Friday, March 27, 2015

Mom's Cranberry Orange Scones

Here is the recipe for the scones that Mom loved to bake and give away. She even baked a couple batches at my house, not long ago, and shared them with her Stoney Brook friends.

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 cup (more or less) cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
zest from one orange
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (I think Mom just used whole milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt).
Cut in cold butter.
Add cranberries, nuts and orange zest.
Beat egg with cream (or milk) in a small bowl and gently stir into dry ingredients (don't over-stir).
On floured surface, knead gently and form into an 8" circle.
Cut into 8 wedges.
Bake about 25 minutes.


2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

Mix ingredients together and brush on the glaze while scones are still hot from the oven.

From the Memorial Program Handout

Margaret Clark was born June 11, 1926, to Walter and Rose McIlwrath in Enterprise, Oregon. Walter was an army veteran and worked as a miner and, later, a logger. Her mother, Rose, was born in France and immigrated to America, along with her family, when she was a child.
Shortly after Margaret’s first birthday, she lost her father in a logging accident. Two years later her mother, Rose, married Ivan Womack (known as Pop to Margaret), who lovingly and devotedly cared for Margaret as his own daughter. Rose and Ivan later had a son, Margaret’s half-brother, Ivan, known as“Bud”, who has spent most of his adult life in Alaska, where he continues to reside.
Margaret spent much of her early years living in Oregon logging camps, where Pop was the camp cook and baker. Baking was his specialty, and he later owned and operated several bakeries in Oregon and Alaska.
Margaret went to high school at Hillsboro High, in Hillsboro, Oregon. She was an especially talented soprano, often performing on stage as a soloist, singing in high school and college productions, and providing the music for many of her friends’ weddings. Later in life she sang with the Sweet Adelines. She was also quite skilled at playing the violin. Not long ago she had her violin re-strung and passed it on to her great-granddaughter, Clara. After high school Margaret attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where she continued to study music.
In 1946, just before her 20th birthday, she married the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Clark, whom she first met in high school. Together they bore three children: a son, Wesley Ivan, who died at birth in 1947; a daughter, Linda Margaret, born in 1949; and a son, Robert Wellington Jr., “Bobby”, born in 1953, who lived only three short years.
In 1957 Bob, Margaret and Linda moved to Juneau, Alaska, where Margaret’s parents owned a bakery. When her Pop’s health began to fail, Margaret and Bob bought the bakery and ran it for close to 15 years before moving to Anchorage, Alaska. There they opened another bakery. Later Bob closed out his career by teaching commercial baking at the University of Alaska.
Margaret had a 14 year career with the State of Alaska. Her work days began especially early, though, because before going to the office she came into the bakery to fry and glaze the morning’s donuts. After work she hurried back to the bakery to help close up the shop and clean the cases. Despite this double-duty, Margaret’s career with the State was successful. One of her positions was Finance Officer for the Office of the Governor, where she had the sole responsibility of preparing the Governor’s budget and presenting it to the Legislative Budget Committee. She finally retired from the State in 1981, while she was serving as the Administrative Officer for the Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska State Troopers.
After retirement, Bob and Margaret moved to Oregon to be closer to her daughter Linda, son-in-law Dan, and two grandsons Chris and Tim. These may have been the best years of her life. Being close to the grandchildren was a great joy to her. She and Bob spent a lot of time with them and enjoyed taking them on camping trips to the Oregon coast.
Margaret was a dedicated Christian, with the honor of supporting Bob in his work as an elder in  churches of Christ in four different congregations in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. A few years after Bob’s death, in 1997, Margaret moved from Oregon to Carlsbad, New Mexico. It was during these years that she was blessed with two great-grandchildren, Clara Margaret and Robert Fox Judd, the children of her grandson, Christopher and his wife Kelsey. Margaret was loved by her neighbors and church friends in Carlsbad. She was well-known for knocking on neighbors’ doors and handing them a plate of her warm-from-the-oven cranberry/orange scones.
In 2014 Margaret decided that living independently was becoming difficult. With the help of her daughter, Linda, she packed up and moved to Belton, Texas, into a lovely little apartment in Stoney Brook Assisted Living, just ten minutes away from Linda and Dan. Although she lived there less than a year, she had already made many new friends from Stoney Brook and from her new church family, the Avenue T church of Christ.

A Time to Remember

Mom's early years

Mom's later years

Mom's memorial service was on Friday, March 20. It was a sweet and simple service. Our long-time family friend, Bob Waldron, and his wife, Gina, came from the Dallas area. We first knew Bob and Gina back in Juneau, Alaska, in the 1960s, when he was the preacher for our congregation. He's been present for several major events in our family life. He performed the marriage ceremonies for Dan and I and for Chris and Kelsey. In the memorial service he spoke about Mom's Alaskan years. He called her a "Renaissance Woman" and an "Adventurer," both of which I felt were really appropriate.

In the middle of the service Chris accompanied Clara and Robert to the front. Clara spoke some sweet words about her Nanny, and then she and Robert sang, "You Are My Sunshine." Chris, who intended to speak, but didn't, said later, "I should have spoken before the kids sang, because I couldn't say anything afterward." We all sympathized, since no one had a dry eye after the song.

Our local minister, Rodney Tedford, closed out the service with a tribute to Mom's later years. He knew her for less than a year, since she only moved here last summer, but had already gotten to know and love her.

Also attending the memorial were two other Juneau friends. Bea Long, who still lives there, was in Texas visiting her daughter Terri, and they made the trip up. It was a loving reunion for all of us Alaskans. I kept thinking how much Mom would have enjoyed being with these special friends and family.

After the service, our family and out-of-town guests went to the church building, where some ladies had prepared a nice meal for us. 

The family, at the funeral home. Left to right back row: Tim, me, Dan, Chris and Kelsey. Front row: Robert and Clara.

After lunch. Left to right: Tim, me, Robert, Dan, Clara, Bea, Terri, Gina, Bob, Chris and Kelsey.

Losing A Mom Is Really Hard

Mom was making slow, but steady, progress toward becoming independent again, after her fall, which is why we were so shocked to get an early morning phone call on Wednesday, March 11, saying that Mom was being rushed to Scott and White Hospital. She was unresponsive and had a very low oxygen level.

A CAT scan done at the hospital showed that she had suffered a massive bleed on the right side of her brain, which had caused swelling and damage, even to the brain stem. The neurosurgeon explained that, considering how severe this was, he did not expect her to regain consciousness. Dan and I spent the day at her side, and I was there when she breathed her last, at 10:55 p.m.

I can't begin to tell you how very supportive my family has been in helping me through the shock and loss and helping me plan the memorial service, which was held Friday, March 20, at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Did I Mention . . .

. . . that it snowed last week? Not very common here!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Out of the Hospital

After a ten-day hospital stay, Mom was discharged today! She is now staying at a skilled nursing home, where she will receive some rehab to prepare her for going back to her own home at Stoney Brook.  We are optimistic that a two-week stay will give her the strength and skills she needs.

On about the third day in the hospital, Mom's right knee swelled up and became extremely painful. She wasn't able to put any weight on it at all. The x-rays were not very clear, but the first diagnosis was "depression fracture of the tibia." Later they were calling it a "tibial plateau fracture." A full-length brace was put on her leg. It seems to have helped with the pain, but the brace, itself, is causing her such discomfort that she's having trouble sleeping. No one has told us how long she will be wearing it, but I hope to get an answer to that tomorrow, when I meet with the director of the nursing home.

Once she was settled into her new bed in her new room, this afternoon, she was quite content. I think she'll be much happier there than she was in the hospital.

Many, many thanks to those who have been entreating the Great Physician on her behalf. We are very grateful for your prayers and thankful for God's continuing care.

Not the most flattering picture, but at least you can see a small smile on her face.