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Posts Tagged ‘Conversations With My Father’

I love that phrase:  “I should say.”   I hear it in a stuffy, 18th century, crisp British accent, complete with Mr. Carlyle pulling a kerchief from the lace wristlet of his velvet coat mid-quote.   Do you know who Thomas Carlyle is?  It’s okay if you don’t.  He’s but a click away.

The weird thing about me coming across this quote is Mr. Thomas Carlyle wrote The French Revolution:  A History, which was the favourite book of protagonist Sara Crewe in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s book A Little Princess which is my favourite book.  So that makes me want to read this enormous 3-volume account of the French Revolution (while remaining largely ignorant of our own right here in the U.S.)  I feel the need to learn more history.  All kinds of history.

My father and I went on a ride to Massachusetts today and I “interviewed” him from a book I’d bought, Conversations with my Father, which asked questions and left blanks so you could create your own memory book.  What was your first memory?  What were your grandparents like?  Did you have a nickname when you were young?

So I listened to my father’s the stories and wrote as fast as I could, and it was a beautiful day; we drove to both Magic Wings and Mt. Greylock, he telling me about his parents, grandparents, uncles, his brother — so many stories and memories.  I could almost see him disappear into the memories…as ballboy for his Uncle B’s softball team, full of adolescent pride to be part of the game.   His mind re-visiting the comfort of living above his grandparents, and having them nearby to visit.  He told me how his grandmother used to put an egg in her hamburger meat before cooking it, to make the burger extra-moist.  How he still remembers how delicious it was; how her apple pie beat all.  And how, when he was a very little boy, his pretty, sturdy, red-headed mother sang the Irish Lullaby to him at night.

It’s obvious he is someone who learned honor and respect at a young age.   Maybe even someone who didn’t need to learn it, because it was part of his personality already and then reinforced by necessity.  Who knows what makes us what we are?  It’s all these stories, all these memories, all these little details.   We came nowhere near finishing the book, but it was a good start.

Magic Wings:  where butterflies abound year-round

And

Dad & me up on Mt. Greylock.  Gorgeous view!

I guess I’m going backwards in the telling of things this weekend…

On Saturday it was the usual visit to see Boo.  It was so usual, it was almost an amalgam of all the visits we ever have.  He was good about half the time but definitely what Andy and I have come to call squirrely and he did, at one point, pull my hair in a double-fisted hard yank, but I know what to do — you grab the child’s wrists and push their hands into your head.  If you pull away it will hurt.  Then he mangled my spare glasses (thank God and little baby Jason I remembered to bring the spare pair).  But other than that, he was mostly just wild to swim.  Take a bath.  Go to the swim-pond.  Go to the river.  There were many kisses and smiles, and all was certainly not ruined.  So, a pictorial for you…

swimmin?

he was meditative for a while

i like this picture

It has, I should say, been an eventful weekend.  Now I’m getting a wicked headache and may go to bed even though it’s only 8:13pm.  ‘Night.

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