Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Motherhood and Invention

Mom Taught Us How to See the World

Massanutten Lodge
Addie Pollack's Massanutten Lodge at Skyland under an early Autumn snow.

During the great World War my mother went to work at the Martin Company in Baltimore. She worked in the engineering department and helped develop the airplanes that fought in the Pacific. Her background in mathematics and physics gave her a unique perspective, to say the least. She proudly stated of her tenure at Martin: "I REFUSED to make coffee for them!" Yes, this was the late forties and early fifties you have to remember.

How cool is it to have a mother who pointed out beautiful airplanes! She grew up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains so she pointed out many other wonders as well. Her drawing skills were amazing. So was her ability to convey lessons about the way the world works in everyday tasks. Her kitchen was a laboratory and once she continued to divide the last piece of pie to show us kids how you could divide something in half for infinity. There were five of us kids and Mom could cut a pie into seven equal pieces flawlessly. Her good eye was often not appreciated when we did home improvement projects. If something was crooked, Mom saw it!

Mom could show you "all the colors of grass." Something I always mention when I do workshops with students. She knew the subtle signs that the seasons were changing. I am eternally grateful for her teaching me how to see!

We took her ashes and Dad's to the beloved mountains overlooking her girlhood home and it is always a sacred time for me to step into that little spring valley that is green all the year and remember.

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