My goal over the last year has been to reduce my possessions by half. I gave away half my skillets and kitchen things, then moved on to bedroom closets and garage shelves. Still, there are a great many family things I'll keep no matter what.
This plate was painted by my mother-in-law Jessie in 1979. I like to hang it during Christmas and throughout the winter. I guess this is why Jessie had so many brushes in this old, stained-up wooden bin I showed in the last post.
I put the paint brushes under a cloche and plan to hang the winter painting on the wall above it.
Jessie was injured during birth by the doctor, which resulted in her right arm being paralyzed and stunted in growth. You might notice her disability when you first meet her, but you seldom remember it later because her talents greatly exceed her slight limitations. Here she is riding shotgun a few years back.
My in-laws (both 4th or 5th generation Texans) had only one child, Wild Bill, and he was born on his father's 24th birthday. Now, here's the coincidence...a few years later, way far out in California, I was born on his mother's 24th birthday.
Wild Bill and I met later in life, and we got married a few months after his parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They'll be celebrating their 70th this year, and we'll be celebrating our 20th shortly after. Time flies!
When she was younger, despite having only one usable arm, Jessie painted and fired pottery and won many blue ribbon contests. She sewed quilts by hand and her stitches are tiny and perfect. She writes beautiful poetry and, at one time, wrote freelance for American Greeting cards. And she doesn't stop learning. In her early 90's now, her cell phone and laptop are always within reach of that one good arm.
If you ask Jessie where she got the confidence to live life so fully, she tells you about her mother who didn't see a disabled daughter... just one who needed to learn to do everything in her own way.
In this season of Thanksgiving and downsizing, I'm thankful for my mother-in-law and all the family things she has handed down to me. I have boxes full of her blue ribbons, her old family pictures and her poems...I treasure her quilts, paintings, and her most precious son...all things I will hold on to no matter what.
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