I spent a lot of time with my Mom growing up. She was pretty cool. She could do just about anything, had a subliminal way of teaching, and shared the joy of learning.
She taught me how to use a paintbrush with precision. As my brother and I were avid car model builders, this was a crucial skill since I was 3 years behind the learning curve. Mom would help me with the really tricky parts like putting custom trim stripes on the Batmobile and painting the Dynamic Duo in Green Hornet colors. Of course this was considered a Blasphemy at the time but later my vision has been discovered by action figure toymakers looking to pry additional nickels from children's pockets.
My Mom had skills. She was an exceptional seamstress, which was important if you were wearing recycled jeans, with an extended corduroy cuff to lengthen them and a tapered insert to make them bell bottoms. She made my brother and I the Errol Flynn dueling shirts out of some kind of satin. They were fitted, with a lapeled v-neck collar, flared sleeves with french cuffs. She made me a lined denim suit jacket with matching vest, and of course all kinds of ordinary things. All to help the tragically un-hip feel cool.
She was an artist in many ways. Patient and kind. She loved nature, a good joke, a job well done, a good book and later in life - golf. Like my Dad she tended to let us find our own way in life, which despite all example proved to be quite painful at times. I am fortunate to have known her, and even more so when I get glimpses of her traits that are indelibly etched on me.