Friday, April 25, 2014

Sharing 58

A beaming Mimi receives a stately escort
 from her eldest grandson, Michael, at the
Derick-Helbig wedding, July 1998.
There's a corner in the side yard that has become, quite organically, Mimi's Place.  By midday, warm sun caresses the spot for a few blessed hours, then slips behind the house and lingers.

It began with a soft-pink camellia last spring, a gift from our neighbors in honor of my dear mother's passing.  Over time, other things found a home there: a rock cairn, a blue-bronze heron statue, and just today, a set of wind chimes with a rich deep timbre.    

All of these things hold signficance and help me more fully embrace my mother and my memory of her.  Though I have many varied images and feelings of Mimi in my head and heart, I realized today that I most commonly picture her as this photo so aptly depicts: an engaging, vibrant woman of 58; the age I shall be this year.  

Coincidence?  Fodder for psychoanalysis?  Bah!  I have a different theory.  I think I remember her this way because it was an especially happy time for her.  Finding her stride after several life-altering experiences, Mom seemed at the top of her game. She and Andy were 12 years into their 25 year marriage, her interior design business was thriving, and her life appeared balanced in a deeply rewarding way.  Meaningful work and good health; time for volunteering and travel; adventures with family, a measure of quiet of her own crafting; her life was all of these things.  

Today I remember Mimi in her 50s and celebrate with both arms raised!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Along came the twins --------------------> : fellow artists willing to play!

Ma (Heang), Jenny, Riley, and Nicholas: co-creators of "Toys don't eat dirt"
An alternative to planting flowers, April 2014.  Slugs and curious onlookers welcome!
Every cool thing needs a flag.

Autographs offered willingly by twins, Riley and Nicholas, nearing 4.

Treasures from my storied life, 1975-2014.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spelling her way in j-o-y

Bill & Nancy pause for a photo at their chest-high raised bed
at the Intergenerational Community Garden at the Lynnwood Senior Center.
Three weeks ago she experienced a stroke.  Today she was planting and marking two short rows of garlic with her soft-spoken partner, Bill.  Next up in their shared day was a round of Bingo with friends at the senior center.  "I can't do the numbers right now, but Bill will h-e-l-p me and we'll …"

Her cheery demeanor and Bill's quiet witness shone like a companion star on this sunny day.  "I can't always find the words I want.  Do you g-a-r-d-e-n too?  We love this place!  We were here for the b-i-d-d-o-n!" She made open scissors with one hand and I got it straight away-- they were there for the ribbon cutting celebration last year when the community garden was officially opened!

Strangers to one another, we shared a mere 15 minutes in the noon sun together and when we parted, our collective joy was palpable.  Nancy tugged off her garden gloves, came around the raised beds, looked me in the eyes and opened her arms.  

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love my life!