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Easter dressThrough my childhood, my mother sewed all the clothes for her three daughters.

Our early Spring ritual was to drive to Hancock’s fabric store near our house. I’d look over Mama’s shoulder as she turned each page in the pattern books — McCall’s, Butterick, Simplicity — to find the dress I wanted her to sew just for me.

Then we wandered through the store touching bolt after bolt of cloth — lavender, aqua, flowered — until we chose the perfect one and took it to the ‘scissors lady’ at the counter. Two yards, please, I would tell her in my most grown-up voice.

My favorite dress is the one she made by hand when I was three. It was the palest blue organza, with a huge cloud of a  petticoat and a big bow at the back. She sewed impossibly tiny white lace on the puffy sleeves and collar. Little French knots dotted the hem.

She would always finish sewing our dresses late in the night before Easter Sunday. When I woke up, my new outfit would be hanging on my closet door. Freshly ironed and ready to be slipped over my head.

One year, she wrote a note and pinned it to my new dress.

Janice Lee,

This new outfit is for the outer you. I hope that when you wear it, you remember it’s what’s inside that is most important. Let your light shine on Easter Day and every day.

Love, Mama

A few years ago I was digging through an old cedar chest and came across a zippered plastic bag. Inside was the Easter dress I wore when I was three. The lace had turned tea-colored, but every French knot and ruffle was intact.

I realized two things when I washed and ironed that tiny, exquisitely crafted dress.

1)  It took my mother over an hour to press it.

2)  She was, and still is, an amazing woman.











Cabbage-head Bunnies Rock

Dashing through the produce section yesterday, I had the funny feeling I was being watched. Kind of eerie, till I realized there were cabbage-heads in dark glasses perched on the counter top at eye level. Who had dressed them in bunny ears and shades?

The fruit-salad-makers behind the counter claimed it wasn’t their doing. Under persistent questioning, one of them declared “It must’ve been Denise”. Turns out, Denise works in the flower department. Two days earlier, after she had fluffed all the flowers into attractive arrangements, she had prowled the grocery store searching for fun. When she spied the cabbage bin, she knew they were crying out for some celebrity time. A few bunny headbands, cotton balls, googly eyes and Foster Grants and…Voila! the cabbage-heads were ready to take center stage.

Can we take a page from Denise’s playbook? How much time do we spend doing what we love? How many of us are known in our little corner of the world for our special gift?

Do you have a signature…a special way of showing up in the world that brings delight?

Play for Life: A Feel-Good Guide to Boost Your Brain Power, Spark Your Creativity and Inspire More Fun

Do you want to play?

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