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316 316 from a very young age, I knew my mother was a special person. She usually wore a ­ broad-­ brimmed straw hat and carried a straw panier. Our downstairs coat closet at 3 Shadow Lawn was a trea­ sure trove of headgear (including conical Asian hats), shawls and scarves of many fabrics and colors—soft, woven shawls, very cozy looking, silk scarves of bright colors, purple and green woven with silver threads—and a multitude of baskets from different countries . Baskets for all occasions: picnic baskets, flower baskets, and baskets to hold the many things she carried every day. I loved to explore the contents of this closet; it was like a visit to foreign lands. Mother talked a lot to many people. She never encountered a stranger; it seemed to me as a child that she knew everyone. Later I realized her gregarious nature welcomed whomever she met. I was always treated as an adult. She would ask me to entertain her guests, which included passing small glasses of sherry, while she finished dressing upstairs . Often we attended ­grown-­up movies together; Gone with the Wind was my favorite, so romantic, so powerful. I was entranced. But Mother’s interpretation focused on the horrors of war. As she talked, I wondered if we could possibly have seen the same film. As I matured, I began to understand and appreciate her perspective. Mother really did approach life in a different way. I soon learned that she saw the best in everyone, qualities I somehow hadn’t noticed. Often she was rewarded for her trust, but if not, she comforted herself with a favorite adage: “God rewards us for our faith, not our accuracies.” I heard this often. God loved her. She was blessed and protected. Surely an angel sat on each shoulder, for she never came to any harm—not even when reading a book propped on the steering wheel while driving the Houston highways. New Harmony was the love of her life and her mission. But her family also came first. I have a deep and lasting love for my unique and beautiful mother. Afterword through a child’s eyes Jane Dale Owen 1942–2014 ...


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