Ancient (?) History

How  old do we have to be before we realize that history is more than just the dates dead people did things?

World War II was ancient history to me—after all it was over more than a year before I was born! Never mind that the most common topic of conversation among children was “what did your daddy do in the war” or that every time we tossed a handful of dirt into the air, we yelled “bombs over Tokyo”. My daddy was too old to go to war, so I had no point of reference there and I had no clue what a bomb was or what Tokyo meant—it was just something we said. Continue reading

Bradley Road

For more than twenty years we lived in a subdivision with lots of short streets and cul-de-sacs. Getting to the “outside” involved going down the hill, around the bend, a few turns and finally a four-way stop at Bradley Road. From there Bradley took us towards town or to the shopping center a couple of blocks away on Clark. Almost everywhere we wanted to go involved Bradley Road.

In the late Nineties we were looking forward to early retirement and a year or so of travel in our RV. We had lived in California for thirty-some years and knew that one of our goals of traveling was to find some place else to live. Our children were grown and beginning their own lives. We figured they would move elsewhere, so why shouldn’t we? Continue reading

More Than a Moment

This blog is generally about those moments that change our lives in some way. They are often recognizable as one of Those Moments only with the passage of time.

Lately my life has changed considerably and it has been going on for most of the past year. That’s definitely more than a moment!

This time last year we were trying to stay warm in our 19th century Virginia farmhouse, hauling firewood in and ashes out. All of the warm ‘n cozy images of a nice wood fire had grown old and worn. We weren’t too far into spring when we decided enough was enough. We put the house on the market, it sold quickly, we cleaned and sorted and sold and gave away and put in storage lots of stuff and by the end of June handed over the keys to someone else. Continue reading

Organic Gardening…Not Exactly by the Book

When I was growing up, our family fortunes varied from No Fortune to considerable Misfortune. My parents vividly remembered the Great Depression when everybody had to be self-sufficient, so we always had a vegetable garden. And since my parents were officially old…mid-to-late thirties before I was even born, all their gardening was done the Old Way. Organically. I can’t say I was all that enthusiastic about Home Grown Stuff. It wasn’t anything like what I was used to out of a can when I was little and all our food came from the A & P. But if you get hungry enough…

I finally learned to tell the difference between a radish and a weed without having to pull the radish out of the ground. I also discovered that leaf lettuce (probably Black Seeded Simpson) was easier to put on a sandwich than super-crunchy, tasteless iceberg was. So I grew up thinking of myself as a gardener and when we children of the 60s took over the world and were going to set it straight, I was rarin’ to go. Continue reading

Chasing Old Hot Pants

Roughly 25 years ago I spent a few days with a cousin, one of my “grown-up” cousins that I didn’t know very well. By the late 80s, we were both quite grown up and enjoyed exchanging stories about our fathers’ family. She had done a fair amount of genealogy study but hadn’t found much past our great grandfather. She gave me all the information she had and expressed the hope that I’d be able to find something more.

That sounded like something little old ladies did when they ran out of other more productive things to do. I’d keep the information for “one of these days”, but didn’t tell her that. Continue reading

A Moment of Recognition

A couple of recent blogposts have tumbled together in my mind for the last few days and it is time to bring to light an extraordinary effort by a friend and fellow blogger.

On September 20 I blogged about being a volunteer and asked readers about their volunteer experiences. We all seemed to agree that we took volunteer jobs to enjoy the company of folks with similar interests or to do our part in our community or to meet new people.

About the same time, friend and blogger Elizabeth Cottrell posted “In Praise of Courtesy” on her blog. The essence of courtesy is to treat other people as we would like to be treated. Continue reading