Happy Mother's Day!
Yup. I miss Mom.
Mom had that extremely dry wit and very reserved demeanor, of which I never fully understood. She mostly didn't openly brag and kept her light under a bushel for many years. Just maintained that very stoic midwesterner thing, ya know?
However I surprised Mom a lot, including in front of her friends.
One year for a school holiday show (Christmas program, whatever you want to call it), I played the piano for a couple songs in the program. Now for a few years, most folks knew I played the organ, but not piano. The music wasn't that difficult to do. So at the beginning of the program, I came out, sat in front of the piano and plugged away at the two songs, then went to back to class (I think).
Mom then told me after school, "<xxxx> sitting next to me during the program said, 'I didn't know Mark played piano!'."
Mom then said, very straight and dryly, "I said, 'I didn't know, either!'"
Mom was really into everything actually. With 3 boys in school bands, she was in the band boosters (sold grapefruit), sewed costumes and uniforms for various school activities (Follies, swing choir). She went to every band concert (well, Dad did too, there were only a few things Dad didn't make it to), went to most all my local swing choir concerts, and even attended both school musicals that I arranged and conducted the scores for. She even sat through several tuba solos (and a couple duets).
The other cool Mom story I talk about is back when I was about 12, I'd "help" Mom play the organ at church. For those of you not familiar with Zion Lutheran Church, the organ was up in the balcony. During communion, Mom would want to partake in communion, so instead of just hopping off the organ bench and leaving "dead air" (no music) during that time, I would play while she would go downstairs. But HOW we did it was a bit of a trick. Mom would end a song or hymn, holding down the final chord with both hands and the pedal, I would put my fingers onto the keys she was playing and my foot on the bass pedal BEHIND her foot, continuing the chord for a few more seconds.
She would slide off the bench and I would proceed to start with another song and she'd go downstairs, partaking in communion.
Now, mind you, the music hasn't stopped and there are still songs being played while Mom was up FRONT at the altar.... and the music is still going!
People were thinking, "If Flossie is down here at the altar....WHO'S PLAYING THAT MUSIC NOW??!".
I'd glance over from the bench while playing and see a few folks do a double-take.
Mom always had that dry, but sneaky, humor.
Mom had other music stories as well, including one time where Pastor Stuebe caught Grandpa Lorraine playing "Man On The Flying Trapeze" on the church organ during a practice.
But that's another story I'll tell y'all sometime soon.
Love you, Mom.