Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cousin Bertha Plays the Spoons

... and I join in.

Cousin Bertha turns 90 in a couple of weeks, and this surprizes her.  Her bright red hair is streaked with gray and that gives it a sort of silvery coppery hue.  My friends here at the old folks home who are 90 all have white hair.  Maybe it is her lifetime vegetarianism, or maybe her genes, or her quiet lifestyle that helps her age so well.

She lives with son and daughter in law, and two great grandchildren in Texas for now, but hopes to return to live in her home in California in the high desert.  She may well accomplish this.  She will miss the family, especially the great grandchildren, but she likes her independence.  She likes to get out of the house at sun up and "scuffle" weeds in the garden before it gets hot. There is a path around the perimeter of her one acre lot and she makes the circle two or three times a day. 

She reads a lot and visits with friends a lot.  She studies her Bible lessons.  Very rarely watches television, but she did turn it on to watch Reagan's funeral, though I doubt it has been on since.  She writes a lot on her computer.  She often gets up at 3 am to write in her journal or write letters. She reviews her life and her letters and pictures.  She reads her letters from Cousin Charles, me, and answers.  She crochets and plinks away on the piano.

And, Oh, she draws.  She likes to illustrate the edges of her letters with drawings of plants, butterflies, birds and people.

She makes people by taking a spoon, tracing around it, and then adding facial features to it.  She costumes her people and gives them fanciful names.  Here for instance is Hulda.



I took some of her drawings and scanned them, and printed them one per page and told her she has to make up stories about them.  Her great grandchildren will love them.

To get her started, I took one drawing, and wrote a fanciful little profile, and here it is.  I hope she takes the hint and does something with her drawings.



Beautiful, wide eyed, blond Prella, whose hair is brushed back and down and clings to her slender neck. One of the “middle children” of the Hulta family she is perhaps the most clever. She collects butterflies, but cannot bear to harm them. She could never kill them and mount them. She nutures them and lets them go.

Her happiest moment was when she found a chrysalis and sheltered it until the butterfly emerged. She squealed with joy as it spread its wings, and cried when it flew away.



kateh2ocolorart said...

Can't believe this is the first I've heard of cousin Bertha's spoon people.  They are great!  What a creative lady.

firestormkids04 said...

Wonderful!  How fun and creative.  You and cousin Bertha should collaborate on a kids book.  Love, Penny

herheadsnacloud said...

Thanks for sharing Chuck............what a neat lady....Love, Bambi

blondepennierae said...

This whole story is about a lovely butterfly.  It was delightful to watch the story spread it's own wings.  Thank you, Pennie

plieck30 said...

It must run in your family. Cousin Bertha is amazing, just as you are. I like the spoon people. Thanks for sharing, Paula

fisherkristina said...

My goodness Cousin Bertha sounds amazing!  Your family must be colorful and amazing like you Chuck!


mavarin said...

What a happy entry!  What a wonderful cousin! - Karen

fitzzer said...

I love this entry. Esp. the drawings and stories. So sweet! ~ Lori

emfeasel said...

aww....lovely Chuck!  E

ryanagi said...

How cool to have a pen pal in your family...and one that is such a character and so creative!  I have no contact with any of my cousins, sadly.