Today would have been my sister Kay’s 52nd birthday.

Today I am taking a departure from the world of design and dedicating my Saturday piece to family! What better design could life give to you!

I consider Augusta an extension of my family. I grew up here and returned at the age of 57—after an absence of 35 years. My reason: family!

Growing up in Augusta during my pre-teen and teenage years of the 1960s, it was a well-known fact that if you exhibited a not particularly acceptable behavior, there was a Mother who knew the facts when you arrived home. Talk about it takes a village! Augusta certainly was a village. Families knew each other well and everyone seemed to have the same expectations for their children and even their neighbors’ children. I feel very certain this dedication to one another is still alive and strong in this lovely community today.

There is not a single one of you out there reading this article who hasn’t felt the warmth and uncompromising love a community and family can extend to you during difficult moments in your life. I can almost see you wondering why have I drifted so far off the subject I typically discuss with you on a Saturday morning! It is very simple: Today would have been my sister Kay’s 52nd birthday. I am having one of my Kay Days!

A year ago, my sister and I enlisted the support of the wonderful people of Augusta in helping with a need that broke our hearts. While the details of the need are not necessary to share, the goodness and thoughtfulness the people of Augusta showed to our family are! As a member of the Augusta family, you all stepped up by taking the time to locate petitions and sign them! As my Augusta family members, you understood the heaviness hanging within my family’s hearts. The decision did indeed work in our favor, and we were given a reprieve for another five years. As a family, we did it together. Strength in numbers is certainly a power to be reckoned with!

I spent considerable amount of time searching for a quote in regards to family from a past or present notable interior designer, but didn’t find one. So I decided to write my own quote: “A house is nothing more than a collection of boxes with floors, ceiling, doors and walls. But if a family full of love and respect for one another resides within those boxes, well then you have designed a home with its family!”

Every year I write a poem to celebrate Kay’s birthday. Let me leave you this week with a thankful heart for being a member of this community family!

Yearly Birthday Thoughts

On this day as I always do,

I think long and hard about you!

What would you have been at fifty-two,

Would your life have had a major breakthrough!

Or would you have been just like me,

Loved a day standing by the sea!

Would you have many children or just one,

Would that child have been like you, full of life and fun!

So many years have separated us from one another,

Do you spend your time with Dad and our darling Mother?

Every year on this day I think of you,

And today is no different I feel so, so blue!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Kay!

February 9, 2013

Jan Colvin has been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). She accredits her mother Pat Robinson and Lucille Chase for her intense interest and love for design. 

She has taught interior design at the college level and operated her private design business since 2001. Today she spends a majority of her time completing her new book which will be available in the first quarter of 2013.

Jan welcomes questions, which will be answered in her columns. Send your questions to: