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I was born and for the most part raised in Maywood Illinois. We lived in a little brick house on 19th Street, and while my Mother worked, my brother played with friends who lived on neighboring streets and I stayed home with a quiet old lady named Ms. Ella. On Mondays we baked cakes to take to church members who were on the 'Sick and Shut In' list, Prayer Hour at noon on Tuesdays, Bible Study on Wednesdays, Choir Practice on Thursdays, and may the good Lord keep you Friday and Saturday until Bible School on Sunday morning. What I loved most was sitting on our porch watching times change with Ms. Ella. Everything I learned about being proper, being a lady, a listener, observative, creative, soft, and sometimes hard, kind, compassionate, discerning and more, I learned from living in that little brick house, Ms. Ella, and the prostitutes that lived in the pink house across the street.

I've gone on to learn a lot more, having gone to college, being lovingly married, and mother to a little girl who shares my spirit. So, this is the root of my perspective. I don't just see color in every shade, I feel the pink in the dining room drapes, I smell violet from a feathered bottle that sits on a glass fragrance tray, I taste white in the fluffy icing on jelly cake, and I hear florentine gold from the doors slamming on a '76 Cadillac Seville. With this and more, I muse.

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