Juanita Carol Mateer

Honored by:Marlene Alberigo
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In the Midwest lives a grand little lady A writer a poet or anything she could have been maybe. Instead she raised four kids vegetables pigs calves and even lambs It's a good thing God gave her 16 extra hands! Although at us she did a lot of crowing She taught us many things without us knowing. She doesn't wear shadow lipstick and other things that make you look fruity Instead she has that rare down to earth beauty. Today you are beginning your years of gold You have been through a lot and never seem to fold. This verse may not be long But don't take it wrong.

To say all that you mean Mom It'd take a leg and an arm. This poem is out of shape and makes no sense But we want you to know we love you as is . I wrote this poem for my mother when she turned 60 in 1976. This poem only begins to describe how incredible she is. I feel my writing skills are grossly inadequate to accurately describe her. Plus the prose would be longer than the 2 page limit.

While the Plaza for Heroines is to honor the women in our lives I would have been less than what I am today without my father as well. So I would like to include his spirit in this writing. I will write about one item that continues to amaze me when I am talking to women of any age. I often hear that one or both parents have told women that they could not do or be something because of their gender. This is surprising to me because I was never given that message. So therefore I grew up thinking I could do or be anything I wanted and I continue to think that today.

I grew up on the farm so I worked with the hired hands putting up hay. I drove tractors. I helped care for 600 head of hogs. I also was taught to cook sew garden and all of the traditional girl things. I played four instruments participated in sports and graduated third in my class. I think I was provided a pretty fair cross section of experiences that helped shape me then and now! My father died in 1984.

My mother remains a source of information - for family history as well as how to do things. She is a walking encyclopedia. I still think I will never know as much as she does. I feel very fortunate to have been raised by these extraordinary forward thinking people.