The adventures of Mumsy and me

A tribute to my extraordinary mother

Sue and Sarah.  Sarah and Sue.  We go together like chocolate and peanut butter, like cats and boxes, like Sunday nights and Game of Thrones.  We’ve been more than mother and daughter my entire life – we’ve also been amazing friends!  She taught me the most important and powerful lessons about life, love, and not taking yourself too seriously.  I hope to honor her this Mother’s Day by paying homage to the woman who gave me life and filled it with laughter.

Sarah and Sue at the southern tip of Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, NY.Sue and Sarah on the harbor walk in Boston, MA.

The active Mumsy

She skis.  She gardens.  She sews.  She probably rescues kittens from trees when no one is watching, but I can’t be sure.  Really though, how else to explain the number of cats that our family has adopted over the years?

We Jordans have always led very active lives.  My mother is no exception.  Now retired from teaching, she keeps herself incredibly busy with hobbies and active pursuits alike.  She bicycles on the Erie Canalway Trail, watching out for tiny bunnies running along the path and trying not to squish any of the snakes sunbathing on it.  When I join her for a ride, we have to be careful to not pilot our bikes into any immovable objects or risk collapsing into uncontrollable laughter right there on the trail.  Although if I think about it, we run the risk of uncontrollable laughter at pretty much any moment when we’re together!

My mom spends most of her summer days gardening and letterboxing.  Several years ago, she and her friends created a series of letterboxes about lawyer and philanthropist Owen D. Young.  They planted the boxes in Van Hornesville, NY, the location of the small public school that bears his name.  The description they wrote for each box was, of course, very detailed and very educational.  Would you expect anything less from a trio of teachers?

Sewing and skiing occupy my mother’s time in the winter.  She enjoys the wide, flat, cruising trails at any ski area.  I can occasionally convince her to try (or, more accurately, I can goad her into trying!) the more challenging trails but only when the weather conditions are absolutely perfect and the stars are aligned and so forth :)

I love that my mom has a ton of interests and activities to keep her busy.  Hopefully, I will be just as active when I’m retired!

Sarah and Sue on the Trenton Falls Scenic Trail in Barneveld, NY.Sue, Nick, and Sarah at Royal Mountain Ski Area in Caroga Lake, NY.

The silly Mumsy

Anyone who knows my mother can attest to her goofiness.  It’s a kind of goofiness can’t be taught – you either have it or you don’t :)  It’s also the kind of goofiness that elicits a great deal of eye rolling from my father.  But I say, how monotonous would his life be if she were not her naturally silly self every day?

One of my favorite things about my mother is how she has to “get her feet right” when walking on rocks or trying to cross a stream.  That always makes us giggle!  When she’s not conversing with her own cats, she’s taming the stray ones that end up at her house (we call her the Cat Whisperer for good reason).  She wears crazy socks and invents ridiculous rhyming songs to sing with my niece.  She sews adorable frog and monkey pillows to sell at craft fairs and then takes photos of them drinking beers on the couch.

Sometimes, she laughs so hard that no sound comes out.  Which makes me laugh until I cry.  Which makes her laugh even harder.  And round and round we go – it’s a dangerous cycle!

Sarah and Sue at Ethel's 100th birthday party.Pretty pedicures.

The family Mumsy

My mother puts so much of herself into taking care of her loved ones.  Goodness knows how many things she sacrificed along the way so my brother and I could have safe and happy childhoods.  And to think of the countless lessons she taught us in the formative years!  From holding a spoon to reciting the alphabet to writing complete sentences, she created the foundation of who I am today.  I learned a ton of sewing tricks from her when we made two prom dresses for me in high school.  24 years later and red sequins are still mysteriously popping up around the house!

My favorite Christmas moment with my mother was many years ago when she and I were waiting for my father to put the lights on the tree so we could begin hanging the ornaments.  We found a long garland in a box of decorations, wound it around our arms and necks like a giant feather boa, and danced a two person conga line through the house while singing along with Paul Simon on the stereo.  Just another low key Jordan Christmas :)

My mom always puts in the long hours for the family.  I’ve lost track of how many times she’s helped me move.  She spent an entire summer tending a huge flower garden so my brother and his wife could have the perfect floral arrangements at their wedding.  Last year, she rode in a car for six hours with a horribly sprained back just to attend my cousin’s college graduation party.  She will do anything for her family, and her support is unwavering whenever it is needed.

Sarah and Sue atop Mount Jo in North Elba, NY.Sue and Sarah in Coxsackie, NY.

The best Mumsy

I get to know this amazing woman better every day.  She loves autumn, the color red, and proper grammar.  She prefers wide open spaces to concrete jungles and enjoys Thanksgiving far more than Christmas.  She is rarely idle, she takes care of everyone around her, and she believes that a little bit of goofiness makes life more interesting.  Though I don’t say it nearly enough, I hope she knows how much she means to me and how much I love being her daughter and her friend.

I could not ask for a better mother on Mother’s Day (or any day for that matter) because mine is already the best!  I adore her, and I admire her for all of the things she’s done in her life.  I cherish the memories of our shared moments, and I look forward to whatever adventure comes next.

There are a lot of great moms in this world, and I wish I could tell you each of their stories on this very special Mother’s Day.  My silly little tribute to my own mother pales in comparison to what’s in my heart for her, but I express my love, affection, and gratitude for her today as best I can.

She is the greatest of all great mothers.  She is the Mumsy, and I love her dearly.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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