09 May 2013

Gifts

The Stalker
Photo by Sean Melicher

I'm not usually the type to buy gifts. (I make them.) I don't go Christmas shopping, and I didn't buy many greeting cards for many, many years. (I design my own greeting cards.)

I think my aversion to buying gifts began around my 12th birthday, when my grandmothers, 500 miles apart, unknowingly sent me identical cards. Both grandmothers sent skeins of yarn that year, too.

Both knew I liked Barbie dolls and Donny Osmond, but they hoped my first love would be creating. Throughout the end of their lives, they tried to encourage me to make things. They knew such skills would do more for my future than doll houses and 45s. (45s is how we oldsters used to listen to music, way before MP3s.)

It was one of those grandmothers who gave me my first camera — before I could read. But it was Dad who took my love for photography beyond the human norm. He's the one who trusted me to touch his grown-up cameras. He'd praise me for holding his 8mm movie camera still while shooting six active little brothers and sisters playing in the backyard. He'd let me pull his snapshots out of his Polaroid and let me count to 60 and peel off the fresh photographs.

Dad lined me up with a professional photographer when I was ready to buy my first 35mm camera. He wanted to make sure I selected a model that would withstand the immature abuse I was bound to subject it to and that I'd be satisfied for years, not just until the novelty wore off. (His ploy was a serious success.)

Mom had her part in the making of me, too. She wasn't my mom for the first few years of my life, but she never let that get in the way of our relationship. Before she even married my dad, she would sing to me at night when I was lonely. After she married my dad, she drove me to my baby-sitting jobs and made up the difference when my earnings weren't enough to process all my film or finish a knitting or crochet project. She would embroider beautiful designs on pillow cases when I was still in grade school, then have me crochet the edgings to match.

When I became a teen, she nagged me about finishing projects I wanted to enter in the county fair when I got sidetracked with normal teen things. She was proud of me when I earned blue ribbons in categories filled mostly by adults. She excused me from class when I wanted to cover a school activity for the town paper, drove me to the track meets and basketball games so I could take pictures, and took me back and forth to weekly journalism club meetings.

Mom has been a great example, too. She is always making things for others. She opened her heart to take in three kids who weren't hers. And it was Mom who struggled to bring peace and harmony to two separate families, holding us together until we were one.

It fascinates me that although she didn't give birth to me, I'm just like her.

Thank you, Mom!

20 comments :

  1. haha I knew what 45s were, seen a few, they are ancient haha sounds like you were sure groomed to create

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    1. Yes, Pat, groomed to create. Maybe I should adopt that as my slogan... :)

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  2. Sometimes it's the environment that makes you, not the genes. =] Sounds like you had an awesome mom!

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    1. Thank heavens for that, Julian! My mom truly is awesome. I'm biased, but I think she's the best. :)

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  3. Moms like yours are precious and amazing. I'm glad that you had the chance to grow and learn and thrive under the care of someone like her.

    Both your Mom and Dad sound like intuitive, loving, creative and inspiring folks- and you did them proud!

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    1. Gosh, aw, gee, Titanium... you make me blush! I truly am grateful for the parents God gave me.

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  4. We are kindred spirits...Donny Osmond...me too. Now, if he came to the front door, not such a big deal I guess I outgrew him. LOL..but back in the day...it was Osmond everything. I even crochet
    him a purple and white scarf..too funny. Your mom sounds very special, and God chose each of you for each other. Lovely Day to you my friend. 45's & Barbies, crochet & Donny? We would have been the bestest of friends back in the day..computers makes us kindred spirits today...we never could have known could we?

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    1. How true, Faith, about how much we admire(d) stars in our lives, and then suddenly one day, they are human just like us.

      Thank you for being one of my bestest internet friends!!! I think it's awesome to be able to find another kindred spirit so many years later! I do still make dolls and doll clothes on occasion, and I've never tired of music, just changed my taste a bit.

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  5. I love this post. It truly made me get a lump in my throat. You don't have to give birth to be a Mama, you only have to give love. Oh what a beautiful thing to say, that you are just like your Mom.You were truly blessed to have her in your life while you were growing up and even now, too. What a wonderful compliment you gave to her for her years of love and devotion.

    OMGosh I totally forgot about 45's....I even had some old 33's I use to play. Wow, we are really telling our ages now aren't we! :)

    Hugs and blessings to you dear friend

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    1. Would it surprise you, Stitchy, to find out I still have one 33??? Nothing to play it on, but I just couldn't let it go when I finally donated the entire 200-album collection to charity.

      I was blessed to get a new mom who would be such a great mom!

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  6. I laugh at remembering the 45's and that was "several" years before you and the others discovered them. I remember having to have the disk to insert in the middle so they would play on our stereo. Such a different world and time. Your mom ... what a woman and what a woman she made.

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    1. Gloria, you just brought back a hilarious memory. I didn't always have the plastic inserts, so sometimes I would try to center the 45s on my record player, and then the needle would sway back and forth just a tad because I was never quite perfect as an eyeball engineer!

      Yes, Mom is awesome, and I'm so glad everyone knows now!

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    1. Thank you, Monica, and yes, I do have a wonderful Mom!

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  8. What a very sweet post - what a very special lady.

    One of my nieces (who happens to be adopted) has so many of our family traits that I could swear she had our genetics as well as our name. It's great that you take after your Mom like this. :)

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I do agree sometimes it's the environment more than the genetics. For that I am thankful!

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  9. This made me remember my sister's love of Donny Osmond. She had the doll, complete with purple socks!

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    1. Oh, Margaret, I'd forgotten all about the purple!!! I was never Donny Osmond material because blue was my favorite color. I wouldn't give it up. Even for him! :)

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  10. What a lovely tribute! Now, then...how brave are you to be that close to a Mountain Goat? They are much worse than Alpines. Much. :)

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    1. Really, Marigold??? They seem so lovable to me! I just want to walk up to them and brush them! And collect their shedding hair! And spin it into yarn! And knit it into all kinds of magic! Oh, and dye it, too!!!!!!!!!!

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