Aunt Honey

Posted on April 12, 2013 by Jody Cedzidlo | 11 Comments

 

My Great-Aunt Honey was like an extra grandmother to me, and some of the best games and funniest jokes I know I learned from her. She was pregnant with her ninth child when her husband passed away, and I could never understand how she so successfully raised all nine on one war pension until I got to spend time with her regularly while I lived in Philadelphia. In all her habits and traditions, I observed again and again, she was the very definition of thrift.

Her "burglar alarm" was a tangled mass of empty soup cans with holes punched in the bottom, tied together with twine and draped across the basement steps; when one of her kids tied it to a bumper for a newlywed send-off, she just chuckled and picked through the recycling bin and happily made another. To organize her crafting supplies, she'd cut cereal boxes up to resemble magazine files, and cover only the front panel with a floral wallpaper sample. A glance into her closet would lead you to believe she'd invested in dozens of pretty little designer containers, but a tug on the "handle" of one (constructed from shoelaces, of course) would reveal a giant ad for Life or Special K.

Aunt Honey loved to garden, and she had all kinds of little tips and tricks for neatening one's yard, hiding the mess of your trimmings, etc. One of the things she'd always show me were her Sempervivum "Hens and Chicks" succulents. She loved the way they'd multiply and spread, making little babies all the way down her sidewalk. Always the first to notice a bargain and the last to make an unncecessary purchase, she obviously loved Sempervivum because you could make only a few initial purchases and let them fill your required space, whatever the size. Home Economics a la Honey.

For our Spring collection, I made a satisfyingly simple succulent drawing in celebration of my beloved aunt and her quirky little plants. We've printed it on this scarf and this tunic, but I just couldn't stop. I ended up picking up a couple of Sempervivum varieties at my local nursery, and I'm sure I will think of Aunt Honey as I traipse the couple dozen yards between our workshop and darkroom and observe the Hens & Chicks populating their way down my sidewalk. A fabulous buy.

Posted in bargains, family, gardening, succulents


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11 Responses

Gina Bateman
Gina Bateman

September 08, 2013

Jody,
We never met, but what you wrote about my “grand mom honey” was beautiful. Thank you for keeping the memory of her alive in your beautiful pieces. She really was great and I remember she was just always happy. My husband once said she really was one of the happiest people he ever met. I think she was pretty special because she had that sense of peace and confidence in her life that some people never find, and she was grounded. She wasn’t wealthy, but was rich in the things that are more important then money, character, integrity, and personality. Plus, she had a great sense of humor. I loved her and learned from her and she truly was a blessing in my life.

Rachel Johnston
Rachel Johnston

April 16, 2013

This is beautiful. I’m sitting here on my lunch hour just smiling and tearing up. Grandmom Honey would have loved these kinds words and probably would have said something that would praise someone else rather then herself. She was a wonderful woman and will forever be missed.

Eve Caballero
Eve Caballero

April 13, 2013

Thanks for this wonderful tribute to my beloved Mother. She was so special to so many people, Your words capture her spirit and bring her to life for those of us who miss her. I want to buy these Honey inspired items! Love from the ninth child!

Mary Williams Berard
Mary Williams Berard

April 13, 2013

Dear Jodi,

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Love this blog and the dress that honors her!
Thank you.

Mary, Honey’s Daughter

Janet Davies
Janet Davies

April 13, 2013

Dear Jody,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of Mother. She is all you describe and of course much more.
Love,
Janet

marie rudderow
marie rudderow

April 12, 2013

I remember Aunt Honey, what a shining star she was. I didnt know what a strong person she was…… it was interesting to hear about her life. I knew her in the 80s and was in awe of her grace and humor.

Amy Williams Dapice
Amy Williams Dapice

April 12, 2013

Jody! Writing all the way from Myanmar! Your article touched me so much! I want to buy the long blue one…can you put one aside for me? I will send money as soon as I get back to Thailand.

Thank you for remembering Honey so vividly. She was truly one of a kind wasn’t she?
Amy

Brenda
Brenda

April 12, 2013

I love reading about your Aunt Honey – what an amazing lady! So wonderful that you’re honoring her both in your designs and in your garden. :)

hannah
hannah

April 12, 2013

My favorite memory of her was when I was told to interview women over 75-years-old for a psychology class on “confidence.” I called her up, and when we got to talking about her husband’s death while she was pregnant with her ninth, she said, “Well you know, God- he’s my best friend. So when I would go through times of worry about ‘how am i gonna do all this alone,’ I’d just tell myself, I CAN do this. Because God thinks I’m strong enough. So I must be. He knew this could happen and I’d be ok, because he knew I could do it.”

And so she did it all. Amazingly and with grace and humor.

So happy that she is the inspiration behind the beautiful prints.

Barbara Cedzidlo
Barbara Cedzidlo

April 12, 2013

this was beautiful, Jody. It was good to read this, sit back for a moment in a busy day and remember a wonderful lady.

Rita
Rita

April 12, 2013

my dear Jody,
we got it so right! I don’t have the gift of writing or creativity like you do and I am so excited to see this post. OMG does not express what I am feeling. I love it. Thank you bringing a sweet memory back in such a fun way.
Rita, Honey’s daughter

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