Sunday, November 21, 2010

First Christmas Tree

I was just thinking of a story my mother shared with me a few years ago and it paints such a portrait of them both.  I wanted to share it while I was thinking of it -even though Christmas is not for a few weeks yet.  But this is a thanksgiving story I suppose.  For I am grateful for my parents and for what they taught me.  How to dream, how to be creative, how to leap before I look, and how to look before I leap.  Sometimes you need both skills.  I'm happy to say that I am both spontaneous and thoughtful.

My  parents were married in the early fifties - likely the tinsel that we decorated the Christmas tree with was made with lead  - I remember the feel and weight of it before it was plasticized.  Anyway, my mom tells this great story of their first Christmas tree.   I guess while they were putting up the tree, dad left the room for a minute and when he came back, she had all the tinsel on the tree.  In her fashion, she just threw it at the tree in giant clumps and let it land where it would - that is sort of the way she does everything, with joy and gusto.  My dad came back into the room and blew a gasket.  No, no, no!  That's not the way you do it!  He took every single cotton pickin strand off that tree and put them back on, one by one, exactly the same distance apart.  Perfectly.  I'm sure it took him forever to finish.  He has always been that way.

So I grew up in a home with a mother that just threw herself at everything she did with wild abandon, and a father that was calculated and systematic and orderly at everything.  This story paints a colorful portrait of the two of them.  And now, fifty some years later, they are still driving each other completely nuts -  still decorating the tree the same way.
Only now,
mom leaves the room.

Say it with a SMILE and a handmade TILE!

Friday, November 12, 2010

rainy days and fridays

Ah, a rainy day at last.  Seems I'm always hoping for rain.  I think since I moved to the country and I can see things growing around the vast countryside without the aid of a sprinkler system.  I realize how dependent we are as humans on the rain and the sun for our health, for our food, for our daily nourishment.

I've spent the last two weeks cleaning out the garage and the studio and still haven't finished, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for sure.  Weekend before last, a  poorly attended garage sale despite great weather and good advertisement, but we got rid of a few sundry items and took the rest of it to Goodwill.  There is still more to go, but it will have to wait now.  The Christmas season, the holiday season has quickly encroached on my social and home life and needs all of my attention.

Last week and weekend was spent readying and working a show in Fort Worth.  Again, poorly attended despite the good weather, but I made some great contacts and created new friendships.  It always amazes me the graciousness of people I hardly know.  Maybe it is because my work touches people in so many ways.  Words reaching out to bring encouragement, or joy, or just a laugh out loud.  I heard many of those while I was attending my booth this past weekend.  But the most gracious of them all this weekend, was the woman that told me about a rock she had one of her tilesmiles displayed in.  It had a perfectly squared hollow in it that a tilesmile fit into like a glove.  Me, being the rock hound that I am, loved hearing that, and we shared many stories of picking up rocks in foreign places to bring home as souvenirs.  It is ridiculous how many rocks I have hauled around the country.  My husband just tolerates it and lifts the heavy ones for me.  ( If you haven't seen the movie, The Long Long Trailer, I highly recommend it:)

Anyway, the next day, she shows up at my booth again, with the rock IN TOW!  Once I figure out how to put a photo on here from my phone, I'll share it with you.  I mean, she wrapped up that ROCK and brought it to me to show it to me!  Not a photo - but the whole cotton pickin ROCK!  I almost cried.  I mean, she went out of her way to share something wonderful with me.  Ok, maybe not wonderful to anyone else but a rock hound, but I was just thrilled with her thoughtfulness and grace.

Not to mention all the people that shared with me how they had used my tilesmiles in their kitchens or bathrooms, or given them to people that were overcome with grief, or a health issue.  And the one lady that knew all about this blog, and apologized for knowing so much about my work and me, thinking I would think her a stalker or something.  I mean, this is sort of so you can know me just a little bit?  To know where all this stuff comes from, that it actually means something to me.  No, I'm grateful, and honored to be read at all.

So, today, after two weeks of hard work, I am still in bed at 11am, reading, writing, listening to the wind, and before that, the rain, and thankful for the people in my life, the house over my head, the art within me, for my Lord Jesus Christ, my music, my family, my wonderful husband, and my dog, Gracie.
Life is good.  Especially when it rains.

Say it with a SMILE and a handmade TILE!