Shara Glenn

Cathy was the best mother-in-law for me. She taught me about the aesthetics of gardening, food preparation, apparel and living. We had plenty to talk about and carried the conversation at family gatherings. When Keith was out-of-town, I felt quite happy going to one of the gatherings of her friends; it was easy to have a good time with them. Friends Edna and Joyce invited us to family Thanksgiving celebrations and the special 80th birthday shindig for Cathy.

When Cathy and I would go to the hospital together, I found myself referring to her as my mother, because I did not want to imply any of the connotations of "mother-in- law". In her last couple years she added me and our friend Paula to her list of "daughters" and put the pictures of her one son and four daughters on her dresser. I believe Georgetta, her foster caregiver, became her fifth daughter, but no photo was needed because Georgetta was always there for her.

Cathy's favorite stories included the times that she stood up for her children's educations. When Karen wanted to take French in seventh grade, the school administration said she was not old enough. Her mother, reportedly timid in other venues, went to bat and said, "My child deserves a chance to fail." Karen went on to top honors in all-state competition in French. For Keith, the regular high school classes were not challenging, so he went to PSU classes with his mother's support. As a single mother in the sixties and seventies, she saw all three children complete their college educations.

Cathy was frugal. She had to be. But she also expressed her own style in a classic but colorful way. The main story that Cathy was told about her mother (who died when Cathy was 6) was that her mother could look at clothing in a store and then go home and make the same item without a pattern. Cathy apparently inherited that ability.

As a tailor, Cathy made much of her own and some of her family's clothing. She earned a little pin money in addition to her regular employment. She could tell you how to put in a 1/8 inch tuck to make trousers fit perfectly.

Cathy took the pain of divorce and turned it into help for other people. She was an excellent counselor and confidant for at least three women I know when they had to go through divorce.

Cathy and my parents got along beautifully. She thought my father a real gentleman; they had much in common in their love of nature's beauty. My mother and Cathy would sit side by side and talk up a storm. They faithfully exchanged cards, letters and gifts. The only unfortunate part was that Cathy, due to failing health, was never able to visit my parents at their home on the east coast. She did however get to meet two of my siblings and all of my nieces and nephews.When David was here (about age 11), he talked over all the current baseball statistics with Cathy and then said, "I really like a grammy who loves baseball."

Cathy's favorite foods: brie, ice cream, Hood strawberries, Jonagold apples, peach cobbler made with Suncrest peaches,lemon cukes(only the small ones), salad of iceberg lettuce fresh from Saturday Market with minced hard-boiled egg, field-fresh corn-on-the-cob, stir-fried beef with tomatoes, black-pepper-encased roast beef, clams, Dooger's clam chowder, homemade whole pea soup, homemade potato soup. She tired of salmon and chicken, preferring to go without rather than eat them.

Cathy's favorite colors: fuchsia and deep aqua Shara

SharaGlenn (last edited 2011-01-23 02:16:12 by KeithLofstrom)