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Outfitting your daughters in cotton dresses that must be ironed after washing, to go fishing, is by today’s standards a bit crazy. Fabrics now are magically suited for outdoor living. But my mother had five kids, baskets of dirty laundry and a farm lifestyle that included such tasks.

This picture reminds me of all that my mother did to support our family. I’d claim that she did this tirelessly, but really, she was exhausted. She cooked three meals a day for seven people and managed the household in our big Victorian place for decades, with only minimal help from the rest of us. Yes, I set the table regularly, and swept the three sets of steps in the house every Saturday, but otherwise I was off the hook.  For a farmgirl, I did not have many chores.

It’s easy to forget what our mothers did to get us to where we are today, but this photo reminds always me.