spring delight – solc2018#20

The first day of spring is encouraging for many folks, for many reasons. It holds the promise of better days – warmth, growth, and delightful surprises.

The first day of spring, to me, is a reminder of my mother. Today would have been her 97th birthday. She has been in heaven for 15 years, but in so many ways, she is still here with us.

My mother was a milliner – she made hats. She LOVED hats. And she loved people.

Last fall a friend emailed me that she was going to an estate sale the next day that was featuring some of my mother’s hats. She sent me the online link with pictures. This friend thought the world of my mother, and she was going to get one of the hats for her daughter, who also remembered my mother fondly.

Our family doesn’t have many of Mama’s hats, and my daughter has been wanting one of her own. But sadly, I couldn’t go to this sale. I stewed about it overnight, and the next morning I texted the number listed for the person in charge of the sale.

I can’t come to your estate sale today, but Orcelia was my mother and we don’t have many of her hats. I would love to get one for my daughter. If there are any left after the sale, please let me know.

Immediately there was this response:

Really? That is great. Which hat would you like me to check on for you? I’ll be glad to keep it back for you.

The sale was starting in 15 minutes. I couldn’t believe this unknown woman was willing to help me at this busy time!

Long story short, she kept the white straw with the big brim and the flower trim. AND it was in the original box with Mama’s logo on it. This kind soul met me a few weeks later at the site of another sale she was preparing. She would not let me pay her for the hat. Bad karma, she said.

At Christmas, my daughter opened the mysterious big box – and loved the hat! She looks gorgeous with it on. She’s been planning the outfit she will wear with it to the races this spring.

Oh, Mama. You know how to delight us still.

Of course you were born on the first day of spring.

clothes make the man – solc2018#19

Today is a cool, cloudy, gloomy day, with storms predicted for the afternoon. When I dressed this morning I put on black pants, a brown shirt, and brown, clunky tennis shoes. And a black vest to keep away the chill.

My clothing choices reflected the weather of the day. This is often the case. I do try to wear something appropriate for the predicted temperature, but I often, subconsciously, choose colors and styles that reflect either the sky outside or, sometimes, my mood. That was the case today.

I don’t suppose this is unusual. But I can’t wait for warmer, sunnier days – with brighter, happier clothing!

As I thought about titling this piece, I remembered the words, “clothing makes the man.” I don’t believe this is a true statement, not in today’s world anyway, but I do believe that the way we present ourselves says a lot about who we are – or maybe who we hope to be.

I wish I were a better dresser, but I am definitely not of a fashion mindset.  I tell myself I’d do better if I lost some weight (and I would!), but the style gene skipped a generation with me. My mother had it and now my daughter does too. Meanwhile I adopt trends slowly and I wish I had more traditional choices in my closet, too.

Today’s fashion is sometimes “anything goes.” I am smitten by the tailored clothes in old movies (almost as much as by the decor…), and I feel like it is a sign of respect to wear your best for certain occasions – which I do. But things are not as they once were.

As I discussed in a previous post, my memory isn’t what it used to be, so I Googled this phrase.

There is a lot of history to it:

Clothes make the man: what one wears is taken by others as an essential signal of status. The proverb is recorded in English from the early 15th century, but an earlier saying in classical Greek is, ‘the man is his clothing.’

And psychology:

One study observed an interesting phenomenon: wear a white coat you believe belongs to a doctor, and you’ll be more focused. Wear a white coat you believe belongs to a painter, and you won’t see that improvement. It’s been well-established—in the scientific literature and real life—that what we wear affects how others perceive us. Women who wear more masculine clothes to an interview (such as a dress suit) are more likely to be hired. People dressed conservatively are perceived as self-controlled and reliable, while those wearing more daring clothing are viewed as more attractive and individualistic.

I like the quote attributed to Mark Twain the best:

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”

 

 

my Father’s world – solc2018#18

All nature sings

And ’round me rings

The music of the spheres

Spring is not even here (officially) yet, but all around us there are signs. Contrasting hints of a coming change. Not easily accomplished, but definitely on the way. A promise being fulfilled.

emerald grass

blossoming trees

swirling breezes

nest building

bulbs blooming

cloudy skies

bright sunshine

warmer air

snow flurries

sunlit raindrops

contented sighs

 

This is my Father’s world.

memory – solc2018#17

As I have aged, I find that my memory isn’t what it once was.

This used to trouble me greatly.

I taught at a school about 20 years ago with a PE teacher who had been MY teacher in high school. She had a few years on me. Even back then, I was noticing my memory lapses (a word, a name, the end of a story I was telling), and I once complained about this to her.

I have remembered what she said ever since. (So I guess I have some memory left after all.)

She compared the memory part of our brains to a filing cabinet. (I suppose these days it should be a computer filing system.) She said those memories were all in there, it was just hard to find the right folder (access the correct file) them when we needed it. This eased my troubles a bit.

So I am hoping the things I forget are still around, and will surface when most needed. If I dig deep enough.

Also, sometimes I recall things very vividly. And yet, when comparing notes with others, or when looking at pictures, I find that my memories are a bit skewed. Really?  They seemed so clear…

Today we are making a day trip to a lake where we once owned a house. We want to see how things look now (before all the leaves come out on the trees). There were two houses being built down the cove from us that looked like they were going to be quite nice. We want to see how they turned out. And of course we are curious to see our old cabin.

We haven’t been in two+ years.  So I wonder if my memory will serve me correctly? We shall see!

midway reflection – solc2018#16

Today is the halfway mark in the Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge 2018 to write every day for the month of March.  Many thanks – MANY thanks – to all of those who work so diligently to make this possible, and who challenge writers to… WRITE!

Time to reflect on how it’s going.

Since I haven’t written much since last March I have had to get myself back into the habit of noticing, pondering, evaluating, and then writing. Definitely a process that needs practice. I feel like I am still finding my voice.

It has been so encouraging to be back in this community of writers – to read their words, to further develop this habit, and then to have others read my words.

I am realizing that I need to be more real. I need to dig deeper, to reveal more of who I am, and to also think outside myself. I will work on that for the rest of the month.

Since I haven’t written in so long, I have several “life events” to share. Although they are not “fresh,” the words may gain strength through time. I hope so.

Looking forward to the rest of the month!

 

say what? – solc2018#15

Disclaimer: this post discusses one of my pet peeves.  If you are not interested in feeling peevish today, read no further.

I am sometimes concerned about the changes I hear in our language.

It may be yet another example of “herd mentality,” where people jump on a bandwagon that is full to overflowing, and they do what everyone else is doing – possibly without thinking it through.

First of all, it seems common to hear people to raise their voice at the end of a statement, as if it were a question. This leaves me wondering if they are sure of what they are stating.  “Today is Thursday(?)”  “We would like for you to come (?)” Some might say this draws the listener into the conversation. I beg to differ.

Then there are unusual pronunciations that are taking over:

  • “ohright” for “all right” :“Everything looks ohright to me.”
  • “impor-un” for “important” : “It is impor-un for you to understand.”
  • “sh” sounds for what should be “s” : “The shtress is shtrong on the shtreet.”

Finally, there’s the overuse (and inaccurate use) of words like literally, curated, and athleticism. “I could literally write a book with all the curated examples I have gathered of athleticism in athletes who are athletic.”

These grate like nails on a chalkboard. I should be more understanding, I know.  But I also think people should want to be correct.  The sad thing is, in today’s world, we do not attempt to correct these practices, which makes them more common.

Or perhaps it isn’t that imporun. I am sure I am being too shtrict (?) No doubt it will all be ohright (?)

a perfect picture – solc18#14

There is so much to like in this photo. I keep being drawn back to it.

  • The geometric design is endlessly fascinating. Circles, squares, triangles. Beside, between, and among. Woven together in a satisfyingly symmetrical pattern.
  • A compass that points out, but draws you to its center.
  • The overall intransient permanence and stability, yet with tiny shapes that suggest a sense of orderly, continual movement and activity.
  • The colors of primarily shades of blues and browns. Complimentary and contrasting as well.
  • Defining lines of brighter colors pop.
  • Those separate spaces in the somewhat equal shadows that are alike and different at the same time.
  • Hundreds of fuzzy dashes and short strokes that create the realization of living but dormant plant life.
  • The light – the LIGHT!– creeping in with highlights and silhouettes, adding clarity and focus, hinting of a new day dawning and busier times ahead.
  • The stillness and tranquility of this present moment in time.
  • Because I know and love this place, the heightened viewpoint makes me think differently and ponder a different perspective.

Can you see it? Are you curious?

The photo itself is in the previous post. Perhaps the picture will be worth a thousand words.

Hopefully these parts, made of words, are at least a suggestion of the photo’s perfect whole.