May 14, 2017

Inch Time Foot Gem: For My Mother This Mother's Day is Around Day #37,380.....


Strong and yet as delicate as a bird. Her first memory is of being held on the shoulders of her father and watching American troops parade down Main Street in Fargo, North Dakota, on their return from the First World War sometime in what must have been the late Spring (Maybe May) of 1919.

She's been a student of Moorhead State Teachers College and is now their oldest alumni. A class reunion is anywhere she is and at anytime she decides to have it. She still reads the alumni magazine.

In fact she still reads The Saturday Evening Post, having been a subscriber since 1943. "It's a very interesting magazine. Not as important as it once was, but still with a good variety to its articles."

She's taught school in everything from a one room, multi-grade school in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota to the modern modular buildings of Chico Country Day. At that school she put in 6,000 hours of reading classics such as Black Beauty and Treasure Island to generations of children.

She married her husband and lived with him for over 30 years until he died in 1972. Since then there has never been another man in her life.

She raised three sons of her own. All of whom had pretty good lives and none of whom came to any more bad passages than life ordinarily deals everyone.

I am one of them.

Last November she celebrated her 102nd birthday and again I discovered at her party that she has more friends just in the town of Chico, California than I know people in the entire world.

Thirty-seven thousand and three hundred and eighty days.

"Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.
Every minute is worth a priceless gem."

-- Takuan

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 14, 2017 12:06 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Hold her tight, it is terrible when you cannot anymore. God bless her.

Posted by: Leslie at May 9, 2015 7:35 PM


She's still "here"!!!

Happy Mothers Day, Mrs. Van Der Luen!!! :)

Posted by: cond0011 at May 9, 2015 7:55 PM

May the Lord bless and keep your Mother and you.

Posted by: Fat Man at May 9, 2015 8:49 PM

A wonderful tribute to a remarkable Mother by a loving son. Best wishes for you both on Mother's Day.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at May 9, 2015 8:58 PM

The Grace of God is upon you and your mother.
Thank you for sharing the joy with us.

Posted by: chasmatic at May 9, 2015 10:07 PM

Happy Mothers Day to her, best wishes. Thank you for sharing her with us as you do. A wonderful and inspiring life!

Posted by: Will at May 10, 2015 4:44 AM

Enjoy this one and hope for one more. Then one more. Time speeds up way to fast as we age. I wish her and you well.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at May 10, 2015 5:23 AM

Fantastic! I wish you both a great day.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at May 10, 2015 5:35 AM

God bless her Gerard. Happy Mothers day to all the moms out there.

Thank you as always, Gerard, for this site and the relief of some sanity in this world.

Posted by: Alex at May 10, 2015 6:31 AM

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by: sippican at May 10, 2015 9:21 AM

May she have a very blessed day. And give her our thanks for the Sacred Cookie recipe, which is a favorite in my house.

Posted by: Julie at May 10, 2015 9:23 AM

How wonderful....all the best to you both on Mother's Day! She's a cutie!

Posted by: Dinah at May 10, 2015 3:47 PM

You are blessed my friend.
Me too - Mom 84, Dad 88 in a couple of weeks

Posted by: Cletus Socrates at May 10, 2015 6:10 PM

What the other folks said, Gerard. I can't add anything.

But I guess I will, anyway. God bless her, and consider yourself a lucky man.

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Posted by: Hale Adams at May 10, 2015 6:13 PM

Happy Mother's Day to your dear mother. Even for all that she is, above and alone from the fact of her motherhood, you and your brothers are still her proudest accomplishment, her greatest blessing, her deepest joy. Never doubt it.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at May 10, 2015 6:23 PM

I've been an orphan since my early forties, you never really get over it. Nice to see others having parents into their "old" age. Cheers.

Posted by: tripletap at May 11, 2015 4:30 AM

I'm crazy about your darling Mom. Bless her---bless you. Talk to her every day---because apparently no phone company ever made the cut for heaven.

Posted by: Deborah HH at May 11, 2015 6:04 AM

What a gift! A life in full is to be cherished.

Posted by: Col Haiku at May 11, 2015 7:16 AM

Let us now praise precious women, especially those praiseworthy for their humanity. We are blessed in living in their company and them in our memory.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at May 11, 2015 5:59 PM

Wow, she is the original energizer bunny. You have been blessed.

Posted by: chuck at May 14, 2017 7:19 AM

I was hoping you would give us the opportunity to celebrate her this year. Thank you. Happy Mothers Day Mrs. Vanderleun.

Posted by: Catherine Daniels at May 14, 2017 7:50 AM

Happy Mothers Day. So pleased to see Mrs. Vanderleun again this year!

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at May 14, 2017 3:01 PM

Happy Mother's Day, Mrs. Vanderleun.

And I've said it before, Gerard, and I'll say it again -- you're a lucky man.

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Posted by: Hale Adams at May 14, 2017 6:04 PM

Happy Mother's Day to your beautiful mom.

Posted by: baldilocks at May 14, 2017 11:19 PM

Thank her for us for her contribution of an interesting son into our midst. As your posts unfailingly remind us, she done good.

Posted by: Everyman at May 15, 2017 7:04 AM

Tell your mom that we love her

Posted by: bgarrett at May 15, 2017 1:05 PM

My mother was born a few years before yours, and died many years ago. I miss her very much. Best wishes to both of you.

Posted by: ErisGuy at May 15, 2017 1:39 PM