A lot of you know many of the folks who make up the Simple Life family. You see them at shows, read their articles etc. But today, I want to share with you my behind-the-scenes family who make the magazine run on a daily basis. For those of you who call in, or email about your subscription, order from the catalog, or most any other need, you talk to my sister-in-law, Kay. We are married to brothers. Kay is a GEM with a capital “G!” She is gracious to everyone who calls and I hear it all the time at shows how nice Kay is to everyone. She keeps everything running smoothly, including me!
Here she is with one of her goats, “John Deere,” and one of her many chickens. She also has two dogs at her home in West Texas. Kay has 2 daughters, 3 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! She has been with us since nearly day one!
Heather is our bookkeeper. Heaven knows they don’t let me touch the money. When I absolutely have to, we pert near have to call an emergency meeting of the higher ups to straighten it all out! Lets just say Heather and Kay have to make everything balance and I just want to sell things and chat with everyone! Heather has been with us since day one too. She lives about 15 miles from where I did in central Texas. In fact, Heather worked with me in our graphics business which we had for 15 years before we started Publishing. (Actually, Kay worked with us in our graphics business too, and so did her husband Scott.) Heather is married to a great guy and she has a daughter, grandson and granddaughter. Her granddaughter is brand new! She is an avid horse lover and barrel races nearly every weekend. She loves dogs like I do and also has a pet pig named Frankie, who loves Cheerios. I love Heather dearly, as I do Kay, and I am so grateful they keep me straight. Heather does all those awful jobs like payroll, tax prep, budgets, keeps the master list for the magazine, debits, credits … all those words I cringe at!
Ahhhhh…. and then there is HELEN. Helen is simply put, “A Gift from God.” I hardly knew Helen when I first asked her to be the editor of A Simple Life. In fact, I believe I had just met her that very night. I had heard about her for years, from various friends we had in common. Helen is so many things … a literal genius, an avid early American Antique collector for over 60 years, the most knowledgeable person I know about antiques, and well, everything really. She is hilariously funny and keeps me laughing every single day, and she is a MASTER of the English language and how to use it. (She doesn’t know about this blog yet, and she will cringe when she reads it and sees all of my mistakes!) She has tried countless times to teach me grammar but I think she has given up. It goes without saying that she is a remarkable writer, and she also makes all of our other writers shine too. Oh, and Helen was also a very prominent doll maker back in the day – many of you will remember her wonderful creations. Today she mainly spends her free time rug hooking – and of course reading countless books, learning more and more about antiques and being with her family in Texas. This is her, on the far left.
Last but not least, here is my Todd. Many of you already know him, from when I occasionally drag him to shows. He loves antiques, but getting him away from the farm is not always easy. He raises running quarter horses and registered Simmental cattle. He has literally been in the race horse business since birth (that is how we met) and he will be until the day the Lord calls him home. He eats, sleeps and breathes horses. His business has changed slightly since our move to VA, but his cow business is actually easier here than in the Texas droughts. Every cow has a name and they all eat out of his hand. He works behind the scenes doing many, many, jobs for ASL – it all depends on the day. We’ve been together 30 years this year … and were married at the Museum of Appalachia in Irwin’s Chapel. John Rice gave me away! That is a story for another day !!! This is our pet bull, who we raised from birth and he is as tame as a dog. (for my cattle friends – yes, he is an Angus, not a Simmental.)
Wow, I never intended to write a novel! I hope you are still with me here ! I apologize! But I am so proud of my behind-the-scenes family and I wanted you all to meet! I love them each dearly and I’m so grateful for all they do for A Simple Life and for me! I mean it sincerely when I say, “There would be no ASL without them!” ~Until another day …. see you soon!