Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I had a visit this week from a lady that has been a major influence in my life as long as I have known her. My mother loved her, and they had a special relationship. Mom always thought she was the epitome of good taste and decorum. I can hear her saying, "JK says that this is the way to do it." Or, "I asked JK, and she said it was perfectly alright!" She left details of my wedding up to her, because she trusted her so. I feel sure she did Joy's also, but I don't remember that...I had moved away by then.

She used to have a very elegant gift shop and bridal registry in our town. It was always a pleasure to shop there. I remember once, when we had moved into the home we lived in for 30 years, I had a fireplace for the first time. I went to her, and she helped me figure out just what I could do to decorate the mantle. I bought 2 paper mache carollers to put on one end, and she told me just how to fix the other end with candles and some garland. It was Christmas, and she was very busy, and I was certainly not a shopper who could spend much money. No matter...she saw to it that I knew exactly what to do to fix up my mantle! She knew it was important to me, and therefore, it was important to her. My tastes have changed over the years, and as I aged, I became more confident in my own choices. I still have these, though...and they are among my treasures. I have never forgotten her kindness to me then...and through the years, it would come back to me. Only later did I begin to learn the lesson that it taught. And, I have tried to do the same for younger women I come in contact with. It is all about finding out what is important to someone, and helping to meet that need. It may not always be material things, it may just be time. Or it may be cleaning house, though that is not an area I excel in...I can still do it! Or helping someone plan a party, or helping them decide how to decorate their house. If we have talents in certain is because they are God-given. We didn't create them...they are a gift. Now we can certainly improve our talents, but to not use them at all is not an option. That could make an excellent parable, don't you think? Hmmmmmm...At that time for me, it was about decorating a pretty mantle in my new home. She met my need. I still have the carollers...and I still have the memory...and I still try to follow that example.

She became very instrumental in my boy's lives and Adam, especially, has always looked to her as being full of wisdom and a wise and Godly council. Alex and Ian think her very dear as well. She has always been a person I could count on as a strength and support thru whatever crisis I was in at the time. At this point in my life, especially since losing Mom, her friendship means even more. She was part of our 'family' at Mom's funeral.

SO...she came to see me last week, along with her SIL, and brought me a house warming gift. I think she had to do some 'sweet talking' to be able to purchase these. But, I do not know who could resist her sweet smile. Here is a picture of the ornaments she brought me.

Aren't they beautiful? I can hardly wait to put them in a special place on my tree. But, I didn't want to put them away, so I looked for a place to hang them in the mean time. AHA! My eyes lit upon my manzanita branches. Now, I have been told by several 'friends' and family to "Please, get rid of those spiky trees!" Don't plan to, though, I love the structure and architecture of them. I have, however, found a place for them in the library, that is out of the way. So, if they bother anyone where they are's your own fault! I took my acorn ornaments and hung them on these branches. And, I love to see them hanging there. Looking out the window, it is evident that fall is here, and inside, these little acorns carry that theme as well. However, as soon as I get a tree, they will move over and grace it with their beauty.

Because I did not ask permission, I will not use her name. But, she knows who I am talking about...and she knows she is loved by this family. She has been blessed with many gifts that she shares selflessly. Her gift of encouragement has blessed me more times than I can count.

Friends. There is no greater blessing, or joy. Thank you, my friend, for your visit, for the beautiful ornaments...but, most of all, for your friendship. I treasure you and the love you have always shown to me and my family.


Jewel said...

Those acorns are beautiful! But they look heavy.. are they? I hate when heavy ornaments pull down the branches on my Christmas tree. :[ Any secret to lifting the branches??

Sounds like a special woman and you are priviledge to be loved by her. :]
An inspiration for us to love others as she loves your family...

Love Being a Nonny said...

Love the acorns and love where you put them. I would never want to put them away with Christmas things! What a sweet post. I long to be a friend like her to someone...I want to be a blessing. I pray that I am.

Love Being a Nonny said...

Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the carollers!

Jillian, Inc said...

Love them, Tonja! And what a wonderful gift of her friendship over all these years!

racheld said...

We never forget the people we looked up to, and the most special heart-places hold the ones who gave us their TIME.

And now, you're paying it on, far out into the world, with your own time and attention to friends and family and neighbors who need you in the NOW. I think sometimes of all the little ones who have grown up graced with music in their lives, because of your special touch on their hearts.

Your friend JK, and most of all your Mom---they'd be so proud of you.

Just Breathe said...

Sounds like the perfect visit.
Love the gift she brought to you.

Musicaljean said...

They are BEAUTIFUL!! So is the friendship you have with your mother's friend. You are so blessed to still have her.

ila said...

When we were VERY young minister of music and wife, your sweet friend helped the choir with gift suggestions for us. She suggested they give us Lenox Holiday dishes and matching punch bowl and cups etc... Since we were newlyweds, we loved collecting the beautiful Christmas dishes she sent our way. Every Christmas, we still think of JK!! Thanks for sharing! And, I love your acorn and tree...that would be my fall decorations every year instead of Christmas! :-)

Kat said...

What a beautifully written tribute to a special lady! I love the ornaments. They are perfect for the Creek House and will look wonderful on your tree. I like them on your branches a lot too.


Paula (SweetPea) said...

What a perfect match, Tonja. It was like they were made for the tree. Like you said, you loved the tree on its own but had you not found the tree, where would the acorns hang their pretty selves?

JK said...

I am overwhelmed to your blog and am humbled beyond words to your thoughts. I do love you and yours and have always known that God did such a beautiful thing in creating your family tree. The blessings have been mine!

The acorns look as perfect in your house as I had imagined, and I am so glad you still use the manzanita branch. As to the carolers on the mantle, my heart was flooded with emotion to that
memory, as well as your wedding, as though just such a short time ago.

Alas, the past years speak sweetly, but truthful now of our ages. Even so, God is so loving in His infinite wisdom and know the future plans for all of His children and allow us to experience some of the most wonderful things in life, even though there are those deep valleys that He has to walk us through as well.

Thank you, sweet girl, for taking me back in time. The creative hands of both you and Joy are lovely and will continue to comfort your dad and others in numerous ways in the time to come. Please express my love to Pop. Indeed, Ella is pleased.