Happy 71st Birthday Tribute to My Mom

This picture of Lauralee Stevenson Olson Elliott while at Rick’s College in Idaho (i suspect) looks so much like 17 year old me. Smile and siwash sweater included.

What follows are photos which document Mom’s life and otherwise make me smile as they bring evocative memories fun with Mom and brothers.

The accompanying narrative explains much about the context but, … for now, i am doing what Mom would want me to: enjoy a tasty sandwich with poached eggs and cottage cheese on side, mail some postcards to nephew/niece, and go for a nice walk.

Love ya Mom, hope these pics and my soliloquy brings a smile to ya. XO

Today is my beloved Mom’s 71st birthday

Over the past year, Mom and I were able to spend a good amount of time together and supporting each other after and during hospital visits. We made checklists, ran errands, wrote postcards, looked at art, watched documentaries, and visited my throngs of lovely relatives in Logan, Utah.

Annotation: To learn more about Logan, consider watching Napoleon Dynamite.

My Mom is an intrepid traveler, a strong woman, a lover of life, and a true friend to all who come into her world.

Here are a few factoids and supporting evidence about Lauralee Stevenson Olson Elliott.

* Born in Belfast, Ulster (Northern Ireland) during WW2 to a Scottish (Aberdeen) Mother and an American/Internationale Father, and left shortly thereafter – crossing the Atlantic aboard a ship to USA/CANADA.

* Has visited 50+ countries, backpacker style. Throughout her life. An extra special trip to me is when Mom with me, my lady and bonus son tripped around Europe from Amsterdam > Brussels > Paris > Barcelona.

* Mom was our (Canadian) Cub Scout Akela (for Americans, Akela is the Wolf from Rudyard Kipling’s classic “Jungle Book” tale which is the basis for scouting-folk/lore in much of the world – translation: Den Mother). She rallied up camping trips, activities and gained the affection of a generation of Surrey kids, many of whom still call her Akela. Also wrote a chapbook about techniques for building fires.

* Working with my Mom was my first experience in small business and entrepreneurship. Her company, “The Bright Idea Company” made deocrative candles which i helped her make and then take to craft markets, fairs, events, and anywhere else where we could set up a banquet table with a bobbled tablecloth. Also the reason for my first newspaper article.

* Actually, this newspaper article might pre-date the above. Mom took me (both here in the photo, i’m the grumpy one) along with some other church ladies to entertain some old folks for St. Patrick’s Day. Now that i know the “real” reason behind St. Paddy’s (having drinks & forgetting), i’ve forgiven her for putting me in that leprechaun outfit.

* Mom is a MENSA member. This is a club for folks with a “genius” level IQ. I am not a member (for the record, i’ve never taken an IQ test).

* Mom worked as a Driver Education instructor on Island of Guam. I got a ride with her and a student ONE time and never again. Mom is particularly excellent at parallel parking.

* Mom used to participate in (now considered sexist and inane) beauty contests an was crowed Miss Southwestern Ontario… or something along those lines.

* Speaking of scouting above, Mom is also a Gilwell Woodbadge scouter which requires several weekends away, doing scout leadership stuff.

* Mom proudly displays 2 of my paintings in her front room. Both are views of an alley in Barcelona, looking out from a balcony at Pension Dali near Los Ramblas, one at night with acrylics and one at day with water colours and pastels.

* Mom appeared on the game show Let’s Make a Deal. She won a few hundred bucks which may have purchased a new fireplace mantle.

* Fostered a fondness for lounge wear, costumes (Halloween and otherwise), science fair projects, and rallying communities of like-minded people for a common adventure or cause.

* Is an exceptional typist, proofreader, and formatter and organizer of things.

My Mom’s Top 5 are (no particular order):

* Going to the Postoffice
* Heading out on a trip to a new country
* Visiting with friends and grandkids
* Making big meals for her boys
* Digging into genealogy, a good book or program

Love you Mom! I’ll keep adding to this thread as there are few more pictures to add.

What follows are photos which document Mom’s life and otherwise make me smile as they bring evocative memories fun with Mom and brothers.

Whatcha think?