Recently, both our children chose wedding days at Christmas to honor their late Father and myself. And so I thought they might like this "part one" of THE story of how we met and married. It was all so grand to us, and a gift of empowering love is their birthright! But that's another story. More will come.Read More
Another reason why I love my "Art With Heart" projects is Leukemia's thumbprint in our childhood in the 50s/60s. I am experienced and appreciative of helping and helped. It is February and in remembering our family February folk, Uncle Joe's story came to mind.
When our Uncle Joe was diagnosed with Leukemia, still in his twenties, we were not really surprised - in a very hardy large family, Uncle Joe had been the one to fall ill and have accidents easily - but seemed to have won thru and grown up handsome and happily married and loving Father We thought he'd outgrown his issues, but now maybe not, because it was the 1950's and people did not do well with leukemia - they died. To this day he is the only cancer patient among them. He was in his early twenties. NOT fair.
All the brothers lived in town and overnight we were no longer just an easy breezy family but on a mission to fight and win for Uncle Joe. There was NO GOOGLE - but we raided our encyclopedias and medical books and the local libraries for helpful information, and extra time in church and prayer at home for God's grace in this new and frightening scenario.
One of the uncles was genius at finding the business end of research data for our education on the topic, and we learned that the disease was "THE project of the moment in medicine" , so we applied for help. Soon, various clinics, practices, hospitals for tests and treatments followed - and sometimes there was some remission - a new word in those days - only for the thing to come back with greater virulence than our violence at it could overcome.
And the money! Entertainment's Danny Thomas was very active with telethons to raise funds for his Saint Jude's Children's hospital for Leukemia . We children ran all over the place fundraising for him and many of "our-rown" contributed well, praying to Saint Jude for a cure for Leukemia. Polio was recently cured, so why not?
We'd find the money. HMO's were not that great - we had Blue Cross / Blue Shield, but Uncle Joe's coverage lapsed after a time unable to work and pay premiums. But Medical care still costs money. The family was large, and good-hearted, so we all contributed any loose cash. I was approaching ten years old, and my parents had money but expenses and I remember being old enough to become alarmed for our own security, when this extra cash outlay went on for some years.
In addition, they all took turns giving their time to care for Uncle Joe on site, at home or in hospitals,....and even then it was not enough. I remember the house getting frantic on the topic and there were tears of frustration....and no normal days for normal family life at home.
The "Negotiators" among the uncles got busy, looking for funding - a concept we never broached. We have money- we pay. NOT this time. And now, the rest of us did our part in prayer and care.....and one day we got a call: " Done and done! The Kaiser Foundation was studying the disease and, if Uncle Joe would share data about his illness for research purposes, they would pay the bills!
Mister Pugh, the representative for Kaiser was the Hero of the Hour ! He met us all and spent time with Uncle Joe concerning his care and signed on as responsible for the bills, while being minimally invasive, so as not to tire him or corrupt the existing care.
We were euphoric ! We knew Uncle Joe was gravely ill and yet hoped that the new money would empower the healing miracle. The frantic looks on my parents faces went away - a bit of "normal" returned and even good humor. There were new hopes and expressions of gratitude to Kaiser. The children sent charming thank you notes in childish hands and added them to the sentiments of the grownups to let them know they already did miracles, bringing the minds of Uncle Joe's folks back into sanity. "Mister Pugh of the Kaiser Foundation" was the holy name in our home.
My little brother and his pals and cousins would dance about, playing with the name. "Yay ! Mister Pugh of the Kaiser Foundation! " - then, thinking it brilliant....." Mister Peeeeeyouuuu of the Kahdeezer Foundation" ( a slang word in those days for flatulence ). NOT every okay to say, really... regaling ...running thru the kitchen where the grownups were meeting, causing Mother to look to Father, with that glance that requested disciplinary action for mischievous boys....but not this time: "Let 'em run for a minute" - Dad replied..... and all agreed.
Why the new zany stuff I wondered - soon, one day the mystery resolved when Dad returned from one of his care visits to Uncle Joe. He leaned against the kitchen counter and cried, tears of loss and failure and resignation. " He's not going to rally again. He is going. He could not even lift his arm into his pajama sleeves. And I had to help him in the bathroom." to his family soon joining his sorrow. We learned the meaning of "loss" too too well. Years of struggle and work had passed, and only to lose the battle. I guess we all lose the battle one day, but that day, we could, at least, be pleased with how well we responded to one another and lived "team family" to help another. We did our parts and our personhood and through tears, we could still see our love was stronger than ever. Soon afterward, Uncle Joe was released from this long suffering and we all agreed that, as beautifully as he held up, he'd surely go straight to heaven. We still think so.
This is one family response story. I realized later in life, that I had come to believe all families were that good - that responsive - that social - that "team" and that happy to do it! We ended up with a nice collection of memories, some real world skills to apply on another day and some extra health of our own for the strength and insights that come with helping.
We are all different. Not everyone should get helpful. But we should all keep aware of need and at least be ready to call for help, for ourselves and others, in ways that save the day. No risk - fine gains. yes.
Happy Birthday elelfagan.com - 16 candles at least! Sto Lat and Faed Saol duit - long life to you ! Ellefagan.com , this is your life:
I was Snapped suddenly out of my path as busy and happy arts/tech/civic worker - girl, young lady, redcrosslady, wife, mother, widow: one day a spinal injury demanded immobility - just at menopause and adding to the confusion, suddenly, getting across the room was work, and not obscene or profane, but praying about it, there remained NOTHING in my life but the dead stop.
My son in California found out and flew in and visited my Connecticut home - a tiny but lovely "she-shack" as they call them, full of sunlight and quality fittings and pronounced "My Mom's not going down from this." I sat UP.
A world class IT pro, this was more than help with the dishes or taking out the trash my son was bringing. Of course he owed me a car, but that's another story. He'd been my buddy for projects in childhood and I was his money in those days - a lot. Laughing to be doing a thing again, were up all night with a new Apple G3 PowerBook and Angelfire.com free website templates. Designed by entrepreneurial IT genius, Ivan Vachovsky, the Angelfire pages were set up like "training wheels" - one could simply fill in the blanks and and use the templates to easily achieve web pages.....orrrrrrr....opt to do one's own code...in some places or the whole page. Soon my list of skills included coding - hooked on code - doing it, joyfully, up all night!
Soon after that, I knew I could enjoy my own domain with ease, since Anglefire could host a paid domain as well - a nearly seamless transition and on this day in 2002, ellefagan.com was born.
Because of the wonderful new way to do my lifelong arts business, frightening pressures and fears disappeared: I did not need to be medicated to calm down from the shock of sudden cessation of mobility and work - as many accident victims are. We enjoyed site development and renewed artsales and , just when I thought my life was over, it took a wonderful upswing! Exhilarating and inspiring! For ten years, but then ...
My site is a child of my later life - so when the web host sold to new people and they accidentally hacked my site in the mess of changover, in 2014, I was very upset. That's my baby! Worse, the new owners felt it okay to USE my domain name to advert THEIR business ! Worst of all, in rescuing my files frantically, my aging iMac fried! Heavy sighhhhh.
I reported it to legal people and the naughty new host paid a small penalty, and stopped the hacking, but online regulations somehow injured me more - I would be without my own domain for a few months and would need to wait till domain renewal time and then need to buy it again, and path to a new host with it , if it was available. This was, of course, nonsense, but just back to a normal living space and work path after the disability, I was unable to carry the right clout to win "in the clinches".
Until the renewal date, I babysat my domain name, watching for any further abuses and the small financial compensation was not enough, but it helped pay for the new computer, at least. I will never be content with the way of it. In 2015 price tallies, there should have been at least one zero on the compensation. But when I went back to achieve better, I was violently dealt with and had to temporarily let it be.
That was three years ago. I had injury and a close death in the family, and was not up to pursuing it sooner. I am up to it now, but not likely to get anywhere on it- the issue and its validity timed out, I'll bet.
But "Triumph ! "
I found a wonderful new Webhost, "Squarespace" - purchased a new - interim- domain thinking "okey dokey....if it was going to be harassment for innocent ellefagan.com, let's see how elleSMITHfagan.com is received."
I began the task of redoing my ten-year-old site at a new location, sifting through the pile of files from the old site. A LOT of work - and I guess I did "Sow in tears! "
However... I could do wonderful NEW work and the new site was much better in every way, I think. The mess was a left-handed blessing: the Squarespace folk are very arts-friendly and the site got a serious re-organization and streamlining and is almost in readiness for a few honors it may receive. My injuries mended, a bereavement clear now, I will promote and promote the site and finally "reap in laughter", as they say in the bible.
Well that's the story, ellefagan.com ! A real Adventure-girl of a tale for the Third Millennium! And both of us better for it in every way. May the story inspire others to the journey as well !
In the middle of a tech fix at my site, to improve security, we celebrated the 16th birthday of Ellefagan.com.
Celebrate with me.... Life online began as "not an option" and became my miracle - but that's another post .
Just as we were doing the shoutout, I stopped cold from an insight on a Freudian point that identified and removed a tumor in my psyche there since college.
It is the idea that, although a family with an only child or only son and only daughter might find there are issues with "lonely only" cravings for siblings, keeping the family circle "mean and lean" may be better for CLARITY in the life path and in fact be the better way.
I do not know about better...but it is different in some ways.
Our parents hoped for four: two boys, two girls. I was born in 1947, brother in 1949, then the second boy, baptized Kevin, was lost in a preemie birth related to storm flooding, in 1951, and my sister born in 1953.
My brother's life has had better focus, easier self-actualization , while my sister and I , though gifted and happy and successful, seem to "guck about" more. We sang in harmony for the most part, shared a room in childhood and were great friends as young adults. But later in life, have had moments when we seemed to be jockeying for our way in things - not gracious. I told myself it was just my brother's February Aquarian way- they tend to be fleet-footed and leave others in their dust.
I just wondered... comment welcome.
I'd been away from home so long , but home on this day ! Driving through childhood neighborhoods full of sunshine and beauty and health, I suddenly remembered that , as a girl, I had a pronounced septum in the center of my upper lip. I thought it pretty at the time. I blushed , driving, and checked for it - it was gone! Under the circumstances, not surprised. I spent some time in many moments that week seeking it. Found it.
Better. In the past three years before that moment, every destructive thing that can happen at a lady was inflicted on my honored and innocent self, till finding that septum was important.
I would be just plain dazed, in-between tasks for the survival of my "nothing bad ever happens to me" self and our gifted and worthy son and daughter. Oh la! And now it seemed we were going to make it! The dust from the troubling of our path was blinding sometimes, so I knew I'd better watch for things - a few difficult ones - to fix as it cleared, but it looked like we'd make it just fine after all !
I'd seen "us " in my minds eye years before there was an "us" - in detail that was scary, actually but grand. I prepared. I was ready and jubilant and grateful. My late husband and I did so well , and then even better with the children, and we welcomed all aspects of a good and giving life, for seventeen years. But then he woke up one morning, we kissed, and his aneurysm burst, he fell and died. The 1981 moment.
I'd not been a chattel, or dormant at all, ever , and yet, not just our lives had been stricken - our matrix had gone mad, at that time, inflicting further injuries on us while grieving. In 1981, Praising God was not the sterile act of a dutiful soul, or the dainty act of a churchlady, but horrible life breaths, in gasps of gratitude, for the holy strength that allowed us to cope and even win the moments.
Before the promised new sunrise arrived, there was a very long night - and I knew the heart of the Mother in the Solomon story and worse. Even major achievements in life before and since, were non-events by comparison. I have been an innocent accused and slandered and at one point, literally beaten, raped, robbed and left for dead in a ditch. And obstructed in obtaining justice and even modest compensation.
Therefore: what I was not able to fix I must at least report and share. It's stories - true ones. If it is true, if it is real, if it is life - yours, mine , ours - it is not boring. May the telling of it support that thought. Tell me where it bores or oppresses - it is not chiseled in granite - usually easy to fix and still stay true.
It is a beautiful new year and I am thrilled - truly thrilled - about a lot of things in my life, at upper midlife. This is the first of "Timeline" stories. Introduction of a sort.
Work and love to share in all directions and good health, gold stars, and a neat snowy night in Connecticut to write its start. still, to maybe do the good things, before I am too old, or lose health and powers. This is a good time: Profound terrors and trepidations have been won through - most with Triumph - a few unfixable Failures. But both took years to integrate into the normal flow of life, so that they could be written and shared.
I will be genuine - not vain with masks anyone can penetrate - Life is easy - pay attention.
Our successes or failures must not blind us to that bit in the human genome where lives the appreciation of the miracle of life.
It is that passionate, active-not-dallying appreciation that makes us want to continue the journey - do more life - even on the most terrifying, traumatic, tragic, pathetic of days ! And prepare to show the heart, the smile and grace for the grand moments that must be just right.
Age may pale out our bodies, but so far, there is still that desire and instinct to rejuvenate that dynamic appreciation - mindfulness, maybe. The stories help restore the moments on this timeline that spark the rest, to create the continuum, and even entertain and inspire.
The historic church's Nativity Scene was brought out to be set up for its fiftieth Christmas, but the group was very worn-looking and needed repair and restoration. Most Certainly! It was clear that the group was much loved by the people and so I just loved it, too. Later that year came the easy opening to ask Father if I might restore the figures, to say thank you for the community support for me while healing from an injury. I had the interest and love and skills.Read More
Blessed Childhood, especially at Christmastime, included Advent Wreaths and Calendars. Happily Married with children later, it was easy to carry on such glowing customs and fill the house with all the good things in preparation for the Winter Holiday !
The Advent Wreath is perfect for homes with young children, and if candles are a safety issue, you can get non-flaming ones, but I simply stay alert - they are lit, honored and then extinguished, always with adults present. And soon the children are old enough and can even help light them - adding the appreciation of the children's growth to the event - it is all symbols!
Advent, itself is a commemoration of the ages and ages that mankind was urged to wait in darkness, and worked hard finding bits of the light to prepare for the Coming of the Messaiah - at Christmas, through our sharing of Him in Communion , to the Parousia, or Second Coming , yet to be !
The Advent Wreath as we know it today was the creation of a Priest in 1839, to help deal with wiggly little ones, enthusiastic for the coming of Christmas.
At our home for over 40 years now, this wonderful permanent brass wreath is brought out and shined, and sometimes we add some evergreen boughs around it. Our home in those years was a true Holly House, surrounded by the shrubs - since we'd begun our married life with a Christmas Wedding - and this one has bells for berries, and one of the leaves snuffs the candles afterward. It supports the Four candles lit at the four Sundays of Advent, in certain order and at every suppertime with prayer.
The Stag at the center holds the CHRISTMAS CANDLE, and both are symbols of the Christ. The Candle is always large enough to be lit each day thru the Christmas holidays until the Epiphany on January 6th. It is always white and the wick always "virgin" - never lit before Christmas. The Stag is also a Jesus symbol, especially among Irish since the stag will route the Irish archenemy, snakes - along with the Irish icon, Saint Patrick; "the Deers's Cry" his famous Lorica, calls to the symbol of the Christ - the stag.
The Irish French and Polish American culture is ours and so we chose the style to suit it. So think and have fun choosing ones that symbolize YOUR family's way.
Next, after some prayer for guidance for a moment, look online for a nice presentation of Advent Wreath Prayers and Liturgy. This one is from Loyala Press
Gather your family at some regular time - before , during or after the evening meal, and at the first week of Advent, light only one of the purple candles....second week two purple candles, third week is Gaudete Sunday and so the two purple candles are now joined by lighting the pink or rose one...then finally at the Fourth Week of Advent all four candles - three purple and one rose are lit, and each evening the candles and prayer are offered to prepare for Christmas. JUBILANT - the four candles are now taken away and the one large White candle in the center Reigns - The Savior Christ is Born and we celebrate in prayer and song and gifts and treats and fun social events and fine foods and more....until January 6th when the candle is put away and we thank God for one more Lovely Winter Holiday and its bounty of the spirit to warm us till Spring!
There is the feeling of immersion in the spirit of the Birth of the Messiah and a beautiful sense of family spirit growth and faith formation...no matter the faith. Such traditions help us to develop a very special sense of the spirit, of personhood and quality of life.
The Candle set is found at churches and at Amazon for very little cash - the large white one I always buy specially - this one is beeswax and elegant, but any good white candle is fine - also the large broad pillar candles that stand alone - all that is important is that it be white and never lit before. So you will want to use it up at special moments thru the year, so it is all gone by next Advent season.
p.s. the pedestal is mine and unique - not required; you can probably do a search for wizard pedestal and find some like it...... but to me it is a holyman and passionately supportive spirit - like Gandalf, Tim Cook from Apple and all Wizards who uphold the best.
I bought it on impulse and am not silly, so I looked at it , wondering what I was going to do with it and it has been busy ever since. Not always lit...but....When Advent is done the Christmas Tree takes its place. My apartment sized tree is a dazzler and takes tending and delights me and never dies from house heat before the holiday is done ! But the pedestal then gets set to one side till the next holiday - soon displaying a fancy Valentine, then the Easter Egg display and later flags and pumpkins. LIFE - it's about life - and please enjoy my wish for a Happy Holiday to you.
True Labor Day StoryRead More
The Winter Holidays work for a long list of reasons, but mostly because it Sings the Song of LIFE - in the midst of cold and unfriendly days each year where all is dead or domant. At such times, life is not merely charming, or warming - it is VALIANT.
Maybe that is why we love the story of Jesus so much - a really special new life, one that changed the world, delivered in the middle of difficulty. Valiant - a thing made more beautiful and clear because adversity did not dim its lights and actually made those lights shine all the brighter !
During a time where, in most of the world, people suffer from the cold its discouragement, this wonderful new life came to join us and show us the way. So, instead of hiding out or quitting or crying or stopping our work, we use the cold months as a generator of warmth, of insight, of triumph.
One day, as a girl, an uncle with farmer skills told me, as I asked why he was shining up his tools, when it was snowing and nothing doing, " In Winter is JUST when we do these things, and we study the catalogs ,buy the seeds and more, so when Spring comes, we will be ready and our tools and our plantings ready too!" I carried that loving chat with me till this day to share now with you...just a beautiful thing to brighten gray days. And he learned the way to use winter, in days when the Depression made such fidelity to life a valiant thing.
In college we learned easier lessons: the winter months might inspire our best works - the challenge of the cold reduces heat's stupefying way - and opens the eyes and the mind. Clear cold lights are sometimes the best! Every glance says death or sleeping till spring, but not us - we breathhhhhhe in the challenge and breathe out fire of the mind and heart and the soul. Every beat of our heart is winning argument against death itself. Is that why we believe in pursuing long life?
Christmas and it's supposed to be all about life and the birth of the Blessed Infant. Friends with new babies charm me and comfort me, this week, as we bury our Mother and our formerly loving family circle seems lost and hostile and not likely to gather well. The sudden death loss of my beloved husband taught me something ... NOT good about death. Are we supposed to be good about death? Actually , yes...but NEVER as coldly and godlessly as the current trend is selling it.
"There is no answer - seek it lovingly" covers the difficult things and moments - NOT the bloodless, soulless mess some are making of the beautiful process of change in life.
The latest? "Death Cleaning" - in which the ailing or older person keeps their home with things ready for removal upon their death. To actually call it "Death Cleaning" - no.
We might as well get serious about coffin-sleeping - done in hot climates for sanitary reasons and superstitious ones.
The tidied elder residence is very very good , for health and beauty, but NOT to call it "Death Cleaning" please. And NOT to impose. If the person themselves feels okay with it, fine. But you have no idea how abusive it is to be browbeaten into throw away parts of themselves along the journey, against their will. The joy of aging is dignity and pride in ourselves for handling life’s moments with courage and even fun and collecting and caring for the things associated with our worthy lives.
And artist friend felt that he WANTED to clear things, since his name on the art was famous; he feared leaving behind works that did not come up to speed and personal effects he did NOT want found and misunderstood by strangers and him not alive to explain. But that is the "horse of a different color" - the worth of the soul is upheld here , similarly, though the action is quite the contrary to "death cleaning".
Worse, I howled when my beloved godmother died because her great senior condo rules stated “ cleared out in 14 days” after death. BAD. There was not allowed even the legal golden rule thirty days to give the family the golden rule 7-10 days to worship , witness, inter and pray and comfort one another. I yelled for a change to thirty days for such
We are LIFE ! At death times, we write poems, give endowments, spend special times with the family and forever after, we show our love for life in memories of the one who passed, shared with all who might enjoy them. We support our own lives, when we honor the aging , dying and the dead.
But our changing society and its ways is threatening that. Pay attention and act in support of your elders - they ARE YOU in a few years.
Just a Christmas Card as is done, to show appreciation for those who empowered my life all year!Read More
True story - first published 2001
No matter how much we love the Winter Holidays with all the trimmings, there is the validity of Christmas 'stocking stuffers' - a refreshing escape from the "too-much-ness" of things. Stocking stuffers and similar "little-gift" observances renew the awareness that the true holiday spirit is a small and shining moment that connects people in light ! A funny little thing can be like that!Read More
Monday November 27th 2017 - grateful that good rest found me up and ready this morning.
Monday is Sunday for many artists because they work nights and weekends often, and sometimes permitted to do my Sunday religious things on Monday, as well, since the Sunday idea is restoration of the spirit , study and reflection - focus for the week ahead.
Lunch was wonderful Thanksgiving dinner leftovers and amazing soup! Then it was about packing gear and on to unfinished business from the previous Saturday. The bus at my door and ten blocks to Artspace Hartford, to pickup a painting that did not sell after this year’s OSH Group Show closing. Two strong fabric artwork sleeves and bungee, on a wheeled dolly for the 36 x 48 inch framed art, found me trotting merrily back home - cost: thanks to senior deals and planning - $2.24 , a fun fee for a trip to America’s cradle!
Connecticut State Capitol Hartford and the famous ancient burial grounds and waters taken by the Founding Fathers and the Old State House that ran things, including the famous Amistad trial, upstairs, and on the groud floor- well….ground: a mini-mall farmers market with dirt floor in places for livestock for sale and area produce in 1776. Today the modern Farmers Market pitches its tents and tables there as a love song to forebears. And THIS Hartord is my stomping grounds for five years now! Wow! The nation's first museum now crowned by a controversial neon “OMG” over the fine restoration, to show they are NOT only about yesterday.
Four shows done this fall - and fit again, after a disability - my window to un-disable my formerly-lovely money. New legal and business help empowers - I WILL do it. Recent prizes and sporadic sales satisfy the misgivings of others who are not used to working “upper-midlife-ers” like me. Done making less money than I made babysitting as a girl - no more - Dues paid - EARNINGS now and money fixes - age with dignity.
These were my thoughts, while minding it all, as the famous Hartford chill city winds caught the large wrapped wheeled painting, as though it was a boat sail ! But I smiled in my heart because I grew up on Southport Harbor and loved it ! So I tacked thru it like a good little sailboat art and artist, doing just fine! Ten or twelve historic blocks to the bus hub. Careful navigation wins.
When the bus driver looked at me at boarding, I said "not to worry, i am fine . I do this all the time! " truthfully, and settled safely and was delivered to my door before dark! YES...I love my life at “55-and-holding” ! Checking the FitBit ap when I got in - YESSSS!!! the extra work found me OVER THE TOP for the day's goals and blessed home base met by day’s end !
Do Monday right and the rest follows well.
Legend - fable - fiction - 2006 - from "A Christmas Stocking" by Louise Betts Egan
On that first Christmas, it is said, the night was wrapped in a bitter chill. The small fire in the stable was nearly out, Joseph had gone for food and the new Mother Mary worried that her baby would be cold. She turned to the animals about her and asked them for help.
Written in 2002, this little true story recalls earlier days:
Christmas at our childhood home, in the 50's and 60's was always filled with love and energy, church and community, and special family experience. Mother's eleven siblings, Father's seven...family visits took all twelve days!
Both loved all the traditions and observances, especially at the Winter Holidays. And one that made history.
Ohhhh! the preparations might have eclipsed the actual events, but never did - not once.
The Krustiki-making at Holidays! The heavenly sweet wafer crisps! The image on this page is of the irons used to make them - passed to me from my Mother, from her Mother, and one day to my daughter. It's not just a treat - it's a life thing and for the love.Read More
Controversy over the origin of the Famous Winter Holiday Song
By RUSS BYNUM, Associated Press Writer
- Dashing in the sun, through oaks and Spanish moss. Sleigh riding's no fun, when there's no snow to cross. Could "Jingle Bells" really be a song of the South? It's not hard to see why balmy Savannah has a tough time selling the Christmas carol as a native creation. Or why the claim makes folks in Medford, Mass. _ hometown of the song's composer _ cry humbug.
This much is known:Read More
True family winter story - first published in 2004
Both of our two childhood homes and neighborhoods were classic: this one, in 1959, was part of my Mother's inheritance from her Father. In happy and prosperous times, she and my Father remodeled it completely, and he carved her name in a heart on the foundation. Respectable property with vegetable garden, iconic local flowers and fruit trees, and , on the fence Mother and neighbor Julia Mills grew concord grapes and there was jam-making every summer! There were huge maples and oak with a swing always tied to its branches, and evergreens to tantalize us with promise of Christmas, all year long!
An Underground Catechism ~
You're all familiar with the Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I think. To most it's a delightful nonsense rhyme set to music. But it had a quite serious purpose when it was written. It is a good deal more than just a repetitious melody with pretty phrases and a list of unique gifts.Read More