Have you ever smelled a marigold?


They have a very distinctive smell.  I really can’t describe it exactly but it’s different from any other annual flower.  It’s not exactly sweet like roses or lilacs – it’s more “earthy” smelling, like dandelions.  Anyway, marigolds have a very unique smell and a lot of famous neurologists and scientists have studied how if your brain associates a certain smell with a memory you retain it longer than you do with any other of the 5 senses – even visual.

Marigolds remind me of my mom.

No not because she smells “earthy.”  My mom when I was growing up had the green thumb that somehow skipped a generation in me and my sisters.  We had hundreds of houseplants and in the spring we would plant flowers outside along the fence line and in her old tire turned flower-pot that was outside the kitchen window (Dear Pinterest…… you’re just recycling old ideas and making them seem new & fresh….. I still love you though….don’t unsubscribe me!).  So one year when I was maybe 8 or 9 mom went to the garden center and bought flats of yellow and orange and blood-red & yellow marigolds.  And I remember spending the day with her planting marigolds everywhere.  And of course, because it’s my mom, they grew and flourished into beautiful big flowers, without daily watering or miracle grow (or maybe she did those things and I just didn’t know).  But because of that certain smell, for whatever reason, when I smell marigolds I think of my mom.

I planted some marigolds this year – compliments of Pinterest who claims that if you plant marigolds with tomatoes they grow better together.  And there was that smell – taking me back to being a kid and planting all those flowers with my mom one spring.  And then that got me to thinking about all the things my mom has done for us kids and our kids over the years.

My mom has been to nearly every kind of sporting and extra curricular event – at every age level – to watch one of us.  Football, basketball, track meets, gymnastic meets, softball, volleyball, soccer (indoor and outdoor), baseball, cheerleading, band, and show choir.  Oh yeah and Pom-Pom girls…. Jacque was a Pom-Pom girl – for those younger readers Pom-Pom girls were the girls who did a dance routine while the band performed usually with Pom-Pom’s (sometimes with batons) – now they are called Color Guard and they use flags.  I took Pom-Pom and baton lessons when I was younger and yes I’m still upset I can’t twirl a baton.  Jacque may not be as athletic as the rest of us but she could twirl a baton better than all of us and trust me it’s not an easy skill.

There was one time my mom travelled to watch my sister Kim cheer for the junior varsity football team and she was the only one in the visitor stands – well her and a stray dog.  And amazingly the stray dog didn’t come home with her.  I can’t possibly count the number of  hours she has spent eating concession stand popcorn while watching one of the nine of us.  And it’s not just been sporting events either.  Awards programs, 2nd grade Christmas pageants, Grandparents Day, and the 3rd grade production of Seussical Jr.

I think it’s because of this that I get upset if I miss one of Dawson’s games or Teagan’s performances.  I have burnt most of my time off this year so that I can travel to far away lands (ok … Ohio) to watch soccer.  It’s why it doesn’t really matter to me that for Mother’s Day this year I’m travelling 2 1/2 hours to Evansville for a soccer game.  Mother’s Day is supposed to be about mom’s and that’s what I do, I soccer mom.  Dawson has drug me kicking and screaming but I have to own up to the fact that I am a soccer mom with an SUV that is stocked better than a Red Cross disaster truck that used to have life before it involved travelling hundreds of miles a day for one game.

My mom was the original soccer mom though.  Before it had a title or stereo type.  She was always there in the stands or on the sidelines.  For me, for my sisters, for my kids and for my nieces and nephew.

So happy Mother’s Day Judi Ruth, G’ma, Grandma JR, Jammammaw …… MOM!!




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