With all the rain this winter a lot of volunteer trees have sprung up around my house. I considered hiring someone to cut them down and then I realized I can do that task. My aunts were an integral part of my family growing up. Some of my father’s sisters were seamstresses and restaurant owners. One aunt, Johnnie Mae in particular, was one of my favorites and his younger sister. She taught me how to alter suits and clothes that I could wear. She would design and make her evening gowns, our Easter dresses, cook the perfect French toast; she would re-upholster her couches and chairs, spackle a design on her ceiling and remodel her home. When she dressed up, she looked like a model in the Ebony magazines. My father said that if she didn’t stop tearing down walls, her house was going to fall on her. It didn’t. She was the original HGTV “remodel your home,” the pioneer "diy" way before there was even a thought of a youtube channel.
As a child, I loved spending time at her house and observing her as she worked on her home decor projects. With those memories in the recesses of my mind, I figured as I grew up, became a professional, and a homeowner, that I could fix some things myself: I’ve changed chandeliers, put in a fountain, added electric outlets, painted walls, planted and cut down trees. In addition to being an optometrist, I enjoy designing jewelry, cooking and taking photos. Today, while trimming shrubs and cutting trees too close to the house, it felt good to savor the smell of eucalyptus and rosemary in between raindrops. It was nice to reflect on the aunts who taught me to also enjoy creating and working with my hands.
I salute all the wonderful women who have inspired me and others to be great persons!
”A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.” _Louis Nizer