Family Tales

There was a lot of story and fantasy in those early years.  My parents both told us true stories of their parents.  A favorite of mom’s was of when her mother fell in love with her father.  Worthy was his name.  He was handsome, strong, loving, and he rode into Helma’s life on a white horse. (Literally.)  It was love at first sight.  Worthy was revered by his children and according to the story, there were no children who met him who were not simply crazy about him. He was kind, I’m sure, and funny.  Helma and Worthy had 5 children of their own.  Worthy died at 39 years of age when his appendix burst.  This was before penicillin was discovered.  His stories were also a large segment of my own, though I never knew him.   After his death, Helma became the breadwinner and the mother.  She did whatever she could do to feed her family.  This meant she cleaned house for other more fortunate families.  I don’t think there was ever a complaint spoken by her.  My own memory of her was of years later, after her second marriage to a good man we all called Uncle Matt.  She baked bread every Monday and after school, one of our stops was her house where we were given warm fresh bread, honey and milk…as much as we wanted.   Of course, when I grew up, one of my favorite things to do was bake bread.  There is nothing like the smell of bread in the oven.   It smells like love and family and home.   We store and carry these memories inside ourselves.  They are a part of who we are.  These stories flow in and out of my own art.