Craela’s Omar & Yasmeen

I’m still in my grateful mode, dear readers and this month I’d like to give tribute to a very special human being, who was an extremely talented person, and who just happened to be my mother-in-law. Her name was Craela and she was one of those rare people whom everybody loved. I adored her.












She was the manager of an ice cream store in Overland, Missouri, which is a suburb of St. Louis and every time my husband had leave from the military, we’d pack up the car, gather our son and dog and head in that direction to visit, stopping at Velvet Freeze Ice Cream store on the way in.  Hubby and I always had a hot fudge sundae and, Rob, our son, had bubble gum ice cream, you know, with the tiny chiclet type pieces of bubble gum in it. And when Rob was small, his name for Craela was Nano

Inside Velvet Freeze, Craela had drawn posters in colored markers of her customers, especially the “apple cheeked children” and had them displayed all over the store. She knew everybody’s name and everything about their families and what kind of ice cream they liked. People flocked from all over the area to go there. I was always amazed she could remember them all.

Craela loved to paint in oils and later in Acrylics and she’d often give newlyweds a painting of hers as a wedding gift. Her style was really unique and hinted on fantasy and sometimes her subjects were humorous and somewhat cartoony. I remember one Christmas she’d hand-blown eggs and painted the shells to look like each member of the family. They were personalized Christmas ornaments on her tree and were really beautiful and so remarkable. And the neatest thing about them was that they looked exactly like each of us!

One year she made me one of those kitchen witches that were so popular years ago. I still have mine hanging in my kitchen. The witch is supposed to keep away gremlins that like to misplace things, but I think mine has gotten lazy. Anyway, she’s so unique and I love the way she looks! What do you think?

Nano’s Kitchen Witch











But I think the crowning glory of the things Craela made me over the years was a doll named Yasmeen. She was a Christmas gift and in the box with her was the story of Yasmeen’s life. It told of how Yasmeen has searched the world over for her beloved and would continue to search until she found him. The next gift was Omar, Yasmeen’s beloved. They met, fell in love and are now forever together. I found an exotic looking chair painted it gold and decorated it with jewels for a dance show I was in and it is where Omar and Yasmeen like to stay now. They reside in my bedroom and as I look at them every day, I’m amazed again and again that Craela just dreamed up these dolls and made them completely out of her imagination. She even used real eyelashes for Yasmeen and toe rings for her feet, harem pants and a jewel in her navel. And Omar has rings on his fingers, removable shoes and a turban on his head. Absolutely amazing!!!!


Omar & Yasmeen



Omar & Yasmeen



Sadly, Craela left this world in 1993 and I’ll always miss her, but I’m so grateful I have such fantastic memories of her. In fact, my son and I were talking about her just yesterday. And since my former sister-in-law and I have remained friends through the years, we can reminisce together about a truly precious person.

Do you have a special person that has influenced you in your life? I’d love to hear.


Coco Ihle is the author of SHE HAD TO KNOW, an atmospheric traditional mystery set mainly in Scotland. Please join her here each 11th of the month.


Filed under life, memory, musings

14 responses to “Craela’s Omar & Yasmeen

  1. Suzann

    Thank you so much for the article about mother. She was a wonderful person and my best friend. I miss her so much. Like you, I have one of her unique dolls and several of her paintings. Having lived close to my parents, my children were able to spend a lot of time with Nano. Sharing memories of mother keeps her close to all of us. Again, thank you, stay safe and healthy.

    • Thank you Suzann. Everyone who knew, Craela loved her and so many of us have precious memories that will last our whole lives. How lucky we were to know her! I’m glad you liked my tribute to her. She truly was special. I wish you and your family well during this difficult time and beyond. 🙂

  2. Rob ihle

    Great memories

  3. Mary Lee Moore

    Great story! I remember that chair. I remember the dancing Queen, who graced the chair and the stage! Happy memories!

    • Oh, you have a good memory, Mary!!! That was years and years ago. I still have that costume. All the others I was able to sell to a new enthusiastic dancer several years ago. I found that chair and refinished it, painted it gold and glued all the jewels I could find on it. I’m so glad you enjoyed that dance routine. It was fun to dream up and choreograph. Thank you so much!!!

  4. Renee Latty

    Special people! Hmmmm??? I am lucky enough to have so many “specials” in my life, I would be writing about them from now on!! I do count count my blessings for all of them!

  5. Renee, you and I are so lucky to be able to have such special people in our lives. And to be able to appreciate them, as well. Actually, I’m not surprised you have had so many. You are one in my life! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend!

  6. Susan Coggins

    Wonderful story and memories.

  7. Art

    Is that a family resemblance I see in Yasmeen?

  8. Cheryl Hilzer

    What a great story and person!!!

    • Thank you, Cheryl. Yes, she was! I was so glad to be able to share with others how terrific she was. Thank you for reading my post and for your comment. It means a lot!

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