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Letters to Lillianne

  An old plate with a painting of a cob of corn, husks partially peeled open, hangs above my kitchen sink. This plate was purchased by my favorite grandmother in her antique-seeking days. It hung in her kitchen, now it hangs in mine. In the early 1970s when television stations and programs were multiplying, mothers were working, and Bill Gates hadn’t yet made his way into the halls of Lakeside School to catch his computer vision; my grandmother would wait every summer for the Greyhound Bus to arrive so we could begin our week together. My favorite summer memories were camp, the beach, and visiting grandma. It was just the two of us. Oh, my grandfather was around, but he made himself busy when I was in town so the two of us could have “girl time.” Grandma taught me to cook, sew, ride horses and tend to their farm in Beaverton, Oregon. Television was limited to thirty minutes a day. She still had the Depression pulsing through her blood...

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Mother’s Day as a Day of Peace

Julia Ward Howe, magazine author and writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, was sick and tired of the Civil War’s devastation to families, the community, and the world.  In 1870 she wrote a proclamation calling mothers to come together with a voice of peace.  Below is her letter: Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears Say firmly:   “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage, For caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of  charity, mercy and patience.   We women of one country Will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”    From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with  Our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!” The sword...

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