Thursday, September 11, 2008

Continuing the Tradition

I am 63 years old, just short of my 64th in November. When I was 46 years old, I was going through some sort of crisis, dealing with severe depression, a divorce of my choosing and weighing only 100 lbs.

When my mom, Nadine, was 46 years old, she was embracing a new family. She had married my dad and took on this active, tom boy - me - who was only 9 years old and had my dad’s exclusive attention since I was two years old, being raised by he and his German mom who died when I was 5 years old. (ok, take a breath) TMI?

Wedding photo 1954

Five years later, she had a teenager to try to fashion into some sort of socially acceptable young adult, teaching me etiquette, and instilling in me her strong work ethic (you do not play until you work is done. If you don’t have any work, we will find you something to keep you busy until noon.) None this hurt me and in my opinion was beneficial to my upbringing and making me who I am today.

While a teenager, I realized my mom had a group of strong female friends. They were all professionals and that was how they had met, through the International Global Organization - Zonta -, a women’s group of executives and professionals .

My mom had been a Zonta president. She was co-owner of Burbank Travel Agency with another woman. Even though she was a brittle diabetic, she traveled the world and went places many had yet to go. I have a certificate for when she flew over the North Pole. We don’t give that a second thought but back them it was an event. She had another certificate for crossing the International Date Line on her travels. In her diary she tells of her tromping through the mud after her bus had bogged down in Honduras. She and her fellow passengers had to trek back to the city they had come from.

She was the proverbial optimist. I have an entire album of hers where she collected positive quotes and poems from newspapers and magazines that I believe she used when she spoke to large groups.

Ok, back to her profession friends – they appeared to have another thing in common. They knitted. Not just scarves like the latest craze, but the most beautiful dresses and skirts and tops. I have two still in my closet, even though I will never fit into them again. I wore one, a mauve dress, to my daughter’s First Communion and another one Christmas. I have the sweaters my mom knitted while watching television that have something called a “butterfly stitch.” This is not my cup of tea. Way to detailed and a giant call for accuracy - not my strong suit.

They got together once a month and knitted together and shared what they were working on and what was going on in their lives. Then, they sat down for a wonderful lunch at whomever’s home where they were “playing..” It was a leader-less group. If my dad was working at home that day, he joined them for lunch if it was my mom turn. All the fine china and silver came out and the food was spectacular.

Well, this week I had another of my art friends “get togethers”. It had to be on Monday when JLo had the day off. She and her sister, Colleen, where here for 3 weeks from Colorado for Jen to teach tons of classes at Scrapbook Your Life. I wanted my friends to meet Jen and also her talented sister who does detailed work in PMC (Precious Metal Clay).


Jen decided whe wanted to try the Uber Self Portrait project that we had done a couple of weeks ago.


My friend Kathie (of the now defunct Expression Magazine) also works in PMC and she and Colleen hit it right off the bat and spent the day working and sharing tips and ideas.


Since my friend Georgia is also a teacher, I sat her next to Jen so they could get to know each other. Bets had already met, played and taken classes with Jen so she and I sat at the end of the table.


I finished up my Uber Self Portrait and Bets painted and worked on a number of projects. (She is sooooo productive in theses groups).

JLo's Uber Self Portrait almost finished

Food wasn’t spectacular. I did make homemade cranberry scones again and my husband's tomato, cucumber, basil, red onion salad to accompany the crescent sandwiches from Von’s. Bets brought her chocolate cupcakes again. We will never have fruit trail mix again for munching. What was I thinking?

It is so much fun to have my friends come together in my home and enjoy themselves. Friends are so important. They need to be feed and nurtured. It takes time and effort to keep friendships alive. You must not take them for granted.

If you want to see Jen's finished Uber Self Portrait, go to her website.


jackieb said...

Sally I feel really blessed to have met you and Georgia and Bets. My gosh you girls are so giving and caring and ARTIST.

I love that you remember your childhood and the part that it did play in who you are "a down to earth" great person

Isn't it interesting that Nadine knew women's friendships made her a better and stronger person which I believe is such a great support for all of us and you truly have learned from her lessons.

Okay enough of that, you are still silly sally and are a crack up.

I think Georgia knew you were going to take pictures for your blog because she looks pretty dressed up to me :}

Thanks for the posting, it was wonderful. Have a great week.

Kathie said...

Thanks for a full day of FUN!!!

I am defintely going to join you girls more often.


All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Dear Sal - your blog isnt wide enough for a photos side by side - if it were you would have a wider middle column.

Blogs (for an example of real live blogs :-)that are wide include and - have a look so you know what I mean

hugs and smiles :-) and good luck with blogging - your blog is fab!! :-)

Bet's Crayons said...

I just cuddled up with a cup of coffee and a few scones, and sat down to read your post!
I love the us something to strive toward! Your mom sounds like a very special lady.
Keep the stories coming....