It's funny how people in your life are there quietly in the background and you are suddenly blessed with the opportunity of discovering them and their fascinating life that you have missed out on so far.
My Aunt Ruth, for example. Married to my Father's brother, she is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. I would like you to meet her.
Ruth was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island in a time when parents toiled quietly and steadily, you played with your sister for fun and the lambs contentedly watched the world go by while munching on sweet grass.
Life had a slower pace then. Her father was a milkman and farmer. She remembers him wrapping fat apples in paper and putting them 'up in the cellar' to enjoy later on a winter's night.
One of her happiest childhood memories was making ice cream for the family visits on the weekends. Families back then ate their big meal early and then visited family (or as my Grandma would say,"To blow the stink off"). Her father, being a milkman, had access to cream. It was her and her cousins' job to sit on the ice cream maker, which was surrounded by ice, to hold it down while her father cranked. She said you could only do it for so long as your bottom got cold and you would have to switch out with your cousin so you could run around and defrost in the sun. I can just imagine how wonderful that real cream hand churned ice cream was on a hot day!Life was good at home for her and her sister.
She met the love of her life at age 17 in high school. The dashing Paul, youngest of his Irish family clan, was a flyboy and she fell hard. He did, too. Soon after they married, he was off to the skies for the Air Force.
Along came her two strapping sons, who had families of their own, who had families of THEIR own. All the children at some point in their juvenile lives sat on Nana's lap and received cuddles,a lucky child to have Ruth in their lives.
She would make crafts with them and then tell everyone how cute they were. A real trooper who took cake decorating classes so she could make the best birthday cakes; a recipe adventurer who was willing to try almost anything; a dedicated wife who kept her husband lean and trim to stay healthy and pass all the required aerial medical exams; a caring loving woman who was family-first.
Of course, today Ruth is known for her beautiful garden and her award-winning amazing amaryllis. Gorgeous, deep-colored huge healthy blooms that never fail to impress. She puts a lot of love in them and they love her right back.
In this day and age, she doesn't drive and hasn't for years, a self choice; but as a teen she did drive her father's tractor and truck! Yet, she survives. She adapts. She e-mails, she uses the internet and is active in her beloved garden club.She and her beloved Paul recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are an inspiration to us.
She may have come from a time when life was slower but she is a living testament to how a strong woman can survive, be happy and thrive with love, like her beautiful amaryllis.
Sharon Bloom is a multi-award-winning artist, photographer, recycled artist,mother, author and editor of a free family-oriented daily blog called "SHARE OUR GARDEN", which shares beautiful flower photos, inspirations, recipes, garden ideas, recycled art and humor. You can sign up for free at http://shareourgarden.blogspot.com
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