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(trib’yoots) pl.n.  Gifts or testimonials expressing gratitude or admiration.

There are influences in my life that have colored the person I have become. The earliest of those were my parents. Both were kind and gentle souls, loyal and honest, hardworking, and devoted to each other. They introduced to me a love of nature, animals, and birds and fish. My father Henry was a great fisherman. My mom Lila never lived without a cat. And, we raised many dogs together. When I was a small child, we also raised a groundhog named Polly, rescued from the roadside during one of our annual trips to dad’s home in Kentucky.

My brother Clinton was  significant in my life, as well. He was my pied piper, my other “Daddy.” He was the one who adored me without judgement and enriched my life with art and music and love. Like our parents, he was a gentle soul, but with flare! He had an awesome talent for social interaction and amazing talent in the arts. His “tribute” is found in the larger menu of this website…

Beyond the home front and my nuclear family, there were friends and colleagues who were remarkable role models. My “menu” of influential persons and animals will grow. But here, now, are several who hold great meaning. As each have passed this life, I miss them but hold them forever in my heart. I hope you will enjoy reading a little of their story. Their example proves to me that “the meek shall inherit the earth.”

Ellen Arrowood Gaines

May 2017