August 28 is the birth date of a children's book illustrator by the name of Tasha Tudor. Although she has been gone for over 3 years, there are many fans of hers who choose to remember her in some small way on her birthday.
I lay no claim to the day, as no one should. It is her day. The day of her birth. A day for us to remember her for what she has brought into our lives.
I first knew of her books when I saw them on the shelf of a home I was cleaning back in the 90's. The first one I saw had been on the coffee table. It was "Corgiville Fair". The homeowners had a Corgi, so that was fitting. It was nice, but I didn't go ga ga over it. Then as time passed I noticed other books about Tasha, not necessarily by Tasha. The one that stands out in my mind is the book about her heirloom crafts. As I thumbed through the pages, I was transported to a wonderful place. Soon after that I began searching out my own books and discovering more of them about her charmed life. Then someone told me about these groups on the internet where people with the same likes hook up and discuss things. Nothing short of an online fan club, but I had to check it out. To make a long story short, I met some very wonderful people in that group and we met to tour Tasha's garden several years later. It was the trip of a lifetime for me. Because of Tasha's failing health, we were not able to meet her or even enjoy a short photo-op appearance, but here we are all together in front of the Rookery. We were told that we were the first American private tour.
We had several things planned back at the motel, with one of them being a needle felted Corgi class that I taught. I brought all of the necessary supplies and we all made little Corgis.
Another project we did was making wool owls and bunnies like Tasha made. They are basically pom-pom animals and Suzanne led us through the process using wool yarn I brought from Montana to share. I thought it would be special to have them made from my wool. What a mess we made, but it sure was fun. I really need to mention the chicken feathers too. I had a Barred Rock die in the barn yard just before I was to leave. I spied her feathers and knew her death was not in vain! I plucked some and took them along on my trip. I know Tasha would have gotten a chuckle from that.
Linda worked her magic in the tea party department. A lovely spread was laid out for all of us and we enjoyed a time of tea and goodies as well as show and tell. Many of the ladies brought items to share from their collections.
We oohed and aahed over all of the treasures, but our biggest aah was when our beloved Kristen, aka Dr. Dolly, came walking in on her crutches, straight from the hospital. She had fallen at the airport while picking Linda and I up. She had ridden along with Suzanne and we only briefly were able to say hello and send her off in an ambulance. Poor dear. She really got shorted and had put so much into that event.
Her dolls and things arrived at the motel and we were able to enjoy her work, but missed her. It was good to see her, although briefly, in pain and pretty medicated!
So what is all of this about? This is about the life-long friendships I have made with true Kindred Spirits. Other women, and as it turns out, 2 men in the internet group, who love a lot of the same things I love. We share ideals, morals, a love of God, family and home. We all came together for different reasons. Some love her art, some love her lifestyle, some love both. No matter the reason, we are Kindred Spirits and without my facination of her life, I would have never met my dear, dear friends.
More than anything, getting to know more about Tasha Tudor taught me that you never have to grow up. It's ok to play with dolls, have tea parties and laugh. She gave me back my childhood as an adult.