Friday, December 10, 2010

A Dream for a Bobwhite

The Saturday after Thanksgiving was the most anticipated weekend for the Bobwhites. It marked the opening of our outdoor ice skating rink, Tucker Road. Nestled in a valley whose hills were thick with fir trees, branches heavy with snow, we couldn't wait for our first glimpse of red jackets. Rink Guard boy crushes for the season determined, unbreakable rules argued. First dibs, first smile, first hello, first to be helped up, first to be asked to couple's skate. Any first and your crush was chosen. Endless sleepover discussions for long winter nights.

After school taxi in my mother's car, we could barely contain ourselves as we began the steep decent of Tucker Road. Trees on both sides hiding our view, neck craned silence held for just a moment. Glistening snow in the broad valley opening before us, the most magical place on earth to be. Stand in line tickets, bench room squeeze, laces tied, anticipation hanging in the murmur above our heads. Shoulder to shoulder wait behind the glass, "All Skate" the moment we had waited for.

Group of girls arm in arm, barely moving at all, excited giggling as red jackets flew by, their grace of movement  as comfortable as their handsome youth worn with confidence. Boy crushes claimed right away. Long hair and bell bottoms, cool skating moves, a nod in our direction sealing the deal.  Complete silence separated me from my friends as true love found it's way. "I'm going to marry him." Moments later, a fall on the ice, a hand extended to me, "May I help you up?"

In that night's morning hours my mother would sit on the edge of my bed and tell me about a dream that woke her from her sleep. It seems she had spoken to the Rink Guard in the red jacket. In the morning I would find a painting on her easel with a note attached for me.

"Elizabeth, This painting is the story of your life. You are the tree just to the right of the little cottage, not many branches, so very afraid of life. The tree next to you is the young man you have met, and he will be your husband. His arms will shelter you and allow a safe place for you to grow.
You will have a son and a daughter as you see by the little trees sheltered under yours. The trees just behind the cottage represent the people who will be most important in your life together. A beloved mother who passed away, a mother who took her place, a father, and the aunt and uncle who sheltered this young man when he lost his mother at such a young age. The dense forest represents an extraordinary family who will always see that you feel loved. Brothers and sisters are the pine trees in the left foreground who will make you one of their own. They will have many children.
The cottage represents your marriage. Dark footprints outside the door represents trouble to your marriage  only coming from outside of it, but the bright fire glowing through the window assures your love will be the forever kind.
The stream in the foreground represents change. Your husband will take time to find contentment in a career, and you will move frequently.
The little bridge is the gateway to your life, and I am the little  twig bush. I will not be apart of your life, but I will always be watching, and I will only allow good to come your way. Your loving mother, 1975."
I was 16 years old.

Three years after my mother painted, "The Dream" I would marry my Rink Guard. We would move to Lake Ann, Michigan and live in a Honeymoon cottage on a stream. Across the street was an A-frame!


  1. Oh my goodness,what a fantastic Mother you had to do this for you.It wasn't just her talent,but how she took the leap of faith in her God.It seems she knew God had spoken to her of your future.WOW!

  2. Wow, Elizabeth, that is an incredible story. You gave me shivers!

  3. What amazing and wonderful stories you have to recall all the precious moments of your past. Your way of relating those stories to us is magical. I just adore your little white puppy crafts. They truly have such sweet personalities, each and every one of them, and are so, so, so, so cute! Have a great weekend. :) Tammy

  4. What an amazing story. I wonder what you thought of the painting and the letter when your mother first gave them to you. What a wonderful tribute to your mother too!

  5. Wow, what an incredible mother you had. Wise, intuitive, supportive and artistically talented too. I love reading all the stories you share with us about your youth.

  6. What a story, Elizabeth...and what a mother to paint her dream of your life...

    Thank-you for so lovingly sharing your stories with us...I always love these posts.

    I hope you're having such a wonderful, cozy weekend with your beloved Rink Guard...


  7. Elizabeth, thank you for sharing such a poignant story. I can see the ice, I can see you take the Rink Guard's hand and all the girls skating together.

    Your talented mother had a special gift for telling your story in the painting. From other stories, I can tell you miss her very much. I find that I have memories of my parents more than ever at Christmas. God Bless You and Mr. Rink Guard...

  8. Amazing. How wonderful you have this painting of your mother's love for you.

  9. What a beautiful story - I lost my mom when I was only 13 - to have a treasure such as the gorgeous painting, and sweet, sweet words she spoke to you, must be absolutely priceless.

    I have been following your blog for the past few months - each visit is like a journey into creative wonderland - thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  10. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this beautiful story, painting and your loving memories of your precious mother.


  11. oh dear, I am so touch with mother-daughter's love for each other! The painting will be such a invaluable treasure you can ever have from your late mother. The content of the note brings tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for sharing and may God continue to bless you with love and happiness.
    warm hugs, Heaney

  12. Hi E. I can't believe how wonderful your Mother must have been. She had insight into your future that is unbelievable. That story about the picture she painted gives me goosebumps.
    Beautiful story..........and beautiful story teller.

  13. I love this story, Elizabeth. Hope you have a warm and happy day! Twyla

  14. This will be my first Christmas without my mom. I never realized it until resently, but she had a knack for saying things that have stuck with me. I'm thankful for those.

    You are blessed. And right from birth!

  15. Well, I'm speechless! I loved the painting and then reading your mother's vision of your life - just amazing. I'm so glad I happened upon this sweet story today - so lovely. xo Nancy

  16. Oh, Elizabeth, I read this story off line from home so I couldn't comment but it's just so incredibly awesome! How blessed you are! everyone of your posts make me happy! ♥

  17. I love this story! It's so magical!

  18. Beautiful ... I love your blog full of great ideas , in fact I just signed up to your news if you want to do the same, it is a pleasure , good luck !


Your kind words mean so very much to me. Thank you for your visit! Elizabeth