Skip’s Mom, Barbara Hardy, passed away earlier this week.   She was 92 and lived in an assisted living home in Chattanooga.  Up until about a year ago she was doing fine.  Sadly, her vision started failing and she was unable to read or play bingo–2 of her favorite pastimes.  We saw her at Thanksgiving and she was still ‘with it’ but very frail.
Mom's favorite pasttime--reading!
Mom loved to read–she devoured books

She was a kind and generous lady.  She loved to visit us and go on day trips around Baltimore.  She had great stories to tell about her years leading up to her marriage, travelling around with Skip’s father who was in the Marine Corps and living on the farm in south Georgia.  She had an amazing memory and would talk about what happened 50 years ago as if it was last week.  (I can’t even remember what I did last week!)  She researched the Hardy family and published a genealogy book with her findings–all before the Internet was available!  She made us an elaborate binder containing the Hardy family and included my family as well.

We have a whole shelf of books that she wrote about her life and some of the trips she took with us.  One of her favorites was the ‘trip with the Mothers’ to Williamsburg.  We took her and my mother there for the weekend one Spring, stopping to see the cherry blossom trees blooming in Washington, DC.
Skip with the Moms
The trip with the Mothers — at the cherry blossoms in DC

Mom at Longwood Gardens
Enjoying the sun and flowers at Longwood Gardens

Grandma and Mom with Skip
With my grandmother in St. Michaels

One of my funniest memories was when she showed me how to make biscuits and gravy for Skip for breakfast.  Well, after she cooked the bacon and used all the grease in the gravy I quickly came to the conclusion that it’s something I’ll never make–too unhealthy!  I allow Skip to have it once a year when we travel south.

I have a whole box of letters she wrote to us over the years.  She used to write once a week–mostly about the family and the weather.  She had the most beautiful handwriting.  She loved Maryland crab cakes and I taught her to never order them outside of the State where they put weird stuff in them.

Jen's Wedding
At Jen’s wedding

Little yellow cottage in Chattanooga
The little yellow cottage in Chattanooga where she lived next door to Skip’s sister Nancy

Mom with Skip, Nancy and Ginny
Thanksgiving several years ago with Ginny, Nancy, Skip and Honey

Now both Skip and I are orphans. We’re so glad to have had all these years with our mothers but it will never be the same without them…