July 3, 2010 “MRS. DUNWOODY”

Last week was a whirlwind of activity in Georgia.  I am privileged to continue my work as a Strengths coach and counselor to InterfaceFlor, Inc. Most of my work is on the telephone, by appointment, yet I love the times when I travel and can meet face-to-face with these friends.  When I go to the Interface facility in LaGrange, GA, I try to work in as many meetings and events as I can.  This trip was for another Tribal Gathering, this one for the hospitality industry.  We met wonderful people, all ages, and all facets of the hotel business and a good time was had by all.  The next day, I held several group meetings and our final day was a very satisfying meeting.  This was not a meeting-as-usual, but a “reflecting” with some 40 leaders in the Interface family.  I was gratified by the response of each individual, taking ownership and leadership in their own style and Strengths-Path.  As I move into my wise elder years, I feel confident in the next generations capability to craft the future, based on the best patterns from the past.

This post, today, is to pay tribute to Miriam Lukken.  I had the privilege of meeting her through Amy Lukken, my friend and colleague at Interface.  Miriam’s book, Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping, was her gift to me.  I have been scanning and browsing this morning while Paul makes his broiled grapefruit for breakfast.  One quote that is so meaningful to me, I want to share with everyone:

“In a letter to a grandchild: Mrs. Dunwoody wrote, “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.  Home is a sacred place for you and your family.  Home interprets heaven.  It is heaven for beginners.”

Living in hotel rooms for several days reminded me that we carry “home” with us wherever we are.  I always unpack and move in to the hotel room, making it home for the few days away.  That keeps a certain kind of helpful continuity in my life.  Returning to our home here in Buda, TX, I feel the joy of the heaven we have created here.  Heaven for beginners–that is what home is.

Thank you, Miriam, for your gift of writing your book, sharing the real truth of how we can live together, learning how to love, and creating “beginner’s heaven”.  Mrs. Dunwoody was a survivor-thriver of the war between the states, and I, a survivor of the great depression in the 30’s, share the belief that order and stability can be made through homekeeping.   “Keeper of the home” is a great aspiration for anyone, any gender, any age.  It allows us to thrive.