from margaret’s garden


I’ve always been intrigued by this painting of my mother — wherever we lived in Hawai’i, its constant presence made our house feel like home. I’ve been trying to learn the real story behind the painting for many years.

      Don’t be fooled by that shy smile.
Apparently, the artist was a G.I. taking a class who got my mom to sit for him. I’d love to know more details, but Margaret has remained pretty mum about the whole thing. I’m glad the artist decided to give her the painting, because now I can gaze at it and imagine my mother’s "secret life." Maybe she was a favored courtesan or a Korean Mata Hari :D! She’s certainly got the pose down. And it just so happens Mata Hari’s real first name was "Margaretha!" Coincidence? Hmmmmmm.

            Raising the right arm is spy talk for, "I know where the money is hidden."

All I know is that the glamorous lady in the painting seems so different from the practical, hardworking woman I know who lives in shorts and tee shirts (the perfect cover). One thing hasn’t changed — Margaret’s best color is still pink!

Last time we visited, I photographed some of Margaret’s flowers and plants. She’s always had a green thumb, and there’s usually something blooming in her yard year round. Enjoy this little tropical bouquet from Hawai’i, and have a beautiful day!

(Is your mom mysterious too?)

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.