Inspiring greatness

As the years pass, I sometimes find myself reflecting on what mark I will leave in the world. Of course, my first thought is my children, but what imprint have I left for them? Have I already achieved my opus, or is it yet to be determined?

Today marks the final day of Women’s History Month.

We wrote a post at the beginning of the month asking you, our readers, to leave a comment about the women in your lives that have inspired you. We are not all destined for greatness, but certainly are capable of being great to those around us. Our Create & Decorate readers and designers are such creative and inspiring people! Please take a moment to reflect on your own life with a smile, and think of the women who have inspired you to become who you are today. Recall your mother, grandmothers, sisters, aunts and friends who have taken the time to share their love and talent to guide and inspire your creativity.

As a young child in a family of six, I was given chores as well as the rest of my siblings were. Dusting, watering the plants, setting and clearing the table, and feeding the animals is a quick list. Another of my weekend tasks was to bake cookies. As with all chores, sometimes I resented the household routines, but an interesting result came out of my tasks. My perceptive mother guided me to find two of my favorite pastimes: gardening and baking. I do, however, despise dusting.

Please leave us a comment about a woman in your life that has inspired you in big or little ways leading to your greatness.

In the meantime, here is a peek into my summer garden. I should also post a photo of the dust bunnies under my bed!

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3 thoughts on “Inspiring greatness

  1. There were so many things I learned from my grandmother (Nan) that helped to shape who I am. There were the practical things that became a part of my life like, everything has a place to live, so put things back where you found them…that way you won’t waste time hunting for them; gently stretch your body before you get out of bed every morning, especially your knees because you’re going to need them; and working hands are happy hands…if you can’t keep them busy, find something to keep your mind occupied. Then there were the family remedies that she passed down. Some I still use to this day, like, gargle with warm salt water if you have a sore throat. Others I remember fondly but realize they went out with the ice box…don’t eat pork in a month without the letter “r” (which meant no consumption of bacon or barbecued ribs in May, June, July, or August). Always very gentle, but firm with her teachings, Nan set the example for me by living the example, and one of the first things I can remember learning from her was when I was asked to print my name on a schoolbook that my grandfather had meticulously covered in brown paper. He drew a straight line horizontally across the cover and gave me a pencil. I wrote my name and Nan came over to inspect it. She didn’t say a word, but I knew from the look in her eye what she was thinking. It didn’t bother me that she erased my name and softly said, “Try again, dear.” I was very proud of my second attempt because I knew in my heart that I hadn’t done my best in the first. “A job worth doing is a job worth doing well” are words she spoke and practiced. And so it is with me, even though there are those rare times when I’m seriously pressed for time and wish I could let things slide just a bit. It’s a fleeting thought, as I simply can’t do it. After all, “You’re the person you have to face every day in the mirror, and then what will you say to yourself?” Nan taught me that many of the real rewards in life don’t necessarily reap monetary compensation. It’s the personal satisfaction that is realized from knowing you tried and did your best. And because of Nan, that’s what I try to do. I miss her terribly.

  2. My grandmother was the best cook. Even though I’ll never be able to cook like her, I’ll always aspire to! Whenever I smell a peach or cherry pie baking, I think of her. I also remember how she never used tea bags, we always brewed from loose tea!

  3. Both of my grandmothers, and my mother, led me to my love of cooking and baking. My Polish grandmother taught me the traditions of Polish cooking, and always let me help make up the traditional Easter basket that we would later have blessed. She taught me to make the traditional Polish foods like pierogies and stuffed cabbage, and she always praised everything I made. She is still the biggest fan of my apple pie.
    My Italian grandmother kept us well-fed. From soup to pasta to cookies to bread, she definitely sparked my gastronomical side. She also loved everything I made, and always encouraged me to keep cooking. When she passed away, I found her recipe box, and I open it frequently to feel close to her again, looking through all the recipes and remembering each one. I miss her still, and Christmas just isn’t the same without her tin of cookies.
    My mother, once she saw that I enjoyed being in the kitchen, wasted no time in letting me help bake and decorate cookies, and once I was old enough to handle myself, she allowed me free reign surprisingly easily (I think she just loved having the night off from cooking!).
    I am now armed with an arsenal of family recipes, and I hope to pass them down to my own children, and eventually, my grandchildren. There is still no place I feel more comfortable than in my kitchen, creating something, and I owe that to the three most important women in my life.

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