Our mom wasn’t one to stand on much ceremony. But she sure surprised Mike and me five years ago when she gave us Papa Brooks’ old farm bell on Mother’s Day. Grandma Brooks used to clang this bell to call our older brothers, Billy and Doug, up from the pond where they were fishing. I remember that big bell vividly, seeing it every time we pulled up to their farm. My little sister Janna and I loved ringing it as loudly as we could, only to be scolded by Grandma or some other adult standing nearby. When our family sold the farm after Papa and Grandma passed away, Mom sent Doug over in secret to retrieve the bell. Little did the rest of us know she kept it out back at our family home in a storage shed for 20 years. And on Mother’s Day 2010 she gave it to us as a gift for our farm. Now every time I look at it I think of her — and often tug on the old rope just to feel the bell reverberate in my ears…and in my heart. Thinking of you this Mother’s Day, Mom. We sure miss you..