Hidden in previous blog posts you’ll find a series of articles about women who have influenced me. This one is long over-due to be published. I tried to see this lovely woman during my recent trip through California, but we didn’t connect. I’m missing her deeply.

Kitty is married to my extra father, Bill. During my 20s, she had more patience with me than anyone should have. My illness and personal stress situation made me a terrible employee, and yet Kitty gave me a job.

She taught me to love all things Victorian, and taught me how to style my hair up. From Kitty, I learned to love being a woman. She turned her hobby into a business and built doll-houses that people came from all over the world to see. She and Bill worked together every day. He would design elaborate train layouts, building the cars and tracks from tiny bits of wood and metal, while she would make the scenery come to life. Mountains, clouds, streams…even fish in ponds were her specialty. To this day, I can make a tiny, life-like tree out of wire…one of my more obscure skills.

I watched those two people work together and I learned about marriage and business. I learned that in both, you have to tolerate your partner’s uniqueness…but beyond tolerating those differences, you have to find a way to rejoice and revel in them.

Kitty also taught me something that would forever change my life. She taught me that work should be something I love. Working at something I enjoy is more important than the quantity of money it brings home at the end of the day. I chuckle about this now, because I’ve seen that Kitty and Bill turned their passions into very successful businesses…hand-in-hand.

It was their love that made me seek out a husband that I could be a partner to, and their example that has helped me survive working together with my own husband.

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