Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mommy On Mother's Day

Bonnie Jean Begley-Speer

My favorite mom, EVER

Photograph of the painting that I had done of my mom's prom picture

OK, yes I know I said that I was going to do the farming museum today, but I'll post that tomorrow instead.
But, honestly, my mom is related to farming! 

Bonnie Jean Begley was born to her parents, John R. Begley and Ora Mae Turner on April 22, 1948 in a log cabin in Harlan Kentucky. She was the second of six children, and the first daughter. Her siblings are Jim, Bill, Joyce (Jody), Jack, and Tammy. My grandfather (we all called him pawpaw) worked in a coal mine there. My grandmother (we called her mawmaw) was a stay-at-home mother. In those days, and in that area, that didn't mean that she was primping all day, she was also in charge of the garden. And, interestingly, my grandfather was a moonshiner. So, both of my grandparents ran the shine to help pay the bills.

My mom, being the oldest daughter, was not only required to help cook, clean, and work in the garden, but she was also in charge of the other kids, too. So, even at a young age, she became the matriarch of the family. While still in Harlan, she only had four siblings, because Tammy wasn't born until they all moved to Milan, MI. My mom started high school in Milan, and finished up there as well. When I went to Milan High, I could always look at my family's graduation pictures in the turn-styles there by the cafeteria. And, I would say at least once a week, I would look for my mom's.

This may not be my family's cabin, but it is exactly like the one my mom grew up in.
My dad made a doll house using the exact measurements of the original Begley Homestead. I actually, did get it when my grandparents died. However, it is in storage, and so I cannot take a picture to share with you right now.

My mom became a nurse for a few years, and I remember her in her uniform. She worked at St. Joseph's in Ann Arbor. In fact, her name is in the corner stone there because she worked at the old one, and was one of the employees that transferred when the "new" one was built and opened. This was when I was a kid, so it is not so new anymore. The hospital began laying off all of the LPN's for nurse's aids (now called techs), and so she received unemployment for a short while.

Then, the GM plant, Hydromatic, began mass hiring, and my mom applied. She was hired to work on the line, there in the powertrain dept. However, she was (and still is) brilliant, and so she moved up quickly. They used to have training programs, from what I understand, and she was so good, that she was one of the first picked to move to the Saturn plant in Tennessee. She kept refusing, and so they kept up-ing the pay until she finally gave in. Even so, she still began work at Saturn before the cars were actually on the market. My mom invented a part for the transmission, for which she won a national award. With continuing education, she became one of only three safety engineers there, and won an award for that position, as well.

Chances are extremely high that my mom worked on your car, if you ave a Saturn from Spring Hill, TN.
My uncle and aunt worked there as well, so I'm guessing that at least one of my family members made your Saturn car.

My mom has had numerous new homes built. In fact, I am not sure that she can stay in a house more than four years before she has another one up. She started small, but due to her real estate savvy, went bigger and bigger, to finally owning a 4,800 square foot house. Most of her homes were built by Drees, but she made numerous changes to their floor plans. Drees actually incorporated many of my mom's ideas into their plans afterward. What did she get for those ideas? She got a tree per house, and in at least two cases, those trees died. 

Here is my mom's house.

We went by a couple of areas recently, because it is time that she bought a new one, and I will say that my mom is definitely blue collar in appearance, now. So, many of these builders (including the sales ladies at Drees - One in which she bought her Yardly from! - dismissed her entirely, some of whom didn't even acknowledge that she was there. I say to those people, do NOT judge someone by their apparent appearance. My mom is brilliant! She is funny! She knows her stuff! And, she made Drees millions of dollars without asking for anything but a tree. And, look where she was born, talk about a true American Dream!

I got my mom a new ring for Mother's Day this year. I always buy her jewelry, because she won't buy it for herself. Her ring size is seven, so it's very easy to find stuff for her. Her favorite stone is sapphire, and her second is garnet. She loves gold, and her birthstone is diamond. Sidney's birthstone is ruby, and she was with me when I went shopping.... so.......     It isn't as fancy as the one's that I used to be able to afford, but she loved it.

Yes, I went to Jarred.

I find it interesting that I will close this post with the book on princesses next to my mother's hand. Let me get something straight right now. She is NOT a princess. She is the QUEEN, and she won't let you forget it either. Bonnie is so sweet, and generous, and she loves her kids, but it is her grandchildren that she adores.


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