Aunt Rheeta~My Heroine


Aunt Rheeta at our Rebecca’s wedding


Yes, she is my heroine and she would be yours too if you knew her.  I want to be just like her when I grow up—oops,  too late for that!  Well then, I want to be just like her when I am her age–78.

This post is only remotely related to sewing, but we all need inspiration and Aunt Rheeta is mine.

Her most recent activity spurred me to write this post.  She is one amazing woman.  Her friend Laura, the 88 years old  catcher (!!!!), is one of the few who can keep up with her.  Yes, Aunt Rheeta hangs with a tough crowd.


R swings

I think she said Mickey Mantle was her coach.

At the age when so many people are winding down, or have long since finished  that process, my  fit, fun Aunt Rheeta lives her life full steam ahead.  Now she is a medalist in the Senior Olympics where she competed in baseball, bowling (averaging 126!) and horseshoes.


just one of her medals

just one of her medals


Even when she is not in training, she regularly walks her little poodle, Molly, through a lengthy loop in the park near her home.


Aunt Rheeta and Molly

Aunt Rheeta and Molly


A devout Christian, she raised four fine children by herself, two of whom are ordained pastors.   After her children were grown and on their own, she sold her home and all of her possessions to serve as a missionary in the Soviet Union.

It has been years since she left the foreign mission field, but still she cooks and delivers meals to the sick, visits shut ins, cleans the church when her turn comes up, hosts prayer meetings in her home and serves the church as an elder.  It is apparent that she has never abandoned her life of Christian service.

In her late 60’s, she sat before a sewing machine for the first time in her life (FINALLY a sewing link!).  With my Brother 8500, she fell in love with machine embroidery and soon was the owner of her own machine.  One of her loveliest projects was a spectacular Bible cover.


Rheeta Em machine

She went on to stitch a breathtaking communion cloth for her church.  The photos I took are terrible, but the cloth is just gorgeous.  She didn’t stop there—she even had a booth at a few craft shows to sell her goods.


Rheeta craft show CR

Remember, this is a skill she learned long past retirement age.

Nothing stops her, nothing intimidates her.  Parasailing in the Caribbean gave her pause, just because she cannot swim.  But what the heck!  With a life jacket what could happen?  Sharks?  Ha! She laughs at  sharks!


parasailing in the Caribbean

72 years old and parasailing in the Caribbean with her 78 year old sister, my mother


Can you see why she is my heroine and a great role model for all who know her?  Wouldn’t the world be a great place if it were filled with Rheeta copycats?

Aside from being my aunt, she is one of my dearest friends  We have always been close.  Am I lucky or what?


Janice and Rheeta

Janice and Rheeta

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