Number 9: List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
Oh boy, this is a hard one…
Not in any particular order:
1. My cousin Robert Shook, who wrote A Journey in Courage. This is a book about our Shook family history, starting in Germany and coming to America. Robert has taken an accurate history and turned it into a novel… something I long to do with another side of my family.
2. Jinny Beyer for her hand piecing skills in quilting. Jinny and I spent some time together in the 1980’s when we were both teaching at a conference on the east coast. Together, we sat under a tree for several hours and hand pieced part of my Amish-style Tumbling Blocks quilt. One of my best quilting memories…
3. A professor I had from the University of Michigan-Flint who told me one day to my face that I was a horrible writer. This was back in the late 80’s. Oh really?!?!? That comment from her made me rear my “I’ll show you” side, and prompted me to write my first book. “Take THAT!” LOL Two books and over a hundred published free-lance magazine articles later, I beg to differ with her. I may not be Ernest Hemingway, but I can write.
4. My friend Ami Simms for her creative mind, tenacity, and sense of humor. I cannot mention her name without sharing a link to her fabulous project, the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. From the AAQI site:
The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative® (www.AlzQuilts.org) is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer’s. The AAQI has raised more than$878,000 since January 2006.
Way to go!!!
5. My Mom, for her compassionate heart and creativity. I miss you, Mom.
6. My Dad, for his strong work ethic and love for reading. Dad read to me almost every night when I was a child. That love for books is an amazing gift that I treasure.
7. My friend Mary Schafer. Mary lived next door to me when we lived on Park Avenue. Mary was a hand quilter and in the Quilter’s Hall of Fame. She was also a gardener. I remember her coming over to our house one day in the rain, holding a Burning Bush that she thought would look good in our back yard. She told me to get my raincoat and shovel, and we’d plant it. We did… in the rain.
8. My husband, Dean. Dean can make anything out of wood, and is fabulous at what he does. He is a 5th generation cabinetmaker and furniture restoration specialist, who makes the most beautiful furniture, and can take an ancient, worn-out crummy piece of furniture and turn it into something absolutely stunning. Check out his website!
9. Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts books. I am amazed at the vast amount of books she has written, and their accuracy on the tradition of quilting. I wish I had her ability to write… and write… and write. Maybe someday!
10. Jesus. e’nuf said.