...a little 6lb baby girl was born on a snowy day in Montana. Even though her parents were married they were very young and she was not exactly planned nor wanted. She was born on her father's birthday but he was more interested in buying himself birthday presents rather than attending the miracle of her birth. Her mother, just a teenager was not emotionally equipped to handle the situation she found herself in.
It was a rough and humble beginning for this child.
As these stories usually go, it will not surprise you that the abusive father left his wife and baby to fend for themselves, leaving them with absolutely nothing.
The teenage mom, now a broken girl, did not feel welcome to go back home so she took her baby and moved a long way away. This young woman found some friends and was readily accepted into a hippie community. She started living the hippie lifestyle which included lots of drug use. It was an atmosphere not suited for a child, but the child was precocious and quickly learned how to survive.
Fortunately for this little girl, she had a Great Aunt that took an interest in her well-being and whenever the Aunt found the opportunity this noble lady did what she could to help and guide. She bought shoes for the often barefoot child, fed her breakfast, gave her baths and sang her songs. She taught the child how to read (and well) by the age of 4. This girl was educated enough to start the First grade by the age of 5. The girl loved to learn, and even though other kids made fun of her for her unkempt appearance and small stature she learned to get along by being the class clown.
It was not exactly a happy childhood. Poverty was a day to day struggle. The family lived off of food stamps and charity. Life was filled with too many moves....always moving....about every 6 months. The hippie mom was a restless soul. In fact the girl went to 17 different schools in 12 years, 6 moves during high school and 2 during her Senior year.
The girl ended up with two half sisters along the way; she became more of a mother to the girls, the responsibility of which made her grow up way too fast. In fact, the girl took it upon herself to be the caretaker of the whole family...and she mothered her hippie mom more than she was ever mothered herself. At the ripe ol' age of 16, she could no longer handle the physical, emotional and verbal abuse that was a daily part of her life, so she left home.
She finished her Senior year while living with her grandparents and she made plans to go to college.
With lots of hard work and zero financial help from anyone she made it into a private christian college. The first person ever in her family to obtain higher education.
She spent the next four years struggling to stay in school by working multiple jobs, and keeping a full class schedule and far too often going hungry.
After graduating from college she found herself in a conundrum. Even though she graduated with a degree in Business Administration, in her heart she knew that the corporate life wasn't for her. She was drawn to all things art and no matter what she did she was always motivated by creativity.
She married the love of her life (the second poorest student on campus). The couple made a mutual decision to take a few years "off" to go on snowboarding adventures which required living in the car and sleeping on floors. This was a happy time for the girl who was just beginning to learn about who she really was. Even though the adventurous couple were poor they both had a talent and determination that put them smack in the middle of the professional snowboarding world. Any money they made during this time went to pay their enormous student loan bills. It was these years that taught her that life is about experiences good and bad and she found herself at odds with the materialistic world she lived in.
Eventually, after many broken bones and head injuries, all with no health insurance the husband decided to switch careers and join the military. That sure solved the health insurance problem but created a whole mess of other problems. Talk about a difficult transition, the couple went from a free-spirited lifestyle to a rigid and controlled lifestyle essentially overnight. Needless to say....lots of tears were shed in those early years.
The following years were filled with moving, training, moving, countless low paying, mundane jobs (if they could be found) and moving. The girl soon realized that she would never have that career she always dreamed of having if she continued to stay married to this man. She chose love, gave up her dreams and decided to continue supporting her husband.
Not content to live in hubby's shadow any longer, and with creativity bursting from her, she set out on a path that very few ever even attempt to set out on; the path of entrepreneurship. Having some sort of creative outlet was the only way she would survive this military life. She spent 6 frustrating years trying this and that and encountering failure after failure but she had dogged determination and never gave up. After scrimping and saving and working really hard she finally had a small working pottery studio and she starting teaching pottery classes. Slowly she started getting recognition for her efforts, a TV spot here, a magazine article there....lots of local press, and for the first time since her snowboarding days she felt a sense of purpose once again. That was not to last long as the military kept moving them and it became increasingly difficult to "start all over again" at each new place.
Every move became more difficult and she was plagued with health issues she started to let life get her down. She prayed to God everyday for help and to know her purpose so that she could get up on her feet and GO! Finally and slowly ideas started forming....weird ideas....ideas that no one had come up with before....ideas to combine her pottery and her love of tatting. With a new energy, she set out to create her own mobile business. A business that would be compatible with the ever unpredictable volatile military life.
Here she is today, at the beginning of her new tatting life; LadyShuttleMaker....35 years on the planet. She one day hopes that this business will bring in enough money to reflect the amount of work she puts in....she hopes that it will all be worth it in the end. Someone asked her if she made much money and she replied; "My husband brings home the bread and I just try to bring home the butter". She would make more money if she worked at the Starbucks on the corner and would work far less hours. But she finally loves what she does and that is all that matters to her. Tatting is the miracle that saved her life.
What will the next 35 years bring??
Happy Birthday to me!