Mim, known to me as Gran, wore a floppy hat when she gardened and never owned a pair of pants-only skirts and dresses. She was an expert biscuit maker, and knew just how you liked your eggs. She brought such a personal touch to all of her dinners and holidays. She knew how to make you feel special. Every now and then while I was in college, she’d send me money for breakfast and remind me that “they” say breakfast is important. I’m not sure who “they” are, but I do know getting that card took my thoughts right back to her kitchen. I loved calling her after those breakfasts to tell her where I’d gone and which friend I took with me. Mim understood the importance of a hearty breakfast and good conversation. Mim had a giant fig tree in her back yard. In those sticky, Alabama summer days, she and I would pick figs from the tree. We’d take them inside, wash and peel them, then have a snack at her kitchen table. Some of my best conversations have been held at that kitchen table. Olive was Mim’s sister. She was known to most as Tootsie, and she had a flare for fashion and color. She taught all of the kids how to do the Charleston and wore red pajamas and a Santa hat to Christmas breakfast every year. Olive was fantastic at swinging from our play set, and could swing so much higher than me! She bought me my first car- a hot pink Barbie Corvette. Olive had a giant fig tree in her back yard. In those sticky, Alabama summery days, she and I would lie under the tree and pick figs so purple and plump that they would hang low enough for me to reach. We’d lazily peel the figs under the tree paying no attention to any skin left behind. We’d eat figs until our hands and mouths were sticky and sweet. What I learned from Mim and Olive is that there’s really no wrong way to eat a fig. I learned that you can do things in a classical or whimsical way, and lots of times you can combine those styles. These sisters were so unique and a great combination. Most importantly, these sisters taught me the importance of family and celebrating those moments we have together, whether we do that outside under a fig tree or sitting at the kitchen table. I learned that everyday things, like a ripe fig, are magical things that should be celebrated. They showed me that life has these beautiful, ordinary moments that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Sweet Friend, I hope that as you’re scrolling through these pages you’ll see glimpses of Mim and Olive, the women who loved me so well. I hope that you will find tips and ideas to inspire you to create something that is classical, whimsical, or both. I hope that whatever you do it helps you to make your memories and traditions special!