Fall is that funny time of year, I look forward to all that it is, cool, colorful, changing, crisp, cozy, but it has its bittersweet bits as well. It is a nostalgic time of year for me. Each fall I find myself thinking about all the things my mom taught me. I never got to thank her for these lessons. With my gratitude for her, I will share them with you:
1. Save everything, you never know when you will need it. I think my studio was meant to be. When we were moving our business into the studio, Kerry and I certainly had a head start getting it set up, with all the wonderful art supplies that my mom had collected over the years. Now it is where I have set up my things: art, sewing, collage, painting.
2. Surround yourself with beautiful things, in the garden, on your walls, in your home. Those things don't have to be expensive, just put care in what you do and how you do them.
3. Never save the good china, silver or crystal for a special day. What is the point of having all those special things if they are hidden away in a cabinet, or in a box?
4. And, if it breaks, that’s okay. After all, they are just things.
5. Always have enough good food and drink in the house to entertain at the drop of a hat. Anyone who knows me, knows I can throw a party in a minute.
6. Everyone is beautiful, in his own way. This one drove me nuts as a teenager. I actually think it was part of a song lyric from the 70's that my mom tormented me with--does anyone recognize it? Always the optimist, my mom could find beauty in anyone or anything. I appreciate it now.
7. Be inclusive, the more the merrier. Holidays and parties were grand affairs at our house!
8. Never turn away a friend. Whatever a friend or relative needed, my mom was sure to try and accommodate.
9. Laughter is necessary and contagious. My home was always filled with laughter and happiness.
10. Be kind, it’s that simple.
I wrote that post three years ago and posted it on the blog I shared with my friend and business partner, Kerry. I can’t believe that time goes by so quickly. With just a few minor modifications it still applies today. The only change is that since then, Kerry and I have closed our jewelry business and no longer run it out of my backyard studio. The Schoolhouse, as it is known by many, was my mom’s studio dream, and today is where I house all my art supplies and work on collages and such.
I miss her more than I could express in words. Sometimes it is too raw and bitter, other times that pain has mellowed. I hope that I can honor her memory and the lessons she passed on and shared. Sometimes I need reminders. Numbers 6 – 10 are so important and so often overlooked in today’s society. They are a good reminder to me about how I want to live my life and who I want to be.
It has been 12 years since my mom died. It was too soon, so sudden, and we had way too many plans for her to go. But her legacy lives on in so many ways. And I hope that I learned enough of her lessons so that I can continue her vision.