Photo by Angie Quantrell
Text by God
We LOVE getting together to play with our toys. Some call it making messes, but we call it fun. And you can’t create and make rubber stamped cards without the creative process, and that means messes are made. Also mistakes, but we use mistakes as opportunities to be even more creative with our oops.
It’s not just rubber stamping.
applying (or ignoring) theories of art composition
using our imaginations
sipping tea (or coffee or a special dessert drink)
solving world problems
singing the oldies, sometimes badly and off-tune (me, always with the wrong lyrics)
listening to music
keeping cats off the table
enjoying fine literature (or just literature on a CD)
going for walks
building from each other’s ideas
paving the way to send snail mail messages to friends and family
making gifts to share
eating too much
recycling (saving rubber stamps from the landfills and reusing paper and craft items down to the tiniest scraps)
storing memories (and collectively attempting to recall long ago events)
and building love.
Completed card totals for this trip: 76
Friends involved in this weekend: 7
I was pleased to find this little gem of a photo in my baby book. After losing mom in May, every treasure I uncover has become much more precious. My mama loved her little Angie.
I don’t remember seeing this photo before, though I know I’ve had it for years. Mom despaired of my hair growing and I was often seen sporting a comb-over wave to give the appearance of ample hair. Curly and fine, just like it is today. Though with much more gray.
These irises bloomed in front of my Grandma Wheetley’s house in Sunnyside, Washington. We visited often, I imagine, and this is also the town where my mother and father met and started the journey of lifelong marriage.
Little Angie, as I was nicknamed by grandparents on both sides, is nearly as tall as the gorgeous irises. What I love, besides seeing a much younger, cuter me, is that I obviously love flowers. Just like I do now. These days finds me planting more sunflowers, wildflowers, and blooming bushes, but the beginning of my love affair with gardening sprouted right there with me playing in the irises.
My mama was an excellent seamstress. I can’t ask now, but I think she or my grandmother probably made this dress. I so wish I could sit and pour over these childhood photos with her one more time. My siblings and I were blessed to have a mother who loved us unconditionally. Not that we didn’t get called on the carpet, but good mothers have to do that to straighten out our stubborn bits.
What special memories do you have of your parents or grandparents?
I might be one of the worst encouragers. Seriously. I think all these wonderful thoughts and admirations, but often forget to pass along many (or any) of the encouraging statements floating through my brain.
Case in point. Last week I texted my honey while he was at work. Almost daily he sends me lovey dovey, encouraging texts. I tell him I love him, but I don’t usually reply with much lovey dovey stuff. I feel it, think it, know it. But forget to tell him. This time I texted him first and told him how much I love him and what a blessing he is to me and how much I love our life together. He was so touched! I felt horrible for not doing it more often. I mean REALLY, not just thinking good things, but sharing. It’s not that hard. You can guess what one of my simmering on the back burner goals is now, can’t you?
Here’s yet another example of encouragement that goes a long way. While enjoying my writing residency at Holly House (Hypatia-in-the-Woods) I opened the writing desk drawer to find many different encouraging notes from previous residents. What a wonderful surprise! I loved reading each note and added a few of my own. Permission to take a nap! Yay!
The short of it: saying or writing an encouragement to someone doesn’t take that long. As long as it’s heartfelt, encouragement is the gift that keeps on giving.
Who can you encourage today?
in fall life season
we rust, flake, slow, grip tightly
our love hangs on, lasts
My honey, we face the fall like these rusted chains. Aging, losing a few pieces, showing our age-but we are strong. Hands held tight, the iron love clasp of eros, pragma, and agape flows between our entangled fingers and hearts. Hold tight. I’m here beside you.
There are moms, and there are MOMS.
And I’m not just talking about women who give birth to babies and become mothers. Well, yes, those sorts of moms.
But also, moms who have adopted, claimed, or otherwise taken in extra babies, children, and adults and made them a part of the family. Moms who have mothered others through tough times or through career choices. Moms who have taught more than just their own offspring, baked cookies for the neighborhood kids, shared/traded hand-me-downs and kid-paraphernalia, or tucked in all the littles who happened to be around at nap or bedtime. Moms who embrace the friendless, welcome in the newcomers, stand up for the picked-on. No nonsense moms who tell it like it is, teach how it should be, and show by example how to do it.
Moms not limited to birth or adoption or choice, but also by caring. Moms of fur babies, next-door-neighbors, or troops, clubs, or teams. And those dads. Dads who mother their children in so many ways, again by choice or circumstances.
Moms. All of them.
Thank you, moms (mothers, mamas, mommys), for all you have done, are doing, and will do to mother us! We love you!
This Mother’s Day, heaven has two new mothers. My mommy, Bonnie, passed away on May 7, and is up there rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus, daddy, and all of her loved ones. My other mommy, Carole (Kevin’s mama), passed away last June 7. I’m sure she was ready to welcome mom with a cup of coffee and lots of catching up. This was our first Mother’s Day without our moms. We be sad. But up there? The celebrating just jumped up a notch!
While our Mother’s Day took a turn towards the side of mourning, and we have mom-sized holes in our hearts, we KNOW we will see them again when it’s our turn to go. No more tears, pain, broken and failing bodies. Just love, joy, and reunion.
Peace to all who miss their mothers.