Wednesday, January 19, 2011

third generation traditions

From the earliest time I can remember, my Papaw and Daddy have carried on a tradition that is keenly particular to them. The practice is a simple, everyday thing to which any normal human being can no doubt relate. The peculiarity of their method is compounded with several different factors which make it especially unique, but rather daunting to fully encompass.
It's been difficult to copy this practice to a tee, for there specific ways - touches of elegance and fluidity that only a seasoned practitioner could pull off naturally, and even then it lacks authenticity. We have endeavored however, faulty though it may be in some respects, to capture this tradition in photographs.

Here is an overview: and you must keep in mind that this process is a continual, flowing motion which lasts no longer usually than 30 seconds or so.

As we see these photographs, the obvious is before us: it is now time for the third generation to take up the banner and carry on these familial traditions to pass down to the rest of our posterity. Yea, it puts me in mind of a verse in Pro 22:28:
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
So strive we!

post scriptum:
A special thanks to Brum Fulmer who inspired the documentation and writing of such traditions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

life at the asylum

You might wonder: what would two souls do snowed in for a weekend and a day?
Well, it's impossible to tell you all, for we did too much to write.

But silly, silly, silly, that's for sure. We watched movies that were impossible to understand, read plant pathology books, listened to classical music,
delved into theology, took snow walks, laughed,
made up songs, told stories, sat by the fire and made faces at each other while studying and folding towels and wondered whether our surroundings might be real, or simply projections of our subconscious.

Abe was a dear. He didn't laugh when I burned the toast, messed up the coffee, set off the fire alarm or made him
hamburgers and fried onions for the third time. He answered my questions when we watched movies and always kept a fire stoked in the stove.

We had a grand time, though he was prone to poking, squeezing and teasing.

Life at the asylum was rather fun with the ole' boy and I laughed heaps and heaps so that the laughter piles started to take up most of the floor space and I had to step carefully lest I set them all off at once.

Abrum co-operated pretty well with my occasional photo shoot and only grunted a few times and said "but BRILLE!!! my nails ain't combed" and after those few protests, he acquiesced
All in all, for holding down the entirety of the grey submarine while all other signs of life were away, I think we did pretty well.
If I had to sum it up in two words, I must say de bolida!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

will you take greenhouse in your tea?

It's terribly old-fashioned, a greenhouse. When I think of a greenhouse I think of peaches and roots. I wonder who had a greenhouse first? I don't know, but they're warm and beautiful, greenhouses are. If I had a greenhouse I'd make it have orchids, and vines, jasmine vines, perhaps, and ivy. And daffodils - they are such cheery

little sprites that they fit in any time of year. It should be quite chock full of little nooks and crannies too, places to run off and read or imagine. A little cubby nest right in the middle of some wisteria and belladonnas should be just right. And lots of other nooks - some beside the violets and bluebonnets, lavender and skunk cabbages. (It wouldn't be quite healthy to have a greenhouse and NOT have skunk cabbages.) When I have this greenhouse, you may come and visit me. There will be a table right in the middle of one of the winding paths in the house.
All paths lead to tea, do they not? When you sit down, I shall ask you in my most aristocratic voice,"Will you take a greenhouse in your tea?" And you, as will all of my green guests, shall have to decide that for yourself.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

eh, for a summer home, i s'pose it'll do

You know that sense of awe that would come over you as you and your field trip group would step into a very old building? As you held your sack lunch, you didn't know how tightly you were squeezing the paper? And although you knew you were supposed to be paying good attention to the dates, facts and interesting tidbits about the history of the land, you couldn't help but lose yourself a little in imagining
what life must have been like in that place one hundred years ago? Well, I know exactly how that feels and a couple of weeks ago I had that same feeling all over again. I went with the Pritchett Family to the Biltmore house in North Carolina. The house itself was enough to flabbergast a soul, but on top of that there was the grounds, stables, greenhouse. Inside, from floor to ceiling there were myriads of wonders to look at. The tapestries, the paintings and secret passageways, the exquisite architecture and design. Every room was another reason to sigh in ecstatic wonder. I fell in love with the whole family. George, Edith and (especially) CORNELIA. Cornelia was pretty muchly amazing and I stalked her from museum to museum and read every sign or plaque that had her name on it. I mean - she had a pet skunk for goodness sake! (among her other pets including four St. Bernards, a parrot and a donkey which she RODE!!! (That struck me as funny, for she had access to fine horses and yet she rode a donkey? Yeah, major points for her.) You don't beat that. In my estimation, she was as spunky, charming and affable as they come.
We had coffee - so very yummy and hot and it was cold outside. On the whole, it was beautiful. We had snowball fights, a chat with Dianna (goddess of the hunt), smelled all the flowers in the greenhouse, checked out the kitchen (which smelled of cinnamon, yam and pipe tobacco to me), made sure their water pipes hadn't frozen (whitney turned on the water to be sure)
and skipped down George Vanderbilt's driveway.
There's nothing quite like that feeling of awe. That feeling of being in the midst of something so magnificent and beautiful and feeling so very small and peepish surrounded by it all, yet wanting to break out in a jubilant jig just because of the ridiculously amazing magnitude of the beauty and wonder. I can't quite reckon how the Vanderbilts coped with that feeling day in and out. Perhaps by wearing a perpetual look of amazement on their faces?

I wonder, if James Whitcomb Riley had visited that house, would he, in any way have been temted to recite "Out to Old Aunt Mary's" ?

Friday, January 7, 2011

reason or twinkles?

We are all mortals, yes. But there is an element of eternity living within us now. In some people it's easier to see than others.

Melody is one of those people and when you're around her it feels as if time slows a little, and you know it's silly in a way to do so but you can't help it - and wonder if she might vanish at any moment. I have suspected for a while that she probably dances with the faeries in our woods, but there is no way to tell, exactly. If it weren't for the little twinkle in her eyes that she can't hide, I'd have forgotten the whole notion ages ago.

Well, I found her in the woods one day, and set about getting some photographs.
If you look hard enough in the Grey Submarine, you will find stowed away on some shelf or in some corner, a notebook. It's pink. Open it, reader, snoopy adventurer, and you will find to your delight, a whole book of drawings. What's that you say? Oh yes, quite right, they do resemble Dr. Seuss' drawings, but they are not. They are, in fact, our own little Milly's drawings. Every one of them is different, though they hold much in common in that each picture has anywhere from 14-25 kids in them. Babies with hats, babies in stockings, pigtailed girls with baby-dolls and stockings, wiry haired boys with freckles and knickers - oh yes. Each picture is full of personality and fun and even relates some Norman Rockwell traits in that there is usually a story in the picture. I have had many an amused laugh and grin at that book. When you get finished, close it and put it back, is all I ask, dear Snoops. I have grand schemes of one day discovering Milly. As of now, I still debate with twinkles. But perhaps - just perhaps - some night I might steal away and find her in our woods dancing with faeries... What do you think?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

spoonful o' sugar

If ever I'm down with a case of the mulligrubs,  one of the best spirit-perking remedies is spending some time with my family. Are we crazy? Yes. Funny?
Well, we all seem to think so.  

We have the enjoyably interesting ability to entertain each other for quite a while. I don't know how many times (in the year and years past) I'll have walked into a room to find the rest of the crew in there laughing and watching each other. Soon, I'd find myself being drawn into the scene too - not necessarily doing anything, just watching.
There's something about that tie, 
 that connection that beats any game, past time, hobby, sport, book, food, drink, or what -have-you. Thank God for these people. These wonderfully eccentric, fun, happy, endearing folks I can call family.