Ruth, nearly 80, has a house full of art and craft, much of it produced by her in her TWO -- yes, not one but two -- studios, and much of it collected over her years in Mountainair, New Mexico and all of it on display in her house that is a work of collage in itself. Above my two daughter, Rachel in background and Leslie (back of her head) admire just a tiny corner of a rather capacious house as Ruth leads us to yet another discovery.
She studied doll making (the dolls are all over the house) and currently makes patterns for a famous doll maker. She paints -- and has painted the walls, inside and out, of her house in the folk colors of the Southwest. We were privileged to spend a night at her house and to wander through rooms full of delight. I will never get over the envy of her space for creating and will always be inspired by her open spirit.
We met 17years ago on a trip to Tibet -- at that time she wore gold sneakers and had orange hair. When she was widowed she left her home in Los Angeles and moved to New Mexico near a sister who is also a creative person. We kept in touch with letters every few months and I have told her that she was my inspiration for moving from a large city to a small town and making friends, living a full creative life. Before we left the next morning she took us to the homey coffee house in town which has become her social center, where she decorates for Christmas and helps out a bit when needed and always meets loving and interesting friends.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!