Julia Morgan's original drawings for our Clubhouse, Courtesy of Cal Poly Archives

JANUARY 2017 - Heartstrings by Cyndi Runstrom

January 17, 2017 11:09 AM | Linda Wilson (Administrator)


Down come the Valentine boxes. I was getting them down for my granddaughter so she could dive into the supplies and create those spectacular Valentines for her friends and family – little did I know I was really opening the box for me. I balanced them on the floor near the closet, as I jumped off the step stool. I fully intended to let them sit unopened for a while, since I had more important daily chores to attend to. As I straddled the boxes, and closed the closet door, my heel caught the lid of one, and the top slid off.

The phone was ringing it its usual tone of urgency, the family parrot was squawking needing attention, it was starting to rain once again, and I still wasn't dressed for the appointment I had schedule so early. I let the phone go and bent down instead to tug at a ribbon that had been caught for sometime in the lid of the box. At the end of the simple satin white ribbon was a ceramic heart. It looked very much like a glazed gingerbread cookie with white frosting. On the back were the initials "AAR" carved into the back. I had added the year with a permanent marker - 1986. Again the phone….I let it go and began to read the handmade Valentines that had been mixed lovingly together in layers and stored over the years. My lashes were soon moist as I would open each one and let the words and drawings tug at my heartstrings.

We have to make room for memories, learn to discipline ourselves to put aside the urgent in favor of the truly important. We used to ties strings around our fingers to remember things, why not make bows from the memories that tug at our heartstrings. Each time you read, see, or hear something that tugs at your heartstrings grab onto the ends, tie them in a bow and wrap a special memory for your heart. It would be your own Valentine, a love letter to open again and again.

To get you started close your eyes and remember how you feel every time we come together as a club to support the young preschoolers through Raising a Reader. Picture the women who are uplifted after finding a safe place with support at the Women's Shelter Program. Reflect on the docent tour you had a chance to give to a couple who returned 17 years after their marriage here to share the clubhouse and beautiful grounds with their children. Remember when you were moved to be able to hear the talent of the young musicians or talk to one of the young artists who's smiles shone on our stage as we were able in some small way to encourage and support their futures with our Fine Arts Awards.

As I went out the door for the appointment I tied the satin ribbon and ceramic heart around my neck. I smiled as I secured the bow and added it to my special heartstring memories of a special gift hand made by my daughter, the loving mother of my granddaughter.


  • January 21, 2017 11:00 AM | Joyce Zorger
    This is an important reminder for us to listen to our heart when it tells us to slow down, breathe, take in the moment and the memories ~ remembering what makes our lives worth living. Thank you, Cyndi, for these heart-centered reminders.
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  • January 25, 2017 4:55 PM | Nancy Reid
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