And six months after Devon was born, she received this quilt from her aunt:
This was one of the things I asked for when my parents insisted I tell them what I want when they die. Apparently, they figure there's no reason for me to not have some of them now, so on their last visit Mom brought me this pillow. I was probably 8 or 9 years old when she made it, and it used to sit on our living room sofa. This was during her needlepoint phase, which seemed to end around the time I started high school.
She also made me this sampler sometime while I was in high school. She and I didn't see eye-to-eye on much, but somehow we always came together to watch old movies. One of our favorites was Life With Father, and William Powell's character is always sputtering bombastically in an attempt to control his family. In one scene, in an attempt to impart a lesson and quote scripture, he says, "As the Good Book says, whatsoever ye put thy hand to, do thy doggonedest." This became our motto and an in-joke between us for years.
When my father got out of the army he went to art school on the G.I Bill, and for many years pursued an art career in his spare time. Most of his paintings were created before I was born, and most of those were sold or given away. A few pieces remain at my parent's house, and the older ones are only available to me in some black-and-white photographs.
When my husband and I were married in the backyard of my parent's home, I asked my dad to sketch the gazebo under which the ceremony would be held. We then had it printed on the front of our invitations - and I kept the original.