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Mom’s Special Day

For as long as many of us can remember, families throughout the U.S. have been celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. Ever wonder how Mom’s special day got its start?

Here’s a quick history.

Julia Ward Howe

The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized in Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870. Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on mothers to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their sons killing the sons of other mothers. In her Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870, Howe called for an international Mother’s Day celebrating peace and motherhood.

Anna Jarvis
Though Howe planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today, it would take the efforts of another woman, Anna Jarvis of West Virginia, to bring Howe’s call to national observance. Determined to honor her own activist mother, who was recently deceased, Jarvis devoted herself full time to the creation of Mother’s Day, endlessly petitioning state governments, business leaders, women groups, churches and other organizations. She finally convinced the World’s Sunday School Association to back her, a key influence over state legislators and congress. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. You can read more at
Memories of Mom

Throughout our lives, we’ve all collected special memories of Mom – of time spent together, of the things she taught us, of “mom epithets” that we can still hear and find ourselves repeating to our own children.
Following are some special memories shared by Port Ludlow “kids.”

One of the many things my Mom taught me was the love of music. She raised seven kids (along with my Dad) and there was always music of some sort going on. To this day, at age 86, she performs in a “Kitchen Band” and is quite particular about this. She plays the “glasses” – they must be crystal and set, just so, for each performance. She was always quite a good cook too – and recently gave me her original Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book. (I guess she decided that, at age 86, she doesn’t need this anymore!) It is carefully held together with tape and the pages are splattered and the tabs nearly worn out. It is inscribed in my Grandmother’s perfect penmanship – Dec. 14, 1951 – To Ginny, with Love, Mom Unger – Happy Birthday. This was a few years before I was born – and a gift from my Dad’s Mom to my Mom. On the inside cover it says: “Home is where the heart is.” To be cherished.
                                                             – Debbie Wardrop, General Manager
                                                              The Inn at Port Ludlow
Kori and Mom

My Mother has taught me so much in my life; from coaching me in Little League basketball to teaching me all the lyrics to “Cover of the Rolling Stones” by Dr. Hook. A memory that stands out from childhood is a day out crabbing with her and my dad. We were using an antique crab catcher my grandfather had built. This contraption was dear to my father. Needless to say, it fell overboard. Dad told me not to play with it! My Mom spent the next hour diving off our boat into the cold Hood Canal trying to retrieve the crab catcher. As always my mom was successful in her endeavor. I thank my mother for passing along to me her strong work ethic, her desire to please and of course her goofy laugh. 
                                                                – Kori Ward, Marina Manager
                                                                  The Resort at Port Ludlow
Remember how when we were kids and talking about when we would have kids, we would say “I won’t do that because that’s what my Mom does”. Every time I say certain phrases, I think – Wow, I sound just like Mom. With age, wisdom must come, because I now appreciate the phrases and understand the need for them.

I learned many things from my Mom, but mostly to have patience, to be kind to others and don’t take life too seriously. Ever since I was born, my mother has been mentally handicapped. Usually, it was my older sister doing the mothering, but Mom still taught us some valuable lessons.

The patience came in dealing with her abilities on a daily basis. Some days were good and some not so good. She would not be rushed and could be very STUBBORN. However with a lot of patience and a little humor, she would give you a great big smile and do as asked.

Mom always asked everyone if they were being kind to their wife, husband, kids, animals, etc… This seemed to be a real concern for her. She genuinely wanted to ensure that you were being treated right and treating others right. Her attention to this imprinted that same concern on her children.

There were many times growing up that I wanted to die of embarrassment because of something Mom did. Funny, my daughter would probably say the same about me. At first it was hard to accept. What was the lasting effect – nothing! One time I remember being at the Mall and my Mom asked a perfect stranger if he was doing okay. He stared at us, I think trying to figure out why he knew this person. Then he asked if he knew her and I explained to him, that he did not know her and that she was just making conversation. After a while, I would just laugh and share a smile with Mom. Maybe she knew what she was doing all along – teaching a lesson.

There were many similar type incidents over the years and I learned if I smiled and found humor in the situations, no matter what the audience thought, it was not worth worrying about.


We just celebrated Mom’s 79thbirthday. She is doing pretty well today. Still gives me that great smile and appreciates the little things in life. Thanks Mom for being such a great role model.

               – Diana Smeland, President
                 Port Ludlow Associates

I never have been a gardener, never thought I would ever enjoy it. I bought my first place a few years ago and since have been constantly fixing and upgrading the property, which includes the landscaping. Today landscaping/gardening is an activity and time that I truly enjoy and cherish spending with my mother. 

I am so happy that spring has arrived and will allow us this time once again!

                                                                – Nathan LaPlante, Marketing Manager
                                                                  Port Ludlow Associates

My mom passed away a number of years ago but the thing I will always remember about her is that she would never let me leave her house without a kiss. It was almost a game I would play with her to see if I could sneak out without the “KISS.” Every once in a while I would make it out the door and I would hear the “MICHAEL GET BACK HERE!” I will never forget those words. Now that I have girls of my own I find myself doing the same thing.

                                                            – Vito (Michael) DeSantis, Director
                                                              Port Ludlow Golf Club
What’s your favorite memory of Mom? Post a comment and share!

Celebrate Mom!

How will you celebrate Mom this year? Why not start her special day with a scrumptious brunch surrounded by beautiful water and mountain views?! 
The Resort’s Fireside Restaurant will host an a la cart Mother’s Day Brunch with a seven entrée menu and buffet station on Sunday, May 13, 11am-3pm. Early reservations are highly recommended. Call 360-437-7412.

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