Another great woman who was born in June -- my mom! On June 8, she celebrated her 80-something birthday! I won't say how many. She might not even like that I said "over 80" but I think, really, that she will be proud she has made it this far.
I always remember my dad showing me how to draw stick figures and animals, 3D boxes, and little houses. I give Mom the credit for bringing me to painting.
In my ninth summer, Mom believed I was good enough to sign me up for some oil painting classes from a Miss Darsey who was teaching in her home that summer. I still have the two paintings that started my love of oil paints. I fell in love with the creaminess of oil paints and the way you could push them around on the canvas surface. Then Mom ordered me some art supplies from the Sears & Roebuck catalog, in the days when you could still buy just about everything imaginable out of the all-inclusive catalog. I would spend my summers painting with oils or with watercolors from a simple beginner's paint pan. I remember painting a big sunflower on the back of a poster board one summer, and Mom liked my painting so much she framed it and hung it on the wall for years. She has since passed those paintings on down to me.
I didn't realize it at the time, but Mom encouraged me in many of the arts. She enrolled me in Band class in the 7th grade and bought me a clarinet. She saw that I practiced, and I advanced to 1st chair clarinet in high school. I loved that bit of cultural exposure she provided through the music and the arts. I doubt she knew she was setting me off on a path that would last the rest of my life. It's a flame that has never died. Her gifts were ongoing, life-long gifts. She encouraged me to develop my God-given talents, and that's something for which I am grateful.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mom! I'm not always as attentive as I would like to be. Sometimes I let my life get in the way. I hope you know how much I love you!