As we celebrate Mother's Day today, no doubt the thoughts of many, like mine, will naturally turn to his or her mother, whether living or not, and the influence she had on our lives, values and personalities. My early memories of my mother were that she was very strong willed, active, talented and fun. Like most women of that generation she smoked cigarettes, drank socially and played bridge (think "Mad Men"). In addition she loved playing golf and prided herself on knowing some of the great women golfers of that era. Her great fanciful boast was that she could take a seven iron and putter and beat anyone around. But it was her talent at the piano that probably brought her the most joy and recognition. She was totally self-taught, played by ear and could play almost anything upon request, which made her a standout at parties where there was a piano. If an evening with friends ended up back at our house, as a youngster I was often rousted out of bed to be her dancing partner, much to Dad's chagrin. That was all before the loss of a child and chronic illness befell her, after which things were never the same.
But that is about a mom from the past. I would much rather focus on the moms of the present and future. It really amazes me how mothers do all they do in this fast paced, have-it-all world. Unlike my mother who played the traditional role of just caring for the home front, many of today's moms work; write; create art; pursue professional careers which cause them to be away from their families; take care of the children, including transporting them to day care, school, music lessons, soccer and their many other extracurricular activities; perform household chores; care for aging parents; engage in their own outside activities; attend civic functions; and be a loving wife. Then, there are the very special moms who are single and, while doing many of the above things, also attend school to make a better life for themselves and their families. Lord knows how all of these "great mothers" do it, but fortunately many support groups and websites exist that help our modern mothers cope with their many challenges, one such local website being at http://littlerockmamas.com. Go there and you will find many other links to related subjects and blogs about mothers who deal with these and many other challenges every day including my friend, Cindy Murphy, who is a local, highly respected journalist who has her own blog "Mom On A Wire" at http://wire.littlerockmamas.com.
On a more personal note, I would like to salute and honor the existing mothers in my life. First, there is my wonderful wife, Nancy, the adoring mother of our two children who deserves an entire blog dedication of her own, if for no other reason than putting up with me for almost 45 years.
Then, there is our beautiful, smart and multi-talented daughter, Phoebe, who is married to a successful screen writer, Mike, lives in New York and has two beautiful future moms, Alice and Maggie. And, finally, there is our most accomplished writer and public speaker daughter-in-law, Kelly, who has her own website at http://kellycorrigan.com, is married to our son, Edward, lives in California and also has two beautiful future moms, Georgia and Claire. So, there you have my thoughts on this Mother's Day 2010. If you are fortunate enough to still have your mother, go share your love for her today because all too soon those days will be gone. To all of you "grandi madri" out there, "Buona festa della mamma" or Happy Mother's Day!
As my list of local artists and galleries continues to grow with today's addition of Matt McLeod, I want to also thank Rita Miller, another very talented artist and friend, for making me aware of the Artist Council's Artists Registry website at http://www.arkansasarts.org/programs/registry/default.aspx which contains a treasure trove of talented artists statewide, and will be an added listing from now on. And, finally, I want to mention Ellen Golden French Antiques at 5701 Kavanaugh in the Heights, as she exclusively carries the artwork of well known painter Barry Thomas.
Laura Raborn at http://paintingsofhome.com and http://claygifts.com
Jim Johnson at http://yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html
Russ Powell at http://powellphotos.com
Linda Flake at http://lindaflake.com
Tom Herrin at http://tommysart.blogspot.com
Matt McLeod at http://firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Colour Gallery at http://localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://chromagallery.com
Cantrell Gallery at http://cantrellgallery.com
Greg Thompson Fine Art at http://gregthompsonfineart.com