Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gratitude Journal #2

Isn't this a sweet picture? It's my mom and my grandmother. Incidentally the same picture of my grandmother that I used in the collage/painting a few posts down. It was taken near the end of WWII. My grandfather was a B17 pilot and my grandmother had to raise my mom mostly alone the first few years. She made all their clothes by hand - all of them! And she was a fashion plate...I still have some of the great Japanese silk brocade clothes that she made with fabric my grandfather brought home from Japan in the 50's. One of them is a light, metallic blue, swing coat and the other is a shift dress/short jacket combo in red. They're both very glamorous and Audrey Hepburn-ish.

All of which brings me to my Gratitude Journal. I forgot to do it earlier (the 2nd day - yikes!), so I've come back to do it now. Basically I posted the entry below, and then spent the rest of the day laying down. Luckily Phil came home early today so I was able to get some actual rest - not resting while being a jungle gym for a 3 year-old. But I digress (again). I will try not to make all my gratitude lists so lengthy, but of course the ones closer to my heart cause me to gush a little.

5 Things I am grateful for:

1. My maternal grandmother - she always encouraged me in all my artistic endeavors and set a great example for me. As an adult she took painting and floral design classes and, for her entire adult life (after the war) she belonged to a "study club." Each year the club would pick a topic and each month a different person would deliver a lecture on some aspect of it. Some topics spanned 2 years if necessary. At 79 years old my grandmother was researching at the library and nervously preparing her report on some geology topic! I see her curiosity in my daughter now, I think the strength of her curiosity is what keeps the autism from being more severe.

2. My paternal grandmother - when she was already a grandmother of 5 she finally left my grandfather (a nasty, cruel man) to forge her own way - unheard of for a woman of her age in 1967! She was a working woman in a time before "women's lib" and set an example for me of strength, fortitude, and independence ( and she was only 4'10"!). To supplement her income she made wedding dresses and toys (see, it's disgraceful that I don't sew). Despite her farm upbringing, I could always call her after 11pm and know that she would still be up reading one of her books - even into her 80's! She also taught me that the mind never loses its need to learn.

3. Chocolate - hey, they can't all be so serious! Chocolate is my friend, when I need it it is always there waiting for me on the grocery store shelf. (Okay! It's usually right there in my kitchen cupboard.)

4. Rain. I'm a northwest native, I love rain. I love the sound of it and the smell of it, and the taste of it and the look of it. I love the sound cars make as they rush by on the wet pavement. Rexy likes it, too. I taught her to say, "Hi, rain!" when she was younger and now she says, "It's raining!" delightedly - although sometimes it's not, but she looks hopeful.

5. Milk. Just because it's milk. It's like comfort food for me and for my sister. I can't imagine life without it.

What are you grateful for?

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