On 18 Mar 1632, Marie Louise Cloutier was born in Mortangne-su-Perche, France to Zacharie and Sainte (Dupont) Cloutier. She was the youngest of six children.
The untainted symbol also represented the purity, strength, and power of a mother’s love for her children.
All the wealth in the world cannot be compared with the happiness of living together happily united.
— Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais – Saint Marie-Marguerite d’Youville
On July 3, 1668, when she was about sixteen, Marie sailed to New France on the ship, La Nouvelle France.
In 1956 in the little town of Delta, Colorado while standing with her parents, a young woman cried; she wasn’t ready to leave her parents and return home. Her vacation was not long enough, and she wished she could spend more time with her family. As people began to gather at the bus stop that would take them to western destinations, the parents of the young women tried to comfort their daughter as she prepared to head back to California and return to her job as a telephone operator in Oakland. Once the bus pulled up to the curb, her parents teased her about the fine-looking young men in uniform that were also traveling on the bus. Her mother spotted a handsome man in his dress greens; he had dark hair and large brown eyes that warmly sparkled when he smiled. “Oh, I would sit by that one,” her mother…
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During the sixteenth century, the Renassaince arrived throughout the nations of Europe, and France celebrated in all of its glorious splendor. The French monarchs returned to the city, and Paris began to flourish. Henry IV ended the religious wars and his people enjoyed their new spiritual freedoms. New monarchies supported the arts and sciences, which influenced all the nations of Europe. Architectural wonders, monuments, and city parks abounded, and Parisians took pride in their lovely homeland.
Home is where my cows are.
Ladies and Kings and Knights, Oh My!
Often, recollections from days gone by take up residence in my thoughts as I remember my childhood. Days of warmth and fun-loving doings flow full circle. Yet, each innocent recollection eventually comes to rest on the woman that rendered care for her family, the loving matriarch of my family, my mother, Dotty Allen Reeder.
This woman gave me so much strength, hope, and courage. She taught me to laugh and rejoice at each extraordinary occurrence that took place in our lives. It was the simple things that found a home in my heart, words of encouragement, cuddles on the couch on rainy days or endless board games at the kitchen table. Or, it was summer tournaments of baseball and kickball with brothers and neighbors with mom in the middle of it all.
Always my closest confidant, we shared stories and laughter and silly gossip while doing kitchen chores or sharing a Dr. Pepper, her favorite soda, and now mine. She was the hub of our home, the very foundation that provided prudence and understanding on how to live in a world that was not always kind. She reminded everyone to find joy in each incredible moment and take nothing for granted. As my biggest cheerleader, the world sometimes feels so strange without her. Still, I find her in the shared stories with her granddaughter. I see her smile in my granddaughter, her kindness in my grandson, her ornery humor in another. Her legacy has continued and found residence in each generation that has followed; the cornerstone of our family still stands.
Looking at one, among the many children I taught over the years that had given me cause to start my bimonthly commitment to Miss Clairol, I smiled.