ANDERSON – Follow Betty Tufts through her home and she will lift treasure after treasure that prompts a story of family. From knick-knacks that were given to sketches that were drawn to features of the house that were installed, the pieces of her home are the calling cards of the ones who love her.
“Todd (her son) gave this to me a year ago Christmas,” she said, pointing to a professional-looking sketch of a farm house matted and framed. “He sat outside of my old house and just sketched it one day when he was in junior high or maybe a freshman. I didn’t know anyone still had it – but he found it and gave it to me. It is a treasure.”
In an adjacent room she pointed out another of equal quality that Todd created using her father’s old field truck as a subject.
While his artwork adorns the walls, his sister’s stamp appears in the structure. Tammy and her husband, Don Boyer, bricked in the fireplace to suit Betty’s tastes.
“It was just a plain tile and I really wanted brick,” she said. “Don can do anything – he also built this cabinet and hung my blinds.”
Draped through the loft are memories of her late husband, Frank “Ed.” A Civil War buff and history teacher for many years, Ed had quite a collection of books and patriotic décor. Hanging above the red sofa (complete with white and blue pillows) is a framed flag from Williamsburg circa 1896-1908. After she found it at an antique shop, Tammy helped with framing the worn flag which only dons 45 stars.
Even of the more simple items strewn about the home, many are gifts from family or friends.
“People know my style,” said Betty, who is retired from 32 years of teaching. “They give me things on Christmas and birthdays that fit in nicely with my décor. I love Shipshewana – a lot of my stuff comes from Shipshewana.”