Monthly Archives: December 2017

Character

Recently a friend wrote on her facebook page that we need people of good character in our government. It occurred to me that I hadn’t heard that phrase for a while. It doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was.

I was very close to my grandparents. They lived in the next town and I spent a lot of time with them. I may have felt especially close to my grandmother because my father spent the last three months of his life in the hospital and my grandmother took care of us while my mother was there each day. I was four months old when he died.

Me with my grandparents and 25 years later my son with them. One of the things I am happiest about in life is that they were able to see my children.

I was raised that the most important thing about you is your character. It meant that you had integrity, were always honest and responsible, and you showed respect to everyone, even those you didn’t like. You didn’t say  mean things about people behind their backs or gossip about them. Of course there were slip ups. There still are! I would be painting too unrealistic a picture if I said there weren’t. But they were occasional slip ups, not the way one deliberately chose to live one’s life. (See, I still have to be honest.)  🙂   I never thought much of it. It just was. The friends I chose and still choose were also raised that way.

My grandfather during WWII. He was also in WWI training to be a pilot but fortunately the war ended before he completed his training.

I only saw my grandmother mad once. She was telling me about the time a man came to the house during the war and said he was re-possessing their car. She angrily told him that her husband was away from his family in Europe serving his country and that he always paid his bills on time. I realized that all those decades later she was still angry that someone had assailed his character. She finished the story by saying that they didn’t even have a car then. I laughed but she didn’t. How I wished I could have been there and matter-of-factly told him that he could take it.

My grandfather wrote the chorus of a country song from his grave. Which is curious also because I am quite sure he never listened to a word of country music. I listen to it all the time but prefer the classics since so much now is just pop. A few years ago I heard a song called “Something to be Proud Of” by  Montgomery Gentry. I listen to it on youtube occasionally and always get teary. Every single thing that is said in the chorus were things my grandfather said or demonstrated in my presence. He used to have me count the flags that were out around holidays when we took my grandmother on errands. When each of our children was born he told my husband that when his children were born his father told him that on that day he was the richest man in New London and that on this day my husband was the richest man in Glastonbury.

We were supposed to live “a life you can hang your hat on” as is sung in the song. Not my family’s words exactly but the meaning was the same.

Shouldn’t we have leaders that have similar good character??  Maybe I should send them the youtube link.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXg8E0kzF1c

Not Really Chosen :)

winter morning dec 2017

This morning we awoke to this beautiful scene at sunrise after getting 3″ of snow yesterday.

 

 

 

 

One of the things we did yesterday as it snowed was to decorate the tree. I realized this is the 182nd December for this house. I wonder if the people who built the house in 1835, the Storeys, celebrated Christmas that first year. Likely not as there wasn’t widespread popularity for it yet, especially in this land of my Puritan ancestors who frowned upon such ideas. He was a shoemaker so maybe he just kept on making shoes by hand that day.christmas tree 2017

Today I am getting together my finished- not all are-  handmade Christmas gifts so that I can mail some tomorrow. I was thinking as I grouped them together that each of them reflects the subtitle I gave my blog almost two years ago:  indulging in the delights of spinning, dyeing and weaving, soap making and gardening.

handmade christmas gifts 2017

Handmade soap, handspun muffatees (small fingerless gloves), mint for tea and herbs for a dip from my herb garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t chose the items on that basis any more than I ever chose to be interested in these things. My excitement about making these things just burst out from within and took over. Maybe it could be said that long ago I then chose to follow my in-born interests but that isn’t really true either.  I would be very unhappy if I had to stop any of them. No choice there! I just love them and feel lucky to have them in my life.

I was someone who at the age of 8 designed gardens in the sand at Waterford Beach using shells, seaweed and stones to represent vegetables despite the fact that no one at home gardened. I was someone who started to get ready to make soap the minute her sister-in-law sent her an article about it in the 90s although she had never heard of it before. Someone who has always loved animals, again not raised by animal lovers, and remembers the first time she touched a lamb, at the San Diego zoo when she was ten and told her mother in surprise “It feels like wool!” Smitten.

Someone who during this Christmas season feels very fortunate to feel passionate about  these absorbing, lifelong pastimes because they bring so much to her life, and fortunate to have the opportunity to indulge and share them with the people in her life.