Janet Hommel Mangas: Mother’s Day gifts for the ages

With the big day coming up, I was reminiscing about some of the first Mother’s Day presents I remember giving to my Mom.

The purple irises I plucked straight from my mother’s garden were presented back to her after I carefully arranged them in a glass canning jar full of water.

In addition, I’m certain I recall yellow dandelions that Mom received and placed in a recycled baby food jar or tin can and placed in the kitchen window sill — a token of adoration from one or all seven siblings when we were toddlers at one time or other.

There were always the folded, construction-paper cards with cut-out hearts applied with lumpy paste that came in a small jar with a stick.

A classic was a booklet of coupons that Mom could redeem for any number of household luxuries: 30 minutes of cleaning, taking my younger siblings to the park to give her a break, or making her morning tea. There were so many homemade redeemable coupons — the best part, many of them came with no expiration date!

As the years passed, we would have celebratory lunch at Olive Garden and then drive to Winton’s Iris Hill in Franklin or Cox’s Plant Farm in Clayton to find the perfect additions to our gardens. Kohl’s or Stein Mart were preferred shopping venues on her special day.

But some things never change. Mom is smiling and content when her brood is together — just eating, telling stories and laughing.

May your Mother’s Day be filled with all the simple pleasures.

Janet Hommel Mangas grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.