Lee’s favorite holiday is July 4th, but mine is Thanksgiving. Most of my childhood Thanksgivings were snow filled with terrific foods prepared by my mom. Seven siblings, my dad, often a grandmother, occasionally aunts, uncles, cousins and a warm fire … Thanksgiving was uncomplicated by gifts, decorations, or the dreaded skits that accompanied other holidays. I thought the best part of Thanksgiving was thinking about what I was most grateful for.
This year’s Thanksgiving will be quieter than most.
My mother died peacefully at the ripe old age of 91 at the end of October. After traveling to upstate NY for her funeral and then one for her only remaining brother the next day, I journeyed last week to Williamsburg, VA, to wrap up her affairs. I am glad to be back here in my beloved NM for a quiet holiday. The weather has turned cold, there is snow on the mountains and of course that glorious New Mexico blue sky.
I am thankful for my mother, her fierce determination, her wittiness, all she did for her family and the many ways she influenced me. Top of my list is my gratitude for her willingness to teaching me to sew. This was not an easy task because I was an impatient child. I was not a good follower or imitator. I’m sure she had misgivings, but she let me do it my way… I never cut out a pattern and assembled it per the directions. I was always trying to do things above my skill level. And, while I often grew frustrated, she would let me give up. She needed her qualities of patience and good humor, which I am sure I helped her strengthen.
Also, my thankfulness embraces the wonderfully creative women who have also inspired me in my creative Whispirit endeavors. One week before mom’s death I traveled to Ashland, OR, to attend my third Design Outside the Lines retreat. I have learned so much working with the artist Diane Ericson This year’s retreat Diane included Marla Kazell, an amazing couture sewist and tailor and teacher, as Diane’s co-teacher. What an amazing duo. We focused on jackets. What a dynamic duo and, of course, the other attendees with their experiences are also amazing teachers.
My head is spinning with new design ideas that I plan to incorporate into the 2017 Whispirit creations. I found some fabrics and an unfinished quilt in my mother’s “things” which I will incorporate in my work. I think she would like that. Creativity gets passed along. Like a river, it never stops.
Lee and I hope you and yours enjoy a happy meal with family, friends and much thankfulness. Please think about the creative genius of Lenard Cohen as you listen to this wonderful YouTube video of his song Hallelujah.
Til next time. Sandy
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