When I decided to start People At Home, Sylvia was one of the first people who came to my mind. She lives in my sister's neighborhood in Rexburg, ID. My sister and I went to visit her and her husband one afternoon a couple of years ago and she was vibrant, eccentric, spunky and unique. We chatted on their front porch where I could see into the living room of their home. I wanted to go inside.
Since then, Sylvia's husband has passed away but she is as pleasant and bright as ever. Born in Quebec, Canada during the Great Depression, she lost her mother when she was only two. Her mother was 24 years old when she passed away due to complications from an abortion. Fearing she could not provide for another child and pressured by family, she turned to this as a solution. Sylvia and her older sister were raised by their father and step-mother who Sylvia describes as "not nice at all."
She grew up attending a very strict Presbyterian church but was later converted to the LDS church. She never expected to become a Mormon, she remembers being shocked when she saw Mormon women attending meetings wearing no hats or gloves!
She raised her family in Rexburg in a house that she describes as "homey and with purpose." She loves surrounding herself with beauty and creating a home that has a feeling of peace. Her house is filled with plants, beautiful framed art, and objects that visually interact with one another.
Sylvia is an accomplished pianist and has played for over 75 years. At age 84, she still teaches piano to quite a few students. Her music room may be the most striking room in her home. It is filled with sheet music that she is constantly collecting for herself and students. When she plays the piano, the room comes alive. Her music is deep, rich, and from the heart—just like her home.
Although growing old is a hard challenge, she says she really has nothing to complain about. Because when you look around, you can always find someone who has it harder than you.
Thank you, Sylvia! What a wonderful experience it was to be in your home.