Laurel sat next to me on the couch last night when I started this post by writing the title and inserting the picture I planned to use.
“Are you going to write about me?” she asked. “I help.”
Indeed she does. Laurel is an outstanding sous chef. She is often with me in the kitchen at dinner time helping with meal prep. She scours the internet for healthy recipes and sometimes volunteers to make dinner, on which occasions I am her sous chef. I think that’s pretty remarkable for a 13-year-old.
Mary helps, too, in her own way. She empties the dishwasher, unasked and often unseen. She brings my father his nightly beer. She makes sure he has the baseball game or Wheel of Fortune on after dinner. She has fixed him lunch on days when I’m not available. My father will say, “Mary is solid,” which I think may be cringe-worthy words for a 17-year-old to hear, but by which he means that he can count on her, a high compliment.
And the truth is, all my kids are great helpers. They have acted as gardeners and landscapers around my parents’ property, mowing the lawn, weeding the myrtle, cleaning up sticks and debris. They have chauffeured, accompanied, and assisted, attending to their elderly grandparents in so many ways.
Lately, some of my adult children have been caregivers, staying with my father over weekends when I need to be away. It’s a huge help to me.
I’m quite sure they inherited the helping gene from their father. Bud is one of the hardest-working, most generous people I know.
So thank you to all my helpers. You know who you are. I see what you’re doing and I appreciate it.
This picture is very early in my whole cutting-up-books-to-make-cards adventure.
The tree is from Garth Williams’ beautiful book, The Rabbits’ Wedding, the book that started it all. I picked it up at a yard sale, a gorgeous oversized picture book that had sat in the rain. It was starting to mold and smell — but the illustrations were so beautiful that I couldn’t stand the thought of it going to the dump. So, blindly, I paid a ridiculous amount of money for a soggy moldy book — 50¢ — and brought it home not knowing what I would do with it.
The girl is from Sarah’s Unicorn by Bruce and Katherine Coville. The illustrations in the book were all black-and-white, so I watercolored her, as well as the background.
I don’t know where the bird and nest are from.