cloth.

  5. Sounds like your mother would have made a fine pioneer woman. She must have been tough as nails.


  6. To Lowandslow: I can just picture her laying there, after falling off a covered wagon, saying "I'm all right--I'll catch up with you!!"

  7. I would call her the Personification of Independence.

  8. yep... that's how I picture our pioneer women. I bet she could open windows by herself... not Microsoft... stuck house windows. !

  9. i can completely understand... my mom is 92, and crazy stories are being told... about things we've never heard of.....