I love direct sales. Over the past forty years I have sold Avon door-to-door (twice), been a Tupperware lady (also twice), demonstrated and taught for two different stitchery companies, been a Creative Memories consultant, and am now happily serving as a Close To My Heart consultant. And oh, yes, I mustn’t forget my stint as a lingerie model for home parties by Jer Marai. As I said, I love direct sales.
So imagine my contentment tonight at my neighbor/friend/in-law’s Jamberry Nails party. Jamberry Nails is a fairly new party-plan company that sells vinyl nail wraps and accessories. I met the consultant earlier this week at Helping One Woman, and discovered then that she would be the demonstrator at tonight’s party. I arrived with my Close To My Heart thermal cup in tow at the home of said neighbor/friend/in-law who has recently become a designer for Origami Owl Jewelry.
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A fun thing happened to me Sunday at church. A young mother came up to me in the kitchen during coffee hour and said, “I did my first scrapbooking yesterday!” I was delighted, because last fall I gave her an album at her baby shower…a baby girl album, as she and her husband were keeping their expected baby’s gender a secret. I told her at the time I had a baby boy one, too, and she could trade for it after the birth if she needed to. And when HE was born, we did exactly that!
She told me she had gone through the album and entered in all the appropriate information so far, and made notes of how many pictures she needed for each event. She had taken zillions, of course (this is the first baby of his generation), and there was no way she would be printing all of them.
I am excited because, as a professional with a full-time job in addition to motherhood, it would have been easy for her to put the album in the back of the closet and forget it. But she didn’t…and she is looking forward to printing and saving her precious photographs.
I can hardly wait to have her join us at a Second Saturday Scrap to do just that. And if you are anywhere near Visalia, California, consider yourself welcome, as well.
What do you call a large room filled with twenty or so women surrounded by stacks and containers filled with beautiful papers, embellishments, albums, and — oh, yes — tons of photographs? And if these women are smiling and laughing, sharing photos, trims, techniques, stories and products, they are probably scrapbooking. And food…how could I forget about the food?
Our National Scrapbook Day celebration today in Tulare was great fun, and very soul-satisfying. I was talking with a couple of my customers about it this evening, and we agreed: ours is a relationship business, and grumpy, negative scrapbookers are few and far between. The people who believe in giving the gift of family stories are usually optimistic about the future…they understand the past and how each generation can build upon what the previous generation taught and learned about life.
I’m happy to report that quite a bit of my old…
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Tonight I am holding in my hands two letters, written a day apart over fifty years ago. The first one caught my eye because it is in Daddy’s handwriting, and he doesn’t write many letters. The second, written the day after, was from Mom, a very prolific letter writer. Each was a note of condolence to my Great-Aunt Evelina, whose husband had just died. Each was such a perfect reflection of its writer, and I know they provided great comfort to my aunt.
What makes these letters special to me is how they evoke memories of all four of these people who held very precious places in my heart. Daddy’s was a very straightforward statement of faith: “There’s a definite reason why things have to happen this way, but as long as we’re here on this earth, we are not meant to understand. Berry was never very strong on church-type religion and neither am I, but there is a Big Gunner who calls all the shots. I believe this firmly, but also know how hard it is to stand by these convictions all of the time. All of our sympathies are with you.”
Mom’s went right to feelings, which is where she generally went. “I want to tell you somehow how much we cared for Uncle Berry and how much we will miss him, too. My little family and I have had so many wonderful times with him, especially since we have been in California. I’m so happy and proud that my kids got to hear his funny and wonderful tall tales. And that Don [my daddy] and Berry had such good visits together.”
I’m not sure how I am going to showcase these letters on an album layout, but they are begging to be shared. Not just for now, while I still remember the good times with my great-aunt and uncle, but for later, so that my children and grandchildren can learn about their uncle the rodeo cowboy and ranch hand, who taught his parakeet how to drink whiskey from his glass, and took his grumpy little niece for a ride on his horse and yodeled her to sleep in his arms.
What treasures are hiding in your home somewhere, waiting for “just the right moment” to share? Is that moment today?