This was the big day. Everything over the last few months led up to this handful of hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Organizing the household, getting the garden in order, creating pieces to share… Everyone working together to honor and celebrate the life of Paula.
Then there were the variables we didn’t know: How many people would come? Will the weather hold up? How do you make paper again?
And then everything simply fell into place.
It was wonderful.
Folks from all walks of mom’s life came through her home and, we hope, got to know a little bit more about the woman we all love dearly. It was a celebration of her favorite things: July 4th on the porch, packed bookshelves, fresh flowers, a music playlist that never looped, cold drinks, a spread of food she loved, and paper making beside the colorful garden.
There were many asides and conversations. It was a whirlwind of goodness.
The weather held off until the final hour but by that time it was a welcome reason to reconvene under the porch or tents.
Right before things got going, Thor snapped this photo across the street. (Many of the images in this post are thanks to him!)
Favors on the porch for the kids (or young at heart) to take.
A painting of Paula by Robert’s friend Douglas.
Gifts from Ginger and Richard.
A delight seeing folks walk around with an armload of books. My brother, sister and great niece had stamped each with mom’s name:
Wildflower seeds in handprinted bags.
Mom’s friend Ginny that taught her how to make paper arrived with her husband. She gave us pointers on how to improve our process and said we must add inclusions to the pulp; Paula would never want plain paper! So Livia kept sprinkling petals from the garden and manned the station all afternoon. Turns out she has a knack for it.
No party favor was left unused. Even some bubbles appeared in every corner of the yard at one point.
Overall? It was cathartic and even magical.
Wherever mom is (I like to think everywhere), I have no doubt she smiled all afternoon and well beyond.