Patricia Pierson Reid, or Mom-mom, is my maternal grandmother. She grew up in Portland, Oregon during the Depression and had a few good stories she shared over the years of those hard times. Her father often did not have work, but they scraped by. She learned to cook from her mother and grandmother (her father’s mother) and she learned to sew from her father. He taught her how to use a sewing machine and make good seams and hems. I think he sewed from necessity and thought it was an important skill to learn. She learned and excelled, making clothes for herself, her children, and grandchildren, and sometimes selling doll clothes at craft shows. She made her wedding dress and her three daughters’ wedding dresses, not to mention countless party and prom dresses, winter coats, cloaks, and capes. She also taught me how to sew. I sewed clothes for my dolls under her skilled eyes.
I always thought of Mom-mom as a great cook. She could turn out a lot of good food and was especially known for baked goods — cookies, cakes, and bread. But, she would spoil my brother and I with Little Debbie cakes, frozen pizza, and Chef Boyardee on occasion. She taught me how to cook when I was quite young, telling me I needed to help my mother by being able to cook supper.
When I think of Mom-mom – who she was as I knew her – I think of her in her house, in the kitchen, providing food, cleaning, making snacks. She did not put up with a lot of nonsense, but she was always sweet to her grandchildren, teaching us, comforting us, quietly encouraging us, smiling at our antics or our accomplishments.
My brother and I, and sometimes our cousin, stayed with Mom-mom (and Dado, when he was not working at the farm)after school for many years while our parents worked, and for weeks in the summer. She was another “mother” to us, and I am grateful for the discipline, love, comfort, and support she provided.