By Tammy Seibert
My mom’s birthday is June 20. She turned 77 on Wednesday. Today is my day to celebrate all that my sweet mama (Charlotte Stigleman Nease) inspires in me. My husband says we are more like sisters than mother/daughter. Her love of beauty, her pleasure in the design of all things, combined with her practical sense of homemaking, her faith in God and her unconditional love, and her tenacious spirit gave me a firm foundation growing up.
She taught me to love music. She plays the piano and sings. I play the piano, clarinet and sing. I have my grandmother’s piano that she learned how to play piano on. See her pictured here Christmas 1955. She played in a little country church where my great-grandfather was a Missionary Baptist Preacher. I grew up singing duets at church with her and harmonizing.
My mom inspired in me a love of fashion. She is a seamstress just like Marcie’s mom. Being a preacher’s wife and not a lot of money to spare she taught me how to pick out fabric and patterns and she would sew for me. It was like design 101. I would pin the pattern and cut it out. She would sew and I would iron the seams. We would buy Seventeen magazine in August and she would make me clothes for school. We always had so much fun dreaming about fall fashion together.
She taught me how to cook. She is a wonderful cook and can whip up a feast for a crowd in no time. When I opened the tearoom I wrote on my website that creating serenity in the tearoom came naturally after years of observing my mom foster hospitality in our home. Everyone was always welcome in our home. She knows how to minister to people in this profound way of not only feeding their bodies but feeding their souls. Many of my favorite recipes came from her.
She gave me a love of hats and reading. Her philosophy is you will wear many hats – including being a life-long learner. We share a love of reading and being curious about the world around us. We both have extensive libraries in our house and are always exchanging ideas as well as books.
She taught me to love art. I have shared about her toile painting but my mom encouraged me to explore culturally, visit the museum, take the art class, and to appreciate the beauty all around me. She taught me to trust my own eye.
She taught me to cultivate my own Secret Garden. By that I mean she gave me the permission to take a time out; to step away and have quiet time alone to dream and be true to myself. To create a sacred space a private spot that was all mine. She taught me to listen to my own voice.
A tradition that we started back in high school is attending the Oklahoma City’s Symphony Show House each year. It always happens around Mother’s Day. It is one of my favorite springtime events with my mom. We always go on Monday or Tuesday after Mother’s Day. It started out that my mom volunteered and worked in the Show House a few years and then I started going with her. The Orchestra League takes pride in its role in our city. In opening doors to architectural gems. In showcasing designers’ artistry. In making it possible for budding musicians to explore their talents and find their passion. In helping at-risk children gain the creative and academic benefits music education provides.
When I owned the tearoom I always had a Mother’s Day Tea and even named a tea after my mom. It was called For The Love of Charlotte. It was white chocolate and amaretto blend. For me that is how my mom inspires me to be a better person simply by taking joy in small things and having a thankful heart and counting your blessings.
And this brings me to the outfit I wore to the Symphony Show House this year …
A Little Background Music
*Photos of Tammy by Darrin Presley