Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Acushla-a tribute to my Mother

Acushla is a remarkable woman. Equal Dux at school, she went on to train as a teacher. Following teacher training she studied at a Bible College and became a missionary. As a missionary in the Middle East, Acushla taught English in schools in Lebanon and Syria. She recalls teaching in class- rooms while bombs were flying. She recalls night-time blackouts and sheltering from possible bombing. Whilst overseas, she travelled, visiting Gibraltar, the U.S and England where she fell in love with Dorset, and was fascinated by historical London.

After returning home, Acushla continued teaching. She met and married Graham and they had five children. Acushla was not only an enterprising, adventurous woman for her time, she was an artistic, creative woman. I remember her in the school playground, supervising lunchtimes with a knitting bag on her arm, knitting sweaters for her children to wear in the snowy chill of the New Zealand winter.

That life is behind Acushla now. In the late 1970s the family migrated to Australia. At the age of eighty, Acushla continues to be remarkable. She has learned to use a computer and keeps in touch with friends all over the globe. She travels both inside Australia and overseas to visit friends and relatives. Her children grown, she has time to develop new artistic skills, making beautiful quilts and glorious tapestries. She teaches her grand-daughters how to sew. She body builds (and in fact reversed bone density loss, to the surprise and interest of her doctors.) She delights in her grand-children and great-grandchildren.

Not too long ago, Acushla, cleaning her study, offered me a set of books, the Stitch by Stitch Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sewing, Knitting and Crochet. With the help of these books I have learned to design hand knits and to crochet edgings. My three daughters, having learned various techniques relating to arts and crafts they admire and enjoy (for an example go to Pink Lizzy Sews ... Pink Lizzy is Acushla's granddaughter. Also see Paperino on Etsy.) I can't express more highly my respect and gratitude to this amazing woman, my mother, for imparting her attitude to life and her gift to create, to her children, to me.

Thank you, Acushla.

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