Monday, July 31, 2017

Neva Fern Bowen Smith - MOM

Mom was born May 17, 1943 in Mexico, Missouri to Zellie and Everett Bowen.  When she was about 3 years old, they moved to Washington State to look for better jobs and they stayed.  She has two younger sisters, Shirley and Ellen.  At the age of 16 she married our dad– and they had me the following year and then 6 years later Nancy came along.
Over the years, she pursued many interests.  When we were kids, she sewed some of our clothes, Halloween costumes and Barbie clothes among other things – she called herself a nervous sewer – she had to have her cigarettes and plenty of coffee while sewing.  She enjoyed crafts and made many different holiday decorations. She also took cake decorating classes and decorated most of our birthday cakes over the years. Mom enjoyed the holidays, especially Christmas and she worked hard to make it a special time for us kids.  She always went all out on the decorating and there were many years that she would be up till the wee hours on Christmas Eve trying to finish the last minute sewing on what would be our Barbie’s new wardrobe.  One year, she had several of us sewing yarn hair on Raggedy Ann dolls trying to get them done so they could be Christmas gifts for other family members. 

Vacations and sightseeing were something that mom loved.  When we would travel to Arkansas to visit family, she would always plan something fun for us to do on the way such as Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags Over Texas. When we didn’t take a long road trip, we went to the ocean – that was her most favorite place.  She enjoyed outings to lots of different places: museums, gardens, the zoo, Leavenworth, visits to her sister’s house and many more.  Nancy and I wonder how she planned such good vacations when we were kids, without the use of the internet.
Mom went through various phases of collecting things such as Avon Doll Figurines, Stamps, Cactus (she had our living room window full of them and also hanging planters with them (ask Galen about that), African Violets and most recently Birdhouses.
She would get so tickled when she was picking out Birthday cards that you would sometimes get two because she found more than one that she liked.  She loved to play games such as Aggravation, Sorry and chicken foot dominoes, she got such a kick out of sending you back to start in Aggravation or Sorry.

Mom was a stay at home mom for most of my growing up years and then worked at H & R block during tax season. Later she went back to school and got her GED and then a Bookkeeper certificate and then worked as a bookkeeper & receptionist at a couple of different senior housing facilities and lastly as a clerk in a convenience store in downtown Seattle.

Like all of us, mom had ups and downs in her life and made good and bad choices – she was human – she was mom.