“You only live once, lick the bowl” is about finding what brings you joy in your everyday life and making the most of each moment. The recipient of this year’s Womanhood Award is a woman who completely fulfills this theme. She has been described as lovely, elegant, classy, kind and hardworking – someone you can pattern your own life after. She is an amazing woman who never hesitates to share her talents with others.

To find beauty in the daily journey and celebrate the wonders of this world is a task for only the most determined of women. The desire to do this, and to do it to the best of her ability on a daily basis, truly describes Barbara Carroll.

She does not just simply “live life and lick the bowl,” she first finds the most beautiful bowl, fills it to overflowing with something wonderful, and then shares it with those around her – quietly and without fanfare.

Carroll was born to Tharon and Kathleen Salter, in Mt. Carmel, Utah. She has always had a deep love for family and she thoroughly enjoys spending time with them. She has been married to her husband Norman Carroll for 65 years. Together they have raised five children and now truly enjoy their 17 wonderful grandchildren.

Even though she has never lived outside of Kane County, Carroll has always had a thirst for knowledge and a great love of the arts. She has spent a lifetime studying many subjects. Her home has always been filled with books about famous musicians, gifted artists, and renowned museums. She just absorbs information about other cultures, ancient and modern.

Her love of learning was so great that it was no surprise to her family when, in her 50s, she decided to finally fulfill her dream of attending college. She enrolled in a music class and made the trek to Cedar City each week. The commitment of enrolling in college at that time wasn’t just ‘licking the bowl,’ it was diving head first into the batter! What an example that set for her children, to see the joy she experienced from pursuing something she loved. Her study, together with her travels to much of the United States and many parts of the world, provided her with great satisfaction.

She looked forward to meeting people, trying new foods and learning about the many different cultures. In fact, she began a family Christmas tradition where she would teach her family all about the Christmas customs of other countries. She is innovative and imaginative in everything she does. She would plot and plan for months and then, on the appointed night, the family would be transported to another place and time.

These “visits” allowed her family to actually participate in activities that allowed them to be a part of how the countries celebrated. Through her planning and creativity, they have stood on the banks of the Potomac River, visited the Swiss Alps, had a picnic on the Australian beach, and even traveled back in time once or twice. She has helped her family visit the world for 25 years.

In addition to this, there were, of course, family campouts, backyard barbecues, parties to celebrate the harvest of their pumpkin patch, Thanksgiving feasts and Sunday night popcorn.

One friend stated, “I wanted to be my best, because Barbara inspired me as she made music, cooked and baked hundreds of fabulous meals, entertained in her splendid home, cultivated flower gardens, graced her home with beautiful art including glasswork, paintings and furnishings, gave hours of compassionate service, made exquisite gifts for family and friends, created magnificent articles of clothing with her creative sewing and managed every task with frugal and tender care.”

Some people weave in and out of our lives over many years leaving precious memories of time shared together. Others become the actual fabric of our existence. Carroll enriches the lives of all those she touches – as only great women can do. She stands for a lifetime of hard work, integrity, service and, most importantly, a whole lot of fun.

The following is a memory shared by her daughter Cyndi. “When I was very young, I would accompany Mom to the Thunderbird Motel, where she worked as a housekeeper. One sunny July day we were cleaning the room of a family who were staying several nights when she noticed a notebook on the desk. On the open page in blue crayon was written, ‘I am six years old today’, followed by a drawing of a yellow-haired boy.

“Arriving home that afternoon, Mom immediately went to the kitchen and pulled out the mixer. I watched her for a while and then finally asked what she was making. ‘A birthday cake,’ she said, ‘for the boy in 223. Wouldn’t you be sad, being away from home and all your friends on your sixth birthday? He should at least have a birthday cake.’

“Later that night, I had more than one pang of doubt as we knocked on their motel room door. Wouldn’t these people think we were so strange, showing up like this? When the door opened and the little boy saw his cake, his face lit up and his smile went ear to ear. Both parents cried.

“That was my first memory of witnessing Mom’s thoughtfulness to others, but there would be many more to follow. By her words and deeds, she taught others how much good you can do in the world through little acts of kindness. She always took the time for a friend, to mail a thank you card, to deliver homemade bread or freshly cut flowers to someone in need, or to invite someone for a holiday dinner when they had nowhere else to go.”

Carroll is a powerhouse of focus and energy and her end result is always as exquisite as a petal on a flower.

After 83 years of living, time and health have slowed her activities considerably, yet she still finds a way to enjoy those things in her life that she loves. She still creates flower arrangements from her garden to be delivered to the church each Sunday so everyone can enjoy their beauty. She still takes time to read and learn, and she still plays the piano. For a lifetime, she has blended together what she loves, and she continues to live life to the fullest.

It is said that the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away (William Shakespeare). Carroll has successfully accomplished this task on a regular basis. No matter what today brings, tomorrow will find her gracefully providing a bowl worth licking for herself and those around her. You can bet on it.

Barbara, we are grateful for your example, your perseverance and your ability to enthusiastically enjoy life every day.