Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seeing Clearly…

 

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Hello, dear friends!

Oh, what a beautiful day it is today!  The sun is shining, the birds are hopping and chirping outside my kitchen window…if it wasn’t sooo cold outside, you’d think it was spring!

Yesterday morning, I was absolutely enchanted by a bunch of sweet baby birdies just outside my window in my climbing rose bush…the bush seemingly alive with all these little things…I tried to capture them on film as they played and sang…but it just didn’t work!

But, it inspired one of my projects for the day…

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Another page for my heritage album…capturing just a moment…sweet birdies reminding me of another songbird that I love…

Estella Stapley

My great-grandmother, Estella…a woman blessed with a beautiful voice and a beautiful soul…

Orley Glenn & Estella Stapley younger

I felt bad cutting her sweetheart out of the picture, but this particular image of her seemed just perfect for my page…

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The beautiful Deco-style lady in the window comes from a new image available soon from Crafty Secrets’ on their “Designing with Vintage” CD…

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…and one of Emily Dickinson’s lovely poems…”The Robin”…

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A sweet little song to go with my page…remembered by my mother.  I think I’ll write it on the back…Estella used to sing this, as did her daughter Velda and my mother Karen…

“Birdy with the yellow bill

Hopped up on my windowsill,

Cocked his shiny eye and said,

     ‘Ain’t you ‘shamed you sleepyhead?’”

I think maybe tomorrow morning, I’ll be waking my girls up this way….(do you think a couple of teenagers would appreciate that very much?!)

Another project with the Vintage Valentine Kit from Vintage Street Market…as I looked through the packet, trying to come up with an idea, this happy little vintage Valentine…

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…reminded me of someone I was never able to meet…

Her sweet expression and blond curls reminded me of my mother’s little sister, Judy…

Judith Lynn Ostlund, Fall 1954, 3.5 yrs old

…and what a surprise when I opened that lovely little vintage Valentine to read the sentiment inside…

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…an adorable little poem…and it was signed by…

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Born in 1951, a child for “whom we had been longing for quite a few years”, wrote her mother Velda.  Much younger than my mother and her brother, Glenn…a prayer answered, and a joy added to their family.

Karen & baby sister Judy Ostlund, Oct. 1951 (My mother, Karen with Judy)

However, just before she was  3 years old, they began to be concerned about her eyes… “Nothing to worry about”, assured their doctor.

After some time, and continued worries, a specialist was consulted…cancer in her eyes…and blindness.

A nightmare period of time for the family…long trips to specialists…surgeries, x-rays…the removal of one eye.

Yet, the family remained faithful, happy even…Life was meant to be enjoyed…family time was precious.

FAM_110_12_01--Ostlunds, 1955

  Even without her sight, Judy was filled with joy.  She loved everything around her—especially nature and animals.  She loved nothing more than cradling a baby chick or a puppy in her arms…feeling their soft feather or fur…memorizing each little detail…so that she could “see” them…and her family tried very hard to give her every opportunity for these experiences…

DSC00588_edited-1 (All items on layout, except photo of Judy, are part of Vintage Street Market’s “Vintage Valentine Kit")

Much wiser than her years, she loved “observing” people in her way…

”A laugh”, she said, “is like the ripple of a stream when you are really happy; but when you’re not, it sounds just like the wind blowing through a dry cornfield.”

…and…

“Trying to get someone to do something he doesn’t really want to do, is just like trying to pull bricks out of a wall with nothing but your bare fingers!”

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“People say I’m blind, but they can only see to the wall…I can see to the ocean if I want to!”

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A life so sweet…but not meant to last long.  Here for just seven short years…but how many things did she teach her family? And what an inspiration to me—so many years later--to really SEE the things around me…

Judith Lynn Ostlund portrait, June 1958

I will take more time today to watch the birdies outside my window…I will marvel at the sunrise and the sunset even more than I already do. 

When I pick up my daughters from school today, I will gaze at their freckles and pay attention to the sun highlighting all the different colors in their beautiful, long hair.  I will look more deeply into my husband’s kind blue eyes…

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Thank-you, my sweet Aunt Judy, for reminding me to see things a little more clearly today.

 

Julie