Treat Mom to Mother’s Day Brunch at a Tennessee State Park

The cost of a Mother’s Day card? About $3.99.

A dozen red carnations? About $15 cash and carry.

Tying up your mother on Mother’s Day – priceless!

I never personally tied my mother up on Mother’s Day when I was a boy in L.A. (Lower Alabama, not that other one) but if you believe the Internet, tying up your mom on Mother’s Day is the right thing to do – at least in the former Yugoslavia.

The whole thing starts three Sundays before Christmas when parents tie up their kids until they promise to be good. The following Sunday the kids tie mom up until she gives them sweet treats. Dad gets tied up the third Sunday until he produces gifts (or promises gifts) for Christmas.

Mother’s Day is celebrated on different days and in different ways in 46 countries around the world but I’m thinking the Yugoslavian model probably wouldn’t get a lot of traction here.

So how have we come to celebrate Mother’s Day as we do?

Ancient festivals worshipping motherhood and goddesses like Isis, Cybele and Rhea held by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans? Nah.

Hallmark, enterprising florists and chocolatiers dominate today but not in the beginning. It really got started when Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “The Battle Hymn of The Republic” in 1861, called for mothers to come together to protest war, promote international peace and celebrate motherhood. But her plan failed to thrive.

A West Virginia woman named Anna M. Jarvis who never became a mother herself made a national Mother’s Day her mission in life.

After her own mother’s death, she was determined to have her mother’s dream of a day to honor all mothers come true. On May 10, 1908 at Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, she arranged for her mother’s favorite flowers, white carnations, to be given to every mother in attendance.

This time the idea took hold. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be recognized each year on the second Sunday of May.

In one of life’s many ironies, Jarvis became downright incensed by what she saw as the growing commercialization of Mother’s Day. She made her dislike of greeting cards and florists widely known.

Mother’s Day was supposed to be a day for children to spend time with their mothers.

Of course Mom should not have cooking, dishwashing or cleaning duties, so taking her out to dinner has become popular. This year you can treat your mom to a yummy buffet at one of the Mother’s Day banquets at Tennessee’s State Parks on May 12.


Spending time with mom and Mother Nature is easy when you’re in Tennessee.

Buffets begin at Cumberland Mountain, David Crockett, Fall Creek Falls, Henry Horton, Montgomery Bell, Natchez Trace, Paris Landing and Pickwick Landing at 11 a.m. The menu and hours vary a bit at each location so check the TN State Park website at for details.

OH trail bench

Relax on a bench with Mom in lush green woods and reminisce about the pleasures and treasures she’s provided you.

With entrees like carved roast beef, brisket, baked or smoked chicken, smoked or roasted turkey, fried catfish and peel and eat shrimp, plenty of hot veggies, cold salad bar, fresh warm rolls, cakes, pies, cobblers and banana pudding what more could she want? Maybe a walk along a tree-lined path or time to sit together on a garden bench reminiscing a bit while enjoying the quiet beauty provided by Mother Nature.

And a big hug filled with all the love and appreciation you feel for all she has given (and forgiven!) you.

Anna would have liked just such a Mother’s Day. I’ll bet your mom will too.

Tennessee Mother's Day

Taking an early morning stroll along one of the many trails provided by the State Parks can be the stress-reducing activity Mom needs.

Hi there! I’m Vernon Summerlin. Like many, I came to Nashville to break into the music industry. After years of striving, I...Read on

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