A lot of people love this time of year! Fall with its changing of colors and dropping of leaves is a magical time for us to see beauty in all things. Think back to your younger days – what do you remember about Octobers past? I can see my older brother, Tom, and I raking leaves (in Pittsburgh PA) and pine needles (in Charlotte NC). We’d rake these huge piles and then fall backwards into them. Leaves would scatter in all directions, and then we’d do it again and again. Just for fun.
My natural mother was named Irene. Nobody’s named Irene anymore – only special people in my book. Irene the Village Queen we’d call her in our house. She holds a special place in my heart this time of year. Her birthday was in October. It was my mother who helped me understand the beauty of the arts. She in-troduced the piano to my brother and I, and we took lessons for several years as youngsters. She loved to paint, draw, do macramé, decoupage, and just about anything artistic. You would not believe her signature if I showed it to you! My mother was from Canada. She lived in Alberta in Edmonton and Calgary. She took courses in school like “Elocution” (that’s how to pronounce words and speak well) and “Penmanship.” No-body teaches that today! When she signed her name, the “C” in Crowell took about 4 full seconds to write – I kid you not! It looked like a “C” for the Royal Society of Something REALLY special! It was beautiful, and I know she took great pride in it – never seeing anybody else even close to her penmanship.
The truth is just about everything my mother did had some artistic flair to it. Her meals were masterpieces. Really! She would experiment on two hungry boys with Hungarian Goulash, and Cabbage Rolls, and Stuffed Grape Leaves. She’d always buy Southern Living Cookbooks or pick up some food magazine with all kinds of recipes. It’s no wonder I was obese by the time I was in the 6th grade! Weight Watchers took care of that in the 8th grade. That’s another story. Mom even made butter mints on a marble slab that she kept just for that one recipe! I can recall blueberry torte, lemon pie, Mississipi Mud Cake like it was yesterday. How that woman could cook! I’m gaining weight just writing these words!
I miss my mother – a lot. I feel some tears welling up. My family says I look most like her, and I can honestly say she was my best friend growing up. She died when I was in college – also another story – but just the fact that I’m remembering so many good things about her lets her spirit live on in me. God created a winner when he made Irene Elaine Symons. She passed onto me a love of life that is in my DNA. It’s a love of the arts that has never let me go. Music of all kinds. Thanks mom. I can’t imagine this life without you some-how in the background encouraging me, loving me.
Who in your family is special to you? Is there a time of year that you remember them the most? I feel a cool breeze blowing in my window – maybe that cool air is here to stay now. Yes, that makes me think of recipes, but I’d better not go there. I’ll drink a bottle of water instead.
Bill

communications - United Methodist Communications