So, I remember mama. And, miss her muchly. I am remembering her brilliant blue eyes that gazed forth from her very favorite school photo – she was in second grade. Everyone thought she looked like the little girl in Disney’s “Song of the South” movie that was popular at that time. “Zippity do-dah! Zippity-ay! My, oh, my! What a wonderful day!” I loved hearing her tell me stories of her childhood, growing up on a chicken farm, and all the outdoor antics of country life with big brother, Paul, and her best friend, her older sister, Anne. My thoughts swirled with wonder as I looked into the eyes of a grown woman and imagined her a child laughing, playing, learning, like I was at the time. But, I didn’t have to wonder too hard. My mother loved to play. She was the only mom in the neighborhood that allowed kids to play in the house – so our house was the hang-out more times than not. She was an avid reader and read to me from the earliest years. She especially liked reading poems, and I still hear her vocal variety in my mind when I perform some of her favorite classic pieces such as Mary Howitt’s “The Spider and the Fly” or Eugene Field’s “The Duel”. She played games with us – Parchessi was a favorite pick – and cards, too. She taught me how to sew and introduced me to the world of arts and crafts – a particular passion of hers. So much that I use in my daily life and career today, I learned the foundations for in my early childhood from the instruction of my mother.