"I will make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life." Elsie De Wolfe
If you're lucky enough to have met Edna Dunaway, you know that her expressions of delight and surprise are quintessential Edna. She met and married my husband's grandfather a number of years ago after having both been widowed and now, the more I'm around her, the more I am enraptured by the joie de vivre that comes not from having an easy life or a trouble-free life, but quite the opposite. She's faced formidable odds and difficulty in her life and while she'll mention it, she will not dwell on it- it is only a stepping stone in her story, a matter of fact but not a root of bitterness. She's like a wildflower that is determined to grow through a crack in the sidewalk- Edna is fiercely tenacious in her mission for beauty and love and grace and it's nothing short of wildly inspiring. She didn't pick up a paintbrush until she was 42 years old, but she now has a house full of her paintings, her walls an gallery of love and color and joy. Edna is a master storyteller and the kind of hostess you want to learn from (I take mental notes every time I'm around her). So of course, she invited us over for tea when we were in Baton Rouge and of course it was thoughtful and sweet- the kind of event at which you feel completely at home but also like the most honored of guests. "Not for the king, just for the people I love," she said. But somehow she makes everyone feel like royalty.