Happy Mother’s Day ~ My Mom

Mother’s Day  is a favorite holiday and this year made more so with finding some photographs of my mother
Virginia Mary Blades Simonalle.

So today I thought I’d share my mother with you. Next month I’ll share a little more on her birthday, June 13th, but for now let’s look at Mom while she was young, happy and healthy…

A collection of emails, a handwritten note, my mother’s watch and wedding photo. Also the cut crystal bowl passed down from my great-grandmother Julia 
Foley to my grand-mother Helen then my mother Ginny.

My mom loved to write and she wrote me many a long letter by hand for years (she was left handed) until the advent of home computers which made it way easier to type her thoughts as fast as she could get them on the screen. 

She loved her computer and it opened up a whole world to her where after retiring as a school teacher she went on to become a successful writer. 

Ginny was about 35 years old in this photo taken at the
Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, Honolulu, circa 1974.

Mom started dog training just as I was entering college in Placerville and quickly gained a following as she was a really good teacher! Teaching dogs wasn’t a big leap from teaching children in my thinking, and Mom rewarded her furry pupils with praise and treats, as she most likely did with her Special Ed students those 17 years.

Dad’s was a corporate lawyer who worked for Bayer Corporation after retiring from the United States Air Force. The legal group  was moved to the Danbury corporate headquarters which moved them from California back to their East Coast roots and to southern Connecticut. They never thought they’d move back to the cold and snow! But it was a good move and one they never regretted. Connecticut gets little snow, normally.  😉

My brother Frank out in the front garden, 2010. The barn was to the right
off-camera down about 50 feet.

They purchased a house which had been built in the late 1960’s on almost 12 acres backing up to the Connecticut forest and G and O quarry complete with a gorgeous 1/2 acre pond. Early on, Mom found the local dog training groups back there and quickly joined the fun. Her retirement money from Sacramento USD went into building a large barn so mom could hold classes inside.

She started up her own dog training and agility classes there, eventually traveling all over the midwest and east coast and up into Canada to compete in agility. She won many trophies and silver plates with her American, Canadian and British Grand Champion Golden Retrievers and one Dalmatian and would occasionally do some judging, too. But her big passion, besides competing herself and teaching other people and their dogs basic dog training and agility, was writing “how to do it.”

Some of Mom’s emails to me ~ I loved her
script handwriting ~ so pretty!
Here is an email she shared with me about winning an agility trial.
She was so excited!

I am so grateful that I was able to print these emails before this email server went out of business. This was my first email account as a newbie computer kid!
Just a little about my mom today… Her family emigrated from Scotland, England and Ireland back in the 1600-1700’s coming to Maine and Massachusetts and some moving up to Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia during the time of the American Revolution ~ so we have ancestors on both sides!

My grandfather Frank left Nova Scotia in the 1920’s to come down and marry my grandmother and they raised their three daughters in Massachusetts. My mother had fond memories growing up in Winthrop and Revere, heading to the beach often throughout the years and seasons. She also told many stories about her family and wrote poems about several family members including one about her Great Aunt Jennie who wore a turban all her life. Guess she picked that up during the early 1900’s and kept the style!

Love this sweet photograph of my father and mother, Frank and myself from 1966! Dad was home between two tours to Vietnam and they thought they’d have a family portrait taken while he was home.

I was four years old and Frankie was three. Mom was 27 years old here and my father Gene was 34 years young. The watch?… There it is on my mother’s arm!

Here is a previous posts I shared last year about my grown children coming to visit for Mother’s Day and about my mother-in-love also named Gini, though her name is the reverse of my mother’s and is Mary Virginia. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post about my mother and don’t forget to check out my Mother’s Day craft post as part of this month’s 10 on the 10th here. Have a blessed Mother’s Day with your family and your mothers!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

14 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day ~ My Mom”

  1. Your mother was such an interesting woman, Barb, and lovely too. I really appreciate all the wonderful photos and you are so lucky you have letters and a paper trail of memories as well. Family histories are fun — sounds like yours is very interesting and well documented.

  2. What a lovely look back at your family and in particular your sweet and so talented mom. Thanks for sharing that with us Barbara, and I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

  3. Hi Jeanie! I can give most of the credit to one cousin who has really researched on Ancestry.com. Supposedly he has us linked back to Charlemagne but I do wonder as we go further back how true everything is. Can there be that many good records?? It is fun to try and link back, though! My own Ancestry site isn't nearly as far back… 😉 Thank you and I am happy to have Mom's letters ~ so glad I thought to keep them.Hugs,Barb 🙂

  4. Hi Mary, Mother's Day was nice and uneventful! Mostly rested, cooked, a nice day with phone calls and nice walks with Hubby and pup. 😉 My mom was really talented that way and it was fun to be with her (when I'd fly out to visit) when she went to agility practice. I was most proud of her publishing in Dog World. Wish she could have lived longer to see the kids grown up…Thank you for your sweet thoughts,Barb 🙂

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