Posted by: Moon | September 17, 2010

My Wonderful Ma

In a few days time, my Ma, and now finally a Grandma, will be flying out to Slovakia to see us and Matej. Doesn’t sound too difficult does it, and it’s not. It’s an easy flight, she will have my well-traveled sister with her, and I’ll be in Budapest to meet them. Simples… of course it is, so many people make such a drama out of flying it makes me laugh. Yeah, ok, so I am a well-traveled person, who at times in the USA, I used to treat flying like catching a train !….. Mum is now 71 (will be in a few weeks). She has also become (like all her children) a seasoned, experienced traveler. this was not always the case, and I think the trips she does these days are wonderful…. and trust me, the short flight to Slovakia is a breeze compared to her recent outings.

About 20 years ago, we lost our Dad. He was 52 and died on Lung Cancer (silly bugger smoked for 30 years!). I was 19, (my siblings 22,24 and 25 ish). As a family we stuck together, and we all were old enough to look after ourselves. Mum was 50 ish at the time. Far to young to sit about for the rest of her life. She made a decision. She was going to travel. Dad had traveled very adventurously when he was young, driving through Africa in 50’s was some adventure, and now Mum wanted that too. She asked me one day if I would like to go on holiday with her … “eeerrmm… ok” said a 20 year old single man …. Then she said she wanted to go trekking into Nepal, Kathmandu …. “Bloody right” I said. This started her’s and mine love of traveling to some different places than a beach with hot sunshine……

Ghorepani - Nepal

The trip was a wonderful success for us both. Showed me some of the world, and we bonded even closer. Trips after this followed to Morocco (The Atlas Mountains), Southern Spain for trekking, Ireland (The Kerry Ring) and The Inca Trail .. all wonderful trips, and hardly a crossed word between us (apart from the fact she talks when I am trying to read!).  She then embarked on many other trips… guessing at a few locations .. I think there has been India, Vietnam, Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, Alaska, California, NYC, parts or Europe, Bali … and others I must have missed …….I might add, this is not to be staying in classy hotels. It will be under canvas, and cheap dive of a hotel or hostel. She doesn’t easy in classy restaurants, but off the street venders and where the locals go to eat. traveling as you should !

The Inca Trail - Peru

She does panic a little, worries about her passport, but she always gets on, and with the help of either Dr DBM, Sister Rachel or me… she gets there, and she loves to travel. This recent post by Dr DBM was their trip to Alaska to watch Grizzly Bears feeding on the Salmon run.

Alaska (stolen from DBM)

Not only has she got herself sorted out to get out and see the world, she also never sits still. Miska’s Grandma here in Slovakia is 74. I don’t think she leaves the village now, she is a typical, old Grandma. Mum, just slightly younger still works a 40 hr week, on her feet all day, looks after her large garden, and walks 1 dog (at the moment she has 3 to look after). she firmly believes that if she was to retire..she would be so bored and would just have nothing to do. She amazes me.. a long day at work, she gets home.. no sitting down, she off cutting the grass, doing tha garden before falling asleep in her popcorn around 9pm !

We get on so well. She is my Ma, but I class her as a friend… best of all, she makes me laugh, proper laughs, and she is very interesting, modern thinking Ma. She came out to Orange County last year to see us, and we took a 3 day trip to the national parks of Big Sur and then across to Sequoia National Park. As we were sat in front of General Sherman, I believe the largest living thing in the world, she causally said “this time 2 weeks ago, I was sat on the edge of a live volcano”…. that’s not a bad couple of weeks…. Miska just laughed and is amazed how Ma just gets on and does it.

Some people say she is sooo lucky (this pisses my sister DR DBM off as well)…. No, she is not lucky, she just made some choices in life. She works hard, to save her money, to make these trips. I am very sure she would rather be doing it with my Dad, but she can’t. So, she chooses to miss out on other things, so she can keep on traveling. She got off her bum, takes a dive into the unknown, and goes to see what is out there. I think she has been lucky to be able to travel with some good friends, Me and my sisters… but still, at 71… how great, and I know, for a long time to go, she will still be wandering around Terminal 5 looking for her next flight to somewhere, and it won’t be a beach in Spain !

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Responses

  1. I know she is my mother-in-law, so I should say something horrible about her… as many monsters-in-law are… but… she is simply a great woman, who makes me laugh (my own ma doesn’t make me laugh even I love her so much). I am very lucky to have mum in law with great sense of humor, adventure and bizarre craziness… I just hope she will be around for a long time so our young one can get know her as well. xxx

  2. You didn’t need to steal the photo, you know. And Mum also travelled around Utah, Nevada and California with me. That was a tough one, because we hiked the Grand Canyon, a skunk ate her trail mix and because the Grand Canyon was one of the places that she had always planned to visit with Dad. I think it was also the first trip that she did without Dad. And, yes, I think she is quite remarkable too – if only she she realised this and was a little more confident.

    • Yes, I didn’t mention that trip as I know it was a real tough one for both of you… and I agree, if only she would realise how she can and does cope … ah well, she is your Mum !

  3. Gosh, your Mum has more energy than I have! I only hope I can reach her standards when I’m seventy, if I last that long! More power to her elbow, say I!

    Seriously, good for her. It’s so easy to sink into a decline when life hands us a really big lemon, but she has risen above her misfortunes and she’s reaping the rewards. 🙂


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