DEAR ABBY: Mother's Day is approaching, and I'm feeling sentimental. I'd like to tell you what our family used to do on Mother's Day. Mom didn't need any more clothes or jewelry. So, for years, all the adult children, grandchildren and in-laws put on our work clothes and showed up at Mom's home on Mother's Day.
We brought the makings for a potluck dinner and plenty of beverages. We would then proceed to till and plant my mother's garden. Mom loved to garden and did so into her 80s, but getting it planted became too much for her. This was not only the perfect time to get the job done for her, but she loved seeing the family working together.
Often what older people enjoy the most is the gift of time and family. They want their independence, but some things can be done much more easily by the children. (Just don't forget to do it the way THEY want it done, and you'll see the joy in their eyes.) -- REMEMBERING IN WISCONSIN
DEAR REMEMBERING: How sweet of you to want to share your family's tradition. I'm sure your efforts pleased your mother mightily, and that every time she looked out her window, she was reminded of the happy memories of Mother's Day.
There are usually any number of chores to be done around a house, from painting to washing windows, fixing a fence, clearing out a garage, and miscellaneous household repairs too numerous to list. All it takes to get them done is a willing heart and some elbow grease. Of course, it also takes time -- and time is the most precious gift of all.