She was a little bit of a woman, but she was a powerhouse. She had strength and determination that belied her tiny frame. I think she took many people by surprise.
Terry was as full of fun and friendliness as she was work and business. She loved her kayak, and she loved the beach at Maidstone Park. She would walk every day, keeping her spirit at peace, and would paddle her vessel in local waters whenever she had the opportunity. She loved her plants and gardens, and spent much time puttering in her yard after permanently closing the flower shop/small nursery she owned. Like myself, she liked to place many flowers in the soil together for that 'natural' cottage garden look.
She'd lived for many years in an expanded ranch house where she reared her children alone, after being widowed at a young age. Some time later, she remarried a widower, and after some years together, they parted ways. Terry came into possession of her grandmother's little house, one block from the her beloved Maidstone beach. It needed a lot of work, and she hired my brother in law, George, to do the work. Using her wonderful ideas and his skills, together they transformed the place into a new home for Terry. It was perfect for her, with enough room for guests and family, but not too big to be a bother. Terry faithfully collected grey stones of a certain size and shape at the beach, to be used as cabinet door and drawer pulls. She carefully chose the countertops for her rustic wood cabinets, and chose one that looked to her like the edge of the water at the bay. She chose soft, serene colors for the furniture and walls, giving the home a cozy feel. When taking down old wallboard near the fireplace, she discovered a huge old beehive, long since abandoned by its residents. She decided to keep it, exposed, so that others might enjoy it as well. She had an end table built, with a window of panes for it's top, so that if she wanted to, she could use it as a display box. There are beams exposed and an open ceiling in the living room, adding to the charm.
It was Terry's idea that the home should look like a little Nantucket Cottage. To further that concept, she planted climbing pink roses that would one day reach the roof and creep to the peak. Her small 'islands' of gardens showed a lovely burst of color during the seasons, and like Terry, were celebrants of life in the sun. She created a dry stream bed, with river rock in it, in the side yard, which served as a drainage ditch when there was a lot of rain. Because she loved the birds, Terry placed stakes which held small glass containers full of water for them to drink.
This little woman, who involved herself in community and environmental organizations, was full of life for as long as she had it. She loved people, she loved nature. It was always a pleasant visit with much talk, much laughter, much unspoken love when we spent time with her. Too soon she was taken from us all. She was a perfect example of how to live life, expecting good things of the day and making them happen for others. The world needs more people like Terry. We miss her.
We remember her often, and think of her whenever we see the Black-Eyed Susans and soft peach Daylilies she gave us.
I hope that God has given her a beach home in Heaven, with gardens to tend and birds to look after. Whatever God has given her, I can almost guarantee that she is actively involved in it and is doing it with the utmost joy!