A Mothers Day Story of Love, Fun, and Patience from Sr. Karen and Sr. Anita Rolenc
Our mother Agnes was generous to others – giving the Sisters a duck for Thanksgiving, cookies for Christmas, a ham for Easter; she often gave the neighbor lady whatever she needed, such as sugar.
Mom would make ice cream in the winter after there was snow on the ground. We had no ice cream maker, but Mom used the snow. When Karen and I would come home from school we knew Mom had made ice cream when we saw the round wash tub upside down near the porch door. The 2-3 bricks on top held the tub in place. One day, we excitedly ran to the tub to lift it off the ice cream. To our disappointment, the pan was empty, but we knew it was chocolate ice cream. The neighbor’s dogs had gotten into the pan!!
A gift that she gave both of us was patience: she taught us how to cook, bake, sew, clean house, etc. and never needed to punish us. Both Mom and Dad simply told us what we needed to do, explaining what we did wrong.
Mom made dill pickles in a 5-gallon crock. Sometimes we would sneak out a pickle before it was completely pickled! She also made sauerkraut in a 5 gallon crock. Both were stored in an outdoor cellar several feet from the house.
“I was such a book worm that I would have a book in my hand when she would send me to the cellar for sauerkraut,” Anita remembered. “And sometimes I would be so captivated by my book, I walked back into the house with an empty kettle, still reading as I walked! Mom simply took my book and sent me back to the cellar.”
She was an incredible homemaker, baking rye or white bread and buns weekly; making kolaches and rolls and doughnuts every Saturday; she preferred to make pies over cakes. Mom was a great cook. Our father and his friends would butcher a hog or a calf for pork and beef. Mom would cook the veal and can it in quart jars. She used that meat on the days when her day was busy with washing the clothes. It was delicious!
As a seamstress, she made all of our clothes (we had our first store bought dress when we were in high school!). She also embroidered towels, dresser scarfs and pillow cases. She crocheted doilies.
Mom loved flowers. she could make a stick bloom! She had a large flower garden which Karen and I were not allowed to weed because we did not know the difference between a weed and a flower plant; however, we were assigned to weed the carrots, peas, beans, etc. because we knew the difference. She had plants in the house also.
She was incredibly prayerful, she prayed her daily rosary, and was present for parish devotions. We, too, pray the rosary daily, first seeing it in her.