Saturday, December 17, 2011


When my mother was young her father built a log house for the family. Her mother loved all things old fashioned and had always wanted to live in one. So my mother and her 3 brothers and one sister grew up in a log house. One day my mother told me that Grandmama had named her house Shacklegate and that if you wrote that name on the letter it would be delivered. So I wrote her a letter with the only address as follows
Saja Montague
Ashland, Kentucky

There were no zip codes then. It took a few extra days, I can imagine asking around for an old-timer who knew my grandmother, but it got delivered.

Now my mother lives in a beautiful assisted living community. She has all her needs taken care of and she doesn't want anything, so gift giving is a real challenge. Outside each resident's door is a small shelf where you may display any art work or picture. Mom currently has a vase with some fake flowers. On a recent visit I noticed that one woman had named her home. This reminded me of Mom's story.

I asked Mom if she wanted to have a plaque outside her door and name her place. She liked the idea, but couldn't come up with a name. I reminded her of Grandmama's name for her house and she then decided to name her place Shacklegate.

My artistic talent is non-existent, so I wondered how I would get something for Mom. One of the best thing about working in the Fincastle Library was the many friends I made there. The Kattenbrakers were some of my favorites and Dreama is a marvelous artist who frequently donates art for the various fundraisers for the library. ( You can see her work at her web site I approached her with the idea and she was excited about the project. I have a stained glass I made of the house for my parents and my cousin Phillip was kind enough to go by the old house in Ashland and send me a current photo. My father had written several genealogies so they were also provided to Dreama to work her magic.

Dreama sent me an email this week and said that she was done. You can't imagine how thrilled I am with her finished product. It is so wonderful and I am excited to be sending it to my mother. My sister and two brothers will all be giving this perfect gift for my mother. I hope we do what all kids want to do for their mother for Christmas. I hope we make her cry.


  1. Rebecca, you are mighty kind and it was a treat to "meet" your family while doing this plaque for your Mom. Isn't it funny that we want to make them cry? The sign of hitting the mark! Hoping she will enjoy it and be reminded of her life in KY and raising her own garden of younguns into adulthood. Thanks for letting me be a part of her gift. Hugs for the holidays! dreama

  2. What a wonder! A great, wonderful piece by a wonderful artist, and aren't you special for thinking of it. Tremendous gift!