My folks, Jim and Bonnie Bowden, were married more than 70 years before they both, one year apart, went home to heaven. I’m sure that now they are together and still celebrating.
Not too long ago, in the chaos of going through things for the move I found an article I had written in 1999 about my mom and dad.
I used to publish a newsletter for women, “Minding Your Own Business,” in which was a continuing column entitled “Once We Were Daughters.” The theme of the column was that before we were wives, before we were mothers, first we were daughters.
In the article, I wrote about mine and my sister’s teen years when all of the teenagers from our church would congregate at our house every Sunday afternoon.
Mother always made a big pot of something; soup, chili, spaghetti or the like so she could feed the masses.
Over the years, I more than once saw that my parents would council, feed, and sometimes lodge many youths. They were loved by a lot of kids, and they are still remembered by many as mom and dad.
Lessons learned from my folks taught me to give, to appreciate, and share.
Daddy was a land leveler; mother was a homemaker. Each of then worked long and hard to make sure sister Ann and I had a great life. We didn’t have a lot of fancy things, but we had one of the best homes in town. It wasn’t by any means an upscale house, but it had a feeling. It had a feeling of welcome, love, and warmth.
While we were preparing to sell the home after Daddy was gone, I spent weeks at a time in that house. I felt secure and I felt the unconditional love from my folks that was always there.
I think I may have practiced some of their behaviors. I have a number of kids that passed through my house who still call me Mom, Mama, or Ma Craigo. It’s a title I proudly accept.
This week, the late Coach Bob Waldal was honored during a basketball game in Beach. I wish I could have attended, as his family accepted the recognition banner that will now hang in the gymnasium.
Bob was my friend. I called him Bubba because he was like a brother to me. I really miss him, and when we went back to Beach after he was gone, it just didn’t feel right.
Bob was a good man. He, too, lent a hand to many kids in his lifetime. Bless him, his family, and the memory the community will now see at the high school.
A friend of mine recently commented that some of the opportunities provided to our kids in rural North Dakota are without measure. I tend to agree.
It’s about the kids, not how much money things will cost.
Granddaughter Lea and her Girl Scout troop are out and about selling Girl Scout cookies.
I’m proud to say Lea still goes door to door like her grandma did back in the day. But now, patrons can also buy online and have the cookies delivered.
Times have changed. Grandma sold the cookies for 50 cents a box. This week, I ordered several $4 boxes. And so it goes. . . Life is good today.
■ Contact Kathy Craigo-Harteis at email@example.com or PO Box 838, Beach, ND 58621.