Meet Norma, 10-4-23

Written by her daughter, Sheryl.

Mom is 95 years old. She was born on the farm her great grandfather homesteaded. She was an only child. She started school in a country school until her severe hearing loss was discovered. My grandparents made a tough decision to send her to the Iowa School for the Deaf. My dad’s sister was also a student at the school for the deaf and that’s how mom and daddy met. We lived on a farm close to mom’s home place then moved to the farm when my grandparents built a house in town. We had a big garden, fruit trees, chickens, pigs and cattle and a horse daddy bought for us kids. We always had a dog or two and lots of cats. Living on a farm her whole life might be the reason for mom’s love of animals.

My grandmother and my mom made all of our clothes and mom loved to embroider. My dad rarely left the farm and I can still remember the day when I was in high school, my dad told me he and mom were going to Mount Rushmore. Since that day, my parents did a lot of traveling. They drove to Alaska. They loved going to the south to civil war historical sights. My brother was in the air force and lived in Shreveport LA and my parents visited him often. They had a goal to visit all of Iowa’s courthouses and mom made a scrapbook of photos and information. Mom was a scrapbooking queen long before scrapbooking was popular. She started doing counted cross stitch and made numerous pieces for family and friends.

Mom has always been involved in church. A church in a neighboring town had several deaf members and deaf interpreters so mom started attending there. She loves to read her Bible and reads daily devotions books from Guidepost. We attend church at the nursing home every Sunday afternoon. Mom also enjoys fill in puzzle books and magazines like Country, Country Woman and Iowa magazine.

Mom and Daddy raised 4 kids. My sister passed away nearly 5 years ago. After my dad passed away 15 years ago, mom left her home on the farm and moved to an apartment in town. She got a tuxedo cat, Suzi, who now lives with me. Mom did amazing until the past year. She had several falls and it was getting harder for her to get around, even with all the help we provided. After a series of falls this spring, we made the hard decision to move her to the nursing home. She wasn’t happy at first but has adjusted. The staff is wonderful!

Sheryl tells me her mom loves receiving cards so here is her address if anyone would like to send her one with a short message. Please assure her this is legit by mentioning the blog.

Norma Becker

Westview Acres Room E44

203 SW Lorraine

Leon, IA. 50144

I hope this reaches all of you. And thank you!

54 thoughts on “Meet Norma, 10-4-23

  1. Diane in Maryland

    It will be a pleasure to send Norma a card! Really enjoyed Sheryl’s story!

  2. Ginny

    I will send her a card for sure.
    She is an interesting person, I would love to meet her. Thank her daughter for such a lovely bio of her mom.
    My youngest granddaughter and her husband are both studying American Sign Language. They are going to be interpreters.

  3. Sandy

    Hi Mary, wow! Norma has certainly had an interesting life,lwish all the best! Today l am going to try my new set of dog clippers on Bella, hope it turns out OK and she doesn’t end up looking moth eaten! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    A beautiful story about a beautiful woman.
    I’m behind on cards, but I’ll get her one sent.

  5. Kim from Wi

    I will gladly send Norma a card. It was so nice to hear about her family, hobbies, travels and faith. What a wonderful full life, wishing her many more.

  6. Susan Sundermeyer

    Such a wonderful story about a beautiful family. I can’t wait to get a card a card mailed off to Norma!

  7. Jeanine from Iowa

    Yay! I got the picture of Norma and the words on my computer when I clicked to go to your blog. I sure hope it is fixed for good. I will also send Norma a card. That is the least we can do. She was a special lady. I, too, loved reading about her life. Thank you, Sheryl, for sharing it with us readers. Blessings on all.

  8. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    What a lovely story and photo, thank you Sheryl and Mary. I will certainly get a card off to Mrs. Becker as soon as I can. She looks delightful, and accessorising with a corgi is always a good look!

  9. Mrs. Goodneedle

    What a wonderful story of this lovely lady’s well lived life! I’ll be sending her a card for sure. ❤️

  10. Lois Ann Johnson

    What a delightful story about a lovely lady! Today was the first time I got a normal blog in the mail. Hurray! Back to n ormal, I hope? Now I am off to deliver supper to a church family that has been ill; then on to Bible study. We are delving into “The Last Days.”

  11. Kathy in western NY

    I enjoyed reading about Norma’s life and it will be nice to enclose a little note with her card now too! Thanks Mary for keeping us all connected in so many ways.

  12. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Sheryl’s story about her mother was so interesting. Norma is definitely a special lady.
    This post seemed just fine. Thanks, Mary 🥰

  13. Jeanne in Co.

    I too will get a card sent to Norma. What a wonderful story that was written by her daughter. She has had a full life in spite of her hearing problems.
    The smile on her face shows contentment that comes from holding a pet, and the feeling is mutual with the pets. They love to be held and cuddled too. Snow in the mtns. over the weekend; enough to cover the ground. But in Co. the snow can melt, or evaporate very quickly, so it is probably gone by now. It is simply a forewarning that winter will soon be here. Trees are turning mostly yellow here. I miss the reds, oranges, and rusts of fall leaves in the Midwest. Mary, thanks for fixing the blog once again. We all love the photos and your news of the farm, the pets, and news from others around the globe who love the blog as I do. It’s the first thing that I look for on my phone every morning.
    Blessings everyone, Jeanne in Co.

  14. Sharon Eshlaman

    What a lovely lady with such a inspiring life and amazing daughter. Thanks for telling her story. Her cards in the mail👍

  15. Brenda in N Calif

    I had not been getting pics or the ads but after restarting my tablet I have most of the pics and a lot of ads. However, when I tried to post a comment on the 10/3 post it could not be located. I get all the pics (and ads) on my android phone. None of my devices are Apple. 20 years ago I was the I.T. person at my job but so much has changed that now I ask for help because I can’t figure it out. Brenda

  16. Brenda Furlong

    Today I got this pose just fine, with the picture of Norma included. I hope that means you were able to figure out what caused all the problems. I always look forward to your posts, including the photos. I will definitely send a card to Norma. Thanks for telling us her story!

  17. Beryl in Owatonna

    So happy to receive this post!! I couldn’t see or respond o yesterdays’. Hoping that is the end of your problems. Thanks for all of your hard work.
    What a beautiful story. She looks like a very delightful loving lady. Thanks for her daughter taking the time to write the story. I will try to get a card off to her also. Thanks.

  18. Sheryl K Harrison

    Thank you for all the kind comments. I’ll take mom’s computer when I visit Sunday so she can read them. My brother and sister-in-law visited with their two dogs yesterday and today, mom told me one dog was on her lap the whole time. My brother said it takes a while to get to mom’s room because the residents enjoy petting the dogs.
    The Westview October newsletter had 2 pages of pictures when the FFA and their animals visited the nursing home. There were lots of dogs, chickens and a horse. There was a picture of mom with a border collie. Those visits mean so much to the residents.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sheryl – I hope when I get to the nursing home that somebody will bring their dogs to visit me!

  19. Sharon G.

    Mary – Thank you for sharing Sheryl’s beautiful story about her mother, Norma. What a life she’s had. I love the photo of her with the Corgi. I will gladly send Norma a card.

    Hope you finally got the blog issues resolved so that you can sit back and relax. You deserve a break.

    Take care everyone.

  20. Lorraine

    This story about Norma was so wonderful to read. She sounds like she had a great life on the farm. I will be happy to write her a card with a message. It is always nice to get a little mail.
    Thank you Mary for sharing this with your readers.

  21. Marlea

    I always celebrate “backward birthday” on my own birthday. I give gifts instead of receiving them.
    So a special card is on the way to Norma’s mail box!!
    Thank you for sharing her beautiful life story!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marlena – what a fabulous idea!! I sort of did that with the Susannah book – I printed it and gave it away for my 75th birthday. So much fun!

  22. Jane Boyer

    You’re not alone in your tech wars. I got a new phone a couple of months ago and thought I had it pretty well figured out. I have voice mail messages I can’t open but the phone wants me to call the person who left the message. Verizon assured me all my photos and contacts had been transferred to my new phone. They were, but then photos disappeared. Grrrr! I’ll call a man who knows how to rescue my pictures.

    We have two dogs of our own and a foster dog. He’s a wonderful boy who’s about 3 according to vet. I’d love to keep him but I’m soon to be 77 and hubby is 84. Chances are he will outlive us. There are people who would take him but don’t have a fenced yard. He needs to be able to run and not be tied to a stake. A couple from South Dakota is interested. Pray they are good enough to have him.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane – I wish you could take him! I’ve said the same thing about outliving my pets but I actually think I’d rather have them euthanized than return to the shelter. I didn’t want these kittens for the same reason but now I can see what I would have missed – all this fun!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane – forgot to add this – I got a new iPhone last summer and Verizon assured me – promised me – that everything transferred. It didn’t and I hope this is the last phone I’ll ever need in my lifetime. I don’t think I can stand the hassle again.

  23. Sunflower from Michigan

    Thanks for sharing the story. I just bought a pack of beautiful handmade notecards with the sweetest bird on them at a craft show. I’ll send the first one from the pack to Norma.😊

  24. Viv in Idaho

    What a great story about a lovely lady! I hope if I make it that far in life someone will bring me a sweet dog to hold.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Viv – my thoughts exactly. I don’t ever want to leave my home but if I do I hope someone remembers how much I love dogs.

  25. Lynn

    Mary, I don’t know if this information helps but I get all of your pictures. Sometime they do no come up on my android phone so I look on my computer and they are there.
    I will send a card off tomorrow with a picture of my therapy dog, Rosie.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynn – I, too, want to meet Rosie!! I’ll show her to the readers as well.

  26. Kris in WI

    Mary and Sheryl, Thank you for sharing the delightful story of Norma with us. She has such a sparkle in her eye I do believe she may have a little mischief in her! I loved the comment that a corgi is a perfect accessory any time…or any other furry friend for that matter. A card will be on its way soon. Kris

  27. Linda in MI

    Thank you Mary and Sheryl for sharing the wonderful life of Norma. The story sounds peaceful and romantic, although we know raising four children and caring for a farm is a lot of work, worry and stress. She is a beautiful woman and I will gladly send her a card and try to remember to send her one at holidays as well. I had an Aunt Norma, but with no parents, aunts or uncles left, it will be nice to send a note off and on to someone that would be there age and has seen a lot of history develop in our crazy world. I love talking to the elderly to hear about what they saw and what they did in their lifetimes. Hopefully when I am elderly I can share with young people who care about the past. And she’s an animal lover! My kind of woman

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in MI – my thoughts exactly! When I look at her I think about my own mom. Her story just struck me and sending a card is the ultimate thoughtful act. People say just wish them a greeting on Facebook but it’s not the same. Sensing a card means you took the time to remember to go to the store to get the card, pick out the card, write the message and address, stamp it and physically mail it – all while thinking about the recipient. And really, that’s such a small effort in comparison to the recipient’s joy at receiving it. Those are my thoughts about sending cards.

  28. Rachel Summy

    Thank you for sharing Norma and her birthday! She’s a lady everyone wants for their grandma!!

  29. Suzymae

    I loved meeting norma thru the blog and have sent her a card. I wonder that it might be nice to meet more residents and send them cards as well.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Suzymae – I thought the same thing – even about my local care center residents.

  30. Suzanne

    My mother was a nurse in a long term care center. When we would visit her and dad for a weekend with our three kiddos, she would often say, “Bring the kids over while I’m at work this afternoon. It’s good for the patients to see little kids.” Many of her patients did not have regular visitors and were lonely. She would take us around to visit with various ones she knew would benefit from the company of fresh young faces. I never gave much thought to the value of it back then (40+ years ago); I just did it because I wanted to please my mother.

    Mary, about your mushrooms, I don’t know if you have it figured out yet, but my nature encyclopedia daughter says to look up Chlorophyllum family of mushrooms. Some are very poisonous.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Suzanne – your mom was tuned in to those patients, wasn’t she?

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