Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I love ribbons.  As a child the gift wrap and ribbons were as special as the present itself.  I love to platte and braid and weave ribbons.  I love to feel them flow through my fingers.  For New Years I made an evening gown for the New Years Eve Ball at the Monticello Opera House out of silk fall colored leaves and ribbons.  The top was all leaves hot glued to a top and my fingers, and the skirt was all different sizes and textures of fall color ribbons streaming down over a gold slip flowing under the hip length top.  I need to ask Ms Moon how to insert a picture so you could see it.  My mask was all leaves also and I had wings, but it was cold and hard to wear with out crumpling under a coat, so the wings got left at home.

I also spent years making unwanted presents for friends and new borns by embroidering flowers and insects with ribbons on to shirts and jackets and onsies.  I loved it.  I love the colors, the feel, the free form creation of ribbons.  It reminded me of my years working on stained glass, but with out all the band aides.

So when I thought I had thyroid cancer, I thought, OH!  now there is a ribbon that will be for this cancer.  I hope it is green.   The color of spring and new beginnings, my favorite color.  I really love the deep forest green, but I admit to loving almost every green.  And I love yellow the color of sunshine and blue the color of the sky and blue and green together, the colors of the ocean.  And Vicki is waiting to get her 15th tattoo based on what color ribbon she should have permanently marked on her body to show her support for me.  My dear sweet soul sister.  My longest beloved.  One day I shall have to blog about this very special person.  I swear that if Florida accepted same sex marriages this hetrosexual woman would marry her in a minute to make sure that she has health insurance.  It breaks my heart that if this should ever happen to her, she would not have the insurance she would need.  But she will not get this, and all of that is for another blog, another day.

But ribbons. So Vicki's daughter Sam looked up what color ribbon signifies what disease.  Ok, whoever came up with this has a very sick sense of humor, and I am sure that I would love them a lot.  I mean, brown is for rectal or colon cancer.  Really.  Gray is for one type of depression, but many diseases have "alternate" colors.  Thyroid, by the way is purple. 

I am not a big purple fan.  It was my mother's favorite color, and she was always making our Easter dresses out of the same material, very often a shade of purple.  And maybe even more frightening with polka dots.  It is not that I hate purple or polka dots, I really don't hate any color, but I wanted pink or green or yellow which by the way is not a good color on me, but I still like it.  So maybe my aversion to purple is more that it was forced on me by my very loving Mother.  Sharing her taste with her only daughter.  Bless her Heart, we did not agree much at all on clothing as I was growing up.  But after she was gone and I was going through the many closets of her clothes, I kept many things that I loved that she had.  She was a very classic dresser, more of a Lauren Bacall, tailored and classic.  But Mother had been in a car accident when I was very young and for the rest of her life she was off and on steroids and it would take her months and months to take off the weight after having been on the drugs.  So her closet had sizes from 6/8 to 16.  And she hated when she was big.  She stood 5'9" at her tallest, and was a model for Lord and Taylor and was 115 pounds, so thin, thin, thin.  And I just don't think she ever quite adjusted to the weight fluxes.  She always saw herself as that tall lanky person.  And let me tell you, a beauty.  You know the type, when she walks into a room a spot light from heaven shines down on her.  Not because she wants the attention,but because she was regal, gracious and kind, and made everyone feel special.  I may not want to wear purple, but I would like to be half the sweet, gracious person that she was.  And I am not saying that she didn't have an iron fist.  As a substitute teacher they gave her the worst of the worst classes and in those classes they didn't refer to her as Killer Miller, nope that was not strong enough.  She was known as Sargent Miller.  She was able to stop a mad herd of angry children with a look. 

Sigh, all I wanted was a color ribbon that I liked.  A color that I could weave into something magical.  A ribbon years from now, that every time I saw Vicki's tattoo as we sit on the porch drinking champagne, bent over with age and pure meanness I would remember that she was one of the people who took this adventure with me.  I wanted a color ribbon that maybe Ms Moon could tie up her hair in, that Lovie could braid into her soft wavy black locks.  That Sweetie could laugh at us about.  But the more I looked into the whole supporting ribbon thing, the more appalled I became.  I know people have to make a living, but this just seemed so organized and they don't sell ribbon ribbons, but metal ribbons.  I don't want a metal ribbon, I want a ribbon ribbon.  So, I think I shall dig into my ribbon bags and pull out all the colors that I love and weave something of ribbons in many colors.  Yes, I think that is what I really wanted all along. 

Ribbons blending together, bringing colors together into a tapestry of colors, just like a life, many colored, many textured, rich and full or bright and cheery, telling something of the hands and love of the person making the story of their life.


  1. I vote for a couple of sequined ribbons thrown in there too...

  2. That was absolutely beautiful, Kathleen. And what a sweet tribute to your gorgeous mother whom I wish I had known.

  3. I am sure that what you make will be well thought out and much loved by all who see it.

  4. This is a beautiful post. I'd go for the ribbons of many colors, too.

    Sending love to you.

  5. Oh, I was so glad to come to your decision at the end. Because, you know - don't let anybody dictate what colour it is for you. It is what you feel it is and want it to be. It's yours....

    do you see the little picture icon in the icons at the top of the post? You click on it, and it lets you choose between browsing in your computer pictures, or putting in a picture web link. Just go to browse, My Pictures (if you have a PC) and click on the photo you want. I'd LOVE to see your dress, it sounds incredible.

  6. Kathleen,
    this was simply fabulous.

    And I do have tears. And that is okay.

    I'd love to see that dress.