Mom was always good with her hands; she was constantly thinking of new ways to use Popsicle sticks and balsa wood. Some of those ideas translated into Santa sleighs painted in red with miniature snow flakes (each different from the others) and little gifts wrapped in gold or silver paper tied with red ribbons and bows. Her balsa wood projects included making round circles from large to smaller and smaller pieces, gluing the smaller pieces on top of each other, sanding them down and painting them pink with a pig’s face’s smile looking right at you.
Of course, she did silhouettes in picture frames, old flowers in frames, pressed flowers, ceramics and one of her very favorites: shiny rocks. She had a passion for rocks and many times when we would go somewhere with a stream nearby, I could count on finding her down by the stream looking for round, flat rocks for her collection. When I’d ask what she needed all the rocks for, she’d simply say, “You’ll see.” I was puzzled, but I knew she wasn’t going to tell me anything else even if I tried to push for more answers. She was a stubborn lady.
One day we were out shopping somewhere—I don’t recall the exact place and it’s not really that important—and something was said by the cashier and I said, “Yeah, when I get around to it.” We took our items and went to the car. Once we were settled, me driving and Mom giving directions, I could see her opening her purse out of my side vision. Still watching the road, I heard Mom say, “I heard you tell that cashier something about when you get ‘around to it’ so I want you to have this.” I briefly looked over and she had a round stone in her hand. I held out my hand for it and she placed it in my palm. “Go ahead. Read what it says,” she said.
I looked at the road ahead and moved the stone up closer to my line of vision; the stone was blank. I turned it over and saw Mom had painted two words on the other side: TU IT. I said, “I don’t get it.”
She said, “You can never say again that you can’t get a round tu it.” She laughed a laugh I had not heard in years. Bless her heart. God rest her soul. That was in 2000 and I can still hear that laugh today.