It is model No. B 1585, yellow rayon, and made by the Gibson-Norwalk Company. Presented on the padded cover is a white baby bonnet trimmed in seafoam green with a trail of lazy daisies who have sought quiet refuge. The title is "Our Baby's Book." It is, in fact, my baby book which my mother presented to us in our first year of marriage. I suppose she figured now that I was married and settled, the passing of this history volume would be in safe keeping.
This book is not spellbinding, but it is full of information compiled by the love of a mother for her son. In addition to normal baby information, it also contains a lock of my hair from my first haircut on March 29, 1961; my baby room card from Trinity Hospital room No. 318; and a clipping from the doctor who delivered me - Dr. V.J. Fischer. However, the most interesting was the bill for my delivery into this world which was a total of $123! I recently joked with my parents that I was surely one of their wisest investments!
I have sat on our front porch several times while sipping coffee looking at this compiled book of information and realized how very lucky I am to have the mother I do. She was in full motion like a flag on a windy North Dakota day - unfurling attention to five vying sons. Yet she found the time to make this book that is uniquely about me. It reminds me of the things that were important to her and values that she instilled in me.
My first visit was to my Grandma and Grandpa Repnow's home on Mother's Day. Then there is the cute little Christmas tag from my very first Christmas present, signed "Happy First Christmas - Love and kisses - Mother and Dad."
In my book, Mom wrote this about me and my older siblings.
"At 10 months old, you are a chubby little fellow with red hair and big blue eyes. You are happy and smiling most of the time. Your brothers, Tommy, Neal and Oliver love to take care of you too much sometimes! Each morning they stroll into our bedroom while still in their pajamas and sit in front of your crib. Very shortly you begin to put on a show for them, first by impressing them what you can do with your legs and feet. This is followed by Act 2, which includes you trying on a variety of hats which they bring to you. The multi-colored pointed straw hat brings the most giggles from the boys as you clap. Today, however, you went too far when for Act 3 you stood up and pulled our glass, pink bed lamp into the crib!"
by Joyce Haugen
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/2 cup coconut
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add nuts, cherries and coconut. (The mixture will be thick - you will need to hand mix!) Press into a 15- x 10-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Editor's note: In the April 17 edition of "Let's Cook," the amount of baking powder was inadvertently omitted from the Cherry Pink Nut Bread recipe. Use 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
That is the beauty of recording family information early on. It gives one an insight of what is to come. (By now, most people know that would be just my style to add a lethal dose of suspense and electricity to my morning show!) This morning mischief did not go unnoticed by my mother who was standing in the doorway. However, mother wrote "no harm was done." It is recordings like these that endure to our mothers. They took time from their busy schedules to make us all feel special and important. They loved us first
and with a love that never fades.
Now it is my turn to write about you, Mom. You have been my teacher helping me to learn about life and pointing me in the right direction. You had the wisdom to let me make mistakes and then arrived to help me pick up the pieces afterward. You have been my role model - leading by example in faith, understanding and grace.
Thank you for walking in front of me to prepare the way for a better future. Teaching me that taking time to appreciate family, friends and neighbors is important; we always need to reach beyond what is in front our eyes. As an adult, I now say thanks for caring enough to say "no," but being enthusiastic enough to say "yes" when possible. Thank you for giving me some of the happiest birthdays, holidays and runs through the water sprinkler a kid could have. No matter how many years pass, I find that these memories never fade. They continue to shine brightly in my heart and inspire me to be a better father.
I grew up knowing that I was cared about and loved.
Thank you me putting up my with my fashion insistence from a very early age and for letting me have that sweet linen summer suit from Von's Clothing that sported a yellow, red and aqua sailboat on the chest pocket. As a 3-year-old, you understood I wanted my own identity. As a young child, I always knew that I could find safety and comfort in your loving arms. That is still true today.
Thank you for making me understand that we not only talk, but we listen and then we communicate. Thank you for showing me that prayer is the most powerful source on earth. Thank you for showing me that we will rebuild in times of adversity - no matter how difficult - and when a problem arises, we will settle it together. Thank you for sharing laughter in our home and taking time to play as well as work together. Thank you for showing that we treat others fairly and justly, and expect the same in turn.
These memories, Mom, of home go with me always and they keep me close to you. I know that I will never stop thanking you for everything that you poured into our home and for everything that you continue to give to us at age 93. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Always know how very much you are loved.
My wife, Jan, recently made these bars. I took some of them to Mom, and her response was "these are good!" The recipe comes from the land of great cooks - Wolford, N.D.