Esther and Her Art

We stayed in Iowa a couple extra days, so we could get some time in seeing my great aunt Esther.

What’s so cool about that?

She’s 103!

Oh how I wish you guys could meet her. She’s smart, witty, sweet and hilarious. She is my momma’s dad’s sister. They were born in an Iowa farmhouse, him in 1916 and her in 1919.

Of the seven siblings total, she’s the only one still living. So, seeing her warms my heart in ways I can’t even explain.

Although she’d probably consider herself more of a crafter, I think she’s an artist. She started doing ceramics in the late 1950’s and her painting details are quite incredible.

Here’s a little boy fisherman she painted about 60 years ago, that she has at her apartment.

Esther’s fisherman she painted 60 years ago

This is a set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that she made.

Esther’s Snow White set she made years ago

When I asked if I could take pictures of her work, she suddenly asked me if I’d like to have the Snow White set. I about fell over! Heck yes, I’d love to have it!

While we were wrapping it up, she said she wants me to remember that she painted ‘this’ pointing to the tiny details. I told her I won’t forget.

And, we don’t, do we?

We don’t forget the love and time that goes into an artist’s works. Whether it’s words on a page or the way paint glides off the brush. We remember the heart that goes into pieces and the hand picked supplies, whether it’s vintage jewelry like me, paint like her, or yarn like someone else.

Esther lives eleven hours from me and we usually get to see her once a year, on her birthday in May. When we were leaving her assisted living place on Tuesday, she said, “I wish you didn’t have to go.”

My heart… so, what did I do? I rearranged our trip, booked a different room, and we got to see her two more days.

And, we loved every minute of it.

Thank you for reading.

Jessica

Esther next to her frogs in the hallway by her apartment
me and my great aunt Esther

39 comments

    • Hi, how are you doing? Thank you, I am so happy that she said that. As soon as she did, my wheels in my mind started turning… haha They were saying, “oooo, how can we stay?” Luckily, rearranging worked out. Best 3 days in a long time.

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  1. I am sure your aunt knew how much you would treasure her gift of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. And I am sure it meant a great deal to her that you were able to rearrange your schedule and spend two more days with her. These are the things that matter, and you will never regret spending more time with her. She looks wonderful! And you do, too. You both have such nice smiles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Betty, you are absolutely right, I think time with someone is what matters. After being there, I decided I am going to crank up my supports- send more letters to her, make more phone calls, send more gifts.

      A year ago in March, she lost her only daughter They had been roommates/best friends since 1979. My momma passed away a year to the day of her daughter. We couldn’t believe it. Anyway, last year after her daughter passed, I started sending gifts. Every few weeks and on the holidays, so she would know she wasn’t alone and was remembered.

      Two days ago, after we left, I ordered her a sweet blanket from Etsy. It has a fawn with spots. We saw twin fawns with spots out her apartment window.

      Thank you for your sweet comments. Love those. Hope your trip is going wonderfully.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great idea! You spent your time doing the most important thing you can do.

    She looks lovely and is so talented! I know you will live having her art in your home. And you will never forget, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey girl, love seeing your comments. Hope you are doing well. How are your feet? I saw your post about the big yard sale, but haven’t had a chance to comment on it. How did it go?

      Thank you- love what you said. She is a gift.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The yard sale went well. We weren’t in it really to make money (though every penny went into my Mom’s account to take care of her in the memory care facility.) Mostly we wanted things to go to good homes. What was left at the end was all donated to charity. The furniture and a lot of household items went to a ministry that helps women get out of abusive relationships. They were currently outfitting a home for a lady who left with almost nothing. She has been sleeping on quilts on the floor. We were able to provide a beautiful bedroom set for her, including a like-new beadspread and shams and pillows. That made us happy.

        My feet are OK. Still a tiny bit sore on the bottom, but the doctor thinks all is going well. About 2 1/2 weeks left on the restrictions. It’s a challenge keeping to them, but I am doing OK. I was at a music festival this weekend and completed with the rules there for the most part, but had planned to stay off them most of today. I was a failure, though still quite compliant. But I used my 20-minutes most hours! Still, I got a lot done.

        I’m saying tomorrow I will try to stay home and write and relax and let the feet get a break. I also want to start back with some limited exercise this week, so am going to try to do that.

        Hope you have recovered from your trip!

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      • Oh my goodness on the bedroom set, bedspread, shams, and pillows!! That’s incredible how much a kind donation can literally change someone’s life! I’m so happy the sale went well.

        Bravo on mostly sticking with your 20 minutes a day! That’s really great! I understand how that is a little bit. When I was pregnant with my boy, I was on bedrest and could not be up more than 10 minutes a day. Not the same, but I get it.

        Bet your 2 1/2 weeks will go by fast. Hopefully you’ll be all healed up and can do whatever you want/need to.

        Thank you. Today was catch up chores day. Tomorrow I may take 10 naps. Ha ha, Thank you for telling me about the sale and your feet. I’ve been wondering how things were. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi sweet one, thanks for seeing my heart as it is written in mere letters, commas, and periods. Sometimes it seems when a heart is bursting with “I gotta tell somebody this” it’s easy to get tripped up in words. I appreciate your kindness about “beautiful writing.”

      Thank you. Tuesday, she gave me the Snow White set. When we went back Wednesday, she asked if I’d like to have a sheep set that was behind her chair. I said I absolutely would LOVE to have it. I think it was one of the first ceramics she did back in like 1959. She said she had asked “everyone else” aka, family members, if they’d like it and no one did. My lucky day!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post. You made the exact right choice in spending 2 more days with your great aunt. It’s a choice you’ll never regret. I know this from personal experience. At 103, it’s amazing that your Aunt is still so physically and mentally well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi. Welcome. Thank you so much. I love that you know this from personal experience. I love what you said about ‘never regret.’ I am thankful she told me she wished we didn’t have to go. Hook, line, and sinker. I wanted to stay immediately. 🙂

      She is incredibly herself, regardless of what the calendar year says she is, age wise. She’s up on the news- has her own tv shows she watches, decided to sell her house last year and get this little apartment. She chose to. I admire that. I learn many lessons from how she lives her life. What an honor it is to know someone who has lived through many changes and adventures.

      I thank you for your comments. Made my day!
      Jessica

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey girl, how are you doing today? She is very sweet and super geniune. Says things like they are and asks questions if she doesn’t quite understand things. Very sharp. Super funny. When we first arrived at the place, I asked one of the nurses if they know her. She said yes and that Esther is clever. I thought that was sweet.

      While there, Esther showed me pictures I haven’t seen before. There’s one of her dad, my great grandfather, sitting in a 1938 Buick with her brother Leonard in the back seat. They were sooooo young.

      It was a wonderful visit. Thank you for your comments. Love those.

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  4. Wow! I can’t believe she’s 103! She sure doesn’t look it. How cool that she painted those pieces all those years ago and they still look new. Such sweet memories I’m sure! I love the photo of you two!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi!!! I’ve been wondering how you are doing. Thank you, I think it’s a sweet picture, too. See the picture between us? That is her daughter, Patty. We lost her a year ago March. They were best friends and had lived together since 1979. My boy framed her perfectly between us, but maybe not purposely. ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so sorry she’s gone. I’m sure that was hard on your aunt and still is. What a perfect photo even if it wasn’t on purpose.
        ❤️

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      • Thank you. I know she sure misses her. I like to think the picture was divinely orchestrated. And, maybe my boy did notice the picture was there. He’s sweet that way… ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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