Mother’s Ten Rules for Living

My mom passed away last fall. To honor her for Mother’s Day, I am sharing a little bit about her. My mom loved being at home. She rivaled Martha Stewart in her homemaking and creative abilities which included entertaining, cooking and baking, gardening, sewing, knitting, painting, ceramic art and writing.

My mom circa age 12
My mom holding me, with her mother and grandmother

Following is a photo of my mother taken a few years ago, holding an afghan she was knitting. Later in this post are more photos of her ceramic art, a painting she did in 1957, and a dress she made for me when I was a child.

My mom holding an afghan she knit

Here are a few sentences my sister and I shared at the memorial service last fall, including her 10 rules for living a good life.

From the Elizabeth Sweder Eulogy

Liz Sweder was living the dream.  How many people know exactly what they want to do, excel at it, and get to do it their whole adult life?  In her later years, I think she was increasingly conscious of and grateful for this fact.  Many of you heard her say this past year “I was so lucky, I got to be a homemaker.”  

You could say our mom was lucky.  But I think the fact that our mom was clear about her values and lived them is the more important ingredient.  She focused her time and her energies on the things that were important to her: her family, keeping a home that was warm and welcoming, her creative activities, and her spiritual life.  Our family could have had more money, gone on fancier trips, and gone out to eat more if she had gotten a job outside the home.  But she willingly chose a different life and was so happy with it.

Since we know our mom would want each of us to be as happy as she was, we want to share with you Liz’s 10 rules to live by:

  1. Start each day with a cup of hot cocoa.
  2. Eat three square, home cooked meals every day.
  3. Make sure you are put together every time you go out. You simply cannot have too many sweaters, scarves, purses, shoes, coats, and jewelry.
  4. Always be reading a good book.
  5. Show up.  Ideally show up at family and community events with a pot of homemade baked beans, or an apple pie, or a pan of brownies.
  6. Stay informed about current events and be prepared to discuss them in a civil fashion.
  7. Do some Bible study or other activity every day to feed your soul.
  8. Keep the porch light on and the coffee pot plugged in so you are always ready for company.
  9. A little travel is nice if it involves a road trip to visit friends or relatives; otherwise, there is no place like home.
  10. Go all in on the activities that bring you joy.   
Part of a series of ceramic sculptures focusing on chairs
A dress with smocking my mom made when I was a child, in front of her china cabinet
Hand knit sweater to go with the smocked dress
A bust my mom made of her mother
A ceramic elephant pitcher and cups my mom made
A lake shore scene painted by my mom in 1957
The cover of my mom’s memoir

There is more information about my mom’s memoir on the tab “The Red Cottage” in the menu above, including links to the Amazon listing. When she realized that my sister did not remember where she was born, my mother abandoned her ceramic studio mid projects and started writing.

I am grateful to be living in my parents house where there are reminders everywhere of all my mom’s creative accomplishments.

Published by Meg Hanson

Hello. I am a recently retired empty nester. My husband and I moved to Jewett Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, after living most of our lives in the Minneapolis area. I have no trouble keeping busy with knitting and spinning of wool, selling yarn and handmade goods, reading, walking, watching movies, surfing on the internet, traveling, doing bookkeeping for our family cabin, and spending time with family.

7 thoughts on “Mother’s Ten Rules for Living

  1. OH, Meg – Thank You, Thank You. You had me tearing up at “My Mom passed away last Fall.” I heard you read this piece, knew about her accomplishments, and STILL found myself in awe anew.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dearest Meg.. I love these stories so much..I remember her as being someone My Mother admired .. And Liz,( I think that is what my parents called her)..was kind to my Mom..I remember slightly as a pre-teen coming to your beautiful home and we loved it. I had no idea about her creativity with pottery and art…(because I was a teenager?. 😜) I do know your parents and you and Betsy were part of our growing up.. this is so fun to reconnect..❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so nice of you to share these thoughts. I remember your mom well too. My mom started the ceramics after Betsy and I were adults, so that is another reason you would not know about that. I have fun memories of working at DeLaria’s with you!! It is fun to reconnect now.


  3. I loved everything you wrote about your mom she was a wonderful person to be with l was lucky to have met her. But Meg you are so much like her. You are so wonderfully talented in so many ways. You write beautiful and your way with yarn making.the beautiful things you make with it. Your knitting is outstanding.You are one of the kindest sweetest talented person I know. I miss seeing you Linda

    Liked by 1 person

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