Olivia Newport Mom and Tag

Photo by Larry Mohr

My dad always kept gas in the car. When his illness made him unable to do this, my mother was still driving, and the days of full-serve gas stations were long gone. Others stepped in to be sure she had gas. She did not drive far—church, grocery store, pharmacy, library. She no longer drives, but she still has a chariot for others to drive her around in. While I was visiting, the tank got low and I pulled into a station to rectify the situation. Mom is fond of saying:

“I’ve never mowed a lawn, and I’ve never pumped gas. I’m not starting now.”

On the one hand, you might ask how anybody manages to never—ever—pump gas. On the other hand, this is a benefit of having seven children and their spouses and offspring who love you. As she’s gotten older, Mom has accepted this form of care with grace, and we’re all happy to give it.

I figure she knows how to recognize a good thing, rather than wish for something else.

• On a typical day, what ordinary event do you have trouble recognizing as good?