Ides of March …

Minnie Pearl – daughter of Minerva and my mother’s nickname as dubbed by her daughters – my sister and I – had the dubious pleasure of being born on the Ides of March. My sister and I took immense pleasure in this fact – thus, we always referred to her via her nickname. She pretended to be slightly annoyed and that was the icing on the cake for us…especially since our father joined in the festivity with ice cream and cake.

Minnie Pearl was a truly special person – not only to us, her children and grands but also to the children for whom she gifted the love of books and reading over her lifetime, during her tenure as a children’s and branch librarian. She was an avid reader, never without a book in her hands or tucked under her left arm – except probably when she slept or bathed or was engaged in an activity that required use of her arms/hands… I remember calculating once that she read, on average, a minimum of 25 books a week, in all genres, both fiction, non-fiction, for all ages. She was an inveterate reader. Full stop.

Mama – her other name <smile> – apparently learned to read at a very young age; she lived about 4-5 blocks from the local branch of the public library and there she would escape her three younger sisters and a wicked stepfather (not mother). She managed to read all the books in the children’s section by about age 8 and the librarians decided there was nothing left but the “adult section” and so they let her have at it! That sealed it! She was forever hooked – and that love for books and reading was transferred to us: my sister and me and the grands and great grands and I’m sure their children.

She was the church organist during her pre-teen and teen years: during those periods in between announcements, sermons, she read : the Bible, more than once; Greek and Roman myths; classics; and I don’t doubt, some “forbidden fruit,” aka adult novels. I suspect she kept the books sequestered among the musical scores.

Mama also had another favorite place to read : a tree outside her second floor bedroom window. She would lock the door and climb out into the tree and read. Her sisters and stepfather were most irritated, to say the least. Mama just smiled, read and ignored. I remember thinking when she shared this story how neat that was; oh, that I could have such an adventure…

These days, Covid-19 notwithstanding, I have nearly all the time – tho’ not the tree – in the world to emulate Mama, but perhaps not. Other demands for my attention seem to be winning. At the end of January, I did a rough calculation of the number of pages in my stacks of books to be read…then : More than 4000! And that number does not include digital, audio or those print titles I’ve since added either because I forgot to initially include or they appeared in my life screaming “choose me!”

Today’s agenda is full – but there’s room for me to take time to add more reading minutes into the schedule, e.g, as I eat breakfast, listen as I drive to my appointment and continue reading (with my eyes or earbuds if my eyes are dilated) as I wait to see the doctor.

I have shared many times that my secret desire is to be cloned – so much I want to do and were there more of me, well… but, since cloning is not an option, I guess my next best option is to implement practices I can do.

What’s on your to be read list?

Cheers~

sometimes mondays | 3.30.20 …

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(just days ago, this tree was white flowers)

My DayONE journal prompt for today asks: What’s the oldest thing you own that you still use daily?  My answer: My brain! At least, most times, tho’ some days I wonder.

I also have, being more practical, several pair of flannel PJs that I’d like to nominate. However, they are pretty much worn to a frizzle frazzle. I hate to part with them, despite that they are thread-bare, mainly ‘cause they’re decorated with Scotty dogs… but, I will have to succumb and use the flannel pieces in a scrappy quilt perhaps or better yet: add to my memory keeping album. Yeah! That’s a great idea!

Interesting, yesterday’s Simple Abundance read focused on “Comfort Clothes and What They Mean.” Sarah shares that she has “a beloved pair of paisley cotton knit PJs that she would wear 24/7 if I could only figure out how to get away with it…”  I can relate tho’ I hasten to add that one would also need to shed periodically for a bit o’ washing, I imagine …

Also in my closet of well-worn, cherished items of clothing: 4 plaid, flannel night shirts. They are light-weight yet warm for cool mornings. I’ve had easily 15 years – several were my mom’s so they hold added value. I can just see her mornings, at her desk in a shirt, coffee cup in one hand, a pencil in the other with both the New York Times and Washington Post Sunday crossword puzzles in front of her…and as she tackled the NYT, she’d occasionally say “This is wicked, Honoré, just plain wicked.

As I write this post, the washing machine is going through the spin cycle, the first of several loads. There is comfort in this activity for it is familiar and well worn in my life too. I am grateful that during these social distancing times we do indeed have comfort memories, items, chores and evidence of Spring: green trees, bushes, and grasses.

What’s on your list of everyday comfort items? 

Cheers~

P.S. And a reminder: Tomorrow, 31 March, is our One Little Word share update on this blog. 

sweet poignant memories …

 

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Thinking about Mama: On this date, fifteen years ago, she died. Loss of a loved one, especially a parent, is always with one… but with each passing day, grief and pain yield to comfort, remembering  the little things, that over the years, become treasured memories…

Giving thanks for our lives and the guidance she and my dad gave to both my sister and me, the grands and their children – some who only know her through photos, our stories, our memories…

Inspired and comforted  being in my sewing studio, which was once her bedroom, especially with the sunlight streaming in. Remembering that my first blog – on blogger – was started as a way to remember and honor Mama and to document my stories …

Feeling warm, buoyed, honored and strengthened. Mama ( and Daddy) always treated us with respect, encouraging us to appreciate and be the very best version of ourselves – to learn … Ancora Imparo. I am still learning ~ Michelangelo

About the picture:

  • The grapevine angel holds dried flowers sent to me by my dear friend Kathy when my mother died. I set them on the angel, never expecting the wreath to live this long. I treasure seeing it every day, many times a day…
  • The statue of a weaver was made by my friend Pat’s mother and given to me by Pat – who knew my mother and that she also wove. The postcard photo of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico overlooks the area where my mother’s cremains are buried…
  • The quilted fleur de lis I made in honor of my mother two years ago; I shibori dyed  the fabric and hand stitched the iris.