This week, I am participating in the Back to Blogging event, over at SITS. By doing so, I have a chance to give Thelma and Louise a new home! Not the two wacko chicks in the convertible, but an awesomely beautiful washer and dryer combo from Electrolux! This event is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.Anyway, here goes...
A Woman Who Inspires Me
This is a tuffy! I would be hard pressed to pick one woman who has really inspired me. I wish that I could say it was my mother or my grandmother, but as both were absent in my life and not very into doing inspirational things, I had to look elsewhere for inspiration. Knowing, at an early age, I did not want to grow up to be like my mother, I picked up bits and pieces of admiral attributes from various females and tucked them away. The compilation of them all, sits here typing this post today.
Patti Page was my first inspiration. She lived in our big box stereo. Really, she did! When her 8-track was in, I would hoist my little 3 year old body up over the side of the stereo box and stick my head inside. By placing the side of my face on the stereo dial and looking really hard, back to where there was a tiny light shining, I could see her sitting there, on a tiny stool, strumming a guitar and singing away. I wanted to grow up and sing just like her! Even at age 3, I had
"How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" down pat! Of course she didn't really live in our stereo! But believing she was there, ready to hop on that stool and sing for me, was magical! By the way, Betty Crocker also lived in my T.V. I would run through the house at breakneck speeds, just so I wouldn't miss her blowing that tuft of hair from her forehead, at the end of each commercial.
I learned to read as soon as possible and then buried myself in books. Laura Ingalls Wilder, of The Little House series of books, was my new favorite person. Her ability to describe mundane daily tasks, in such detail, allowed me to get lost in her stories and forget about my less than ideal world. Even today, when I roll out biscuits or make up a batch of laundry detergent, she pops into my mind.
Later, it was the lady who lived next door to us in Florida. She was so poor and had three kids. We were poor also but, even though my sister and I only got two Christmas presents apiece, we gladly gave one each to the girl next door, whose family couldn't even afford a tree. This lady got dressed each evening in amazing dresses! They were shiny and silky and draped down her sides, where they stopped suddenly,and the fabric parted to expose her outer thigh. She looked like a movie star! I often wondered how she afforded such amazing dresses, but couldn't make my 9 year old mouth open up and ask. Once she had her hair and makeup perfect, she would kiss her kids goodbye and leave, disappearing up the sidewalk, like a cowboy into the sunset. I hoped I was as beautiful as her when I grew up. I practiced at home, fixing my hair different ways, using magic markers and Vasoline for makeup. It was many years later, before I finally realized that this lady had actually been a prostitute! Oh well, at least she helped develop my fashion sense!
Then there was the aunt that was never without work. She baked, sewed, painted, even reupholstered furniture. Anything to keep food on the table. Another lady in her 60's, who didn't even decide what she wanted to do with her life, until her early 50's, then opened a lapidary and created beautiful things from stone. I had the great fortune of working with her for a few years and I learned so much. Mainly that it is never too late to follow a dream. A friend that, even though she has a sick husband and a child with Down's Syndrome, still spends most of her time helping others, never feeling sorry for herself. Another friend who always, always sends a little note or leaves a comment for me, just to lift my spirits. The lady who, even after have both her breasts removed, reported to work, here on the farm, at the start of the growing season. Not because she felt great but just to get things back to normal again. My neighbor up the street who, after meeting a meth addict that couldn't care for her toddler, didn't call in the authorities and drag this mother through the mud. Instead, she worked with the mother, making arrangements and filing all the paperwork, allowing her to keep the child and give her a good home, until the mother can get herself clean.
The list could go on and on. Almost every single day, I meet, hear of, or read about, a woman who inspires me, who changes the way I see things, if just a tiny bit, and helps me in my quest to become a better person. Maybe even an inspiration to others?