No Wonder I Ended Up at All-Clean! With a MomWho Loves Yardwork
I’ve told you a little about my mom, Janet, in this newsletter before, when I told the incredible story of her discovering her birth mother through a DNA test. While that tale is beyond remarkable, it doesn’t really say much about what makes my mom so special. In honor of Mother’s Day, I figured it’s time to set the record straight. Mom was a kind and steady presence in our lives when my brother and I were growing up. She always knew just how to make us smile. I remember countless times when I was feeling down — after a disappointing day at school or one of those personal crises that feel like the end of the world to a teenager — she’d have the perfect quip ready to put a smile on my face. At that time, I thought it was just her expert comedic timing. Now I realize it was that combined with excellent parenting and a giant helping of motherly love.
Our zeal for property upkeep wasn’t limited to our home. We were avid landscapers — well, Mom and I were. My brother would describe his role as one of forced labor. On the weekends, you could safely bet that Mom would be out pruning the shrubs, mowing the lawn, and the like. To me, it was a
joyous bonding experience. Come to think of it, I probably should’ve included all of those years of at-home landscaping in my resume when I applied to work at All-Clean!
Mom still lives in our childhood home in Lake Oswego. Whenever I return, I’m flooded with memories of the wonderful childhood she provided us. I can only hope I offer my daughter, Justine, the same wonderful upbringing we had. In closing, I just want to say thank you to my mom. Thank you for everything. I don’t say it enough, but I truly cannot imagine what my life would be like without you. Also, you still have the best yard in the neighborhood. I’m sure that, like your generous spirit and kind heart, will never change.
Another of my mom’s preternatural talents is keeping a tidy home. She is a self- proclaimed neat freak even to this day. She began working once we started going to school, but she always had time to organize, decorate, and clean. Well, she also had the help of two captive employees. Between the two of us, I certainly got the strongest neatnik gene. I don’t think my
brother would even attempt to argue with that statement. As a small child, one of my favorite “games” was organizing the cupboards. I’d get up on a little step stool and move things around to my liking. My mom says it wasn’t one of those activities where a kid moves stuff around just for the sake of it; I actually wanted the cupboards to look nice and make it easy for us to get what we needed. Yes, in case you’re wondering, I was a quirky child.
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