My Aunt’s Bonnet

A smile for you this morning. 🙂

My Aunt’s Bonnet
by Edgar A. Guest

They say life’s simple — but I don’t know.
Who can tell where a word will go?
Or how many hopes will rise and fall
with the weakest brick in the cellar wall?

Or how many hearts will break and bleed
as the result of one careless deed?
Why, my old Aunt’s bonnet caused more dismay
than a thousand suns could shine away.

She wore it high through her top-knot pinned,
a perfect kite for a heavy wind,
but the hat would stick, though a gale might blow,
if she found the place where the pins should go.

One Sunday morning she dressed in haste,
she hadn’t a minute which she could waste,
she’d be late for church. Now the tale begins:
she didn’t take care with those bonnet pins.

Oh the wind it howled, and the wind it blew
and away from her head that bonnet flew!
It swirled up straight to select its course,
first brushing the ears of the deacon’s horse.

With a leap he scampered away in fright
and scattered the children, left and right.
A stranger grabbed for the horse’s head,
but stumbled and fractured his own instead.

After the bonnet a small boy ran,
knocked over a woman and tripped a man.
The deacon’s daughter married the chap
who rescued her from the swaying trap.

And she lived to regret it later on;
In all that town there abided none
whose life wasn’t changed on that dreadful day
when my old Aunt’s bonnet was blown away.

Some were crippled and some went mad,
some turned saintly and some turned bad;
birth and marriage and death and pain
were all swept down in that bonnet’s train.

Wives quarreled with husbands! I can’t relate
the endless tricks which were played by fate.
There are folk today who had not been born
had my Aunt stayed home on that Sunday morn.

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

Memory Lane Visits

The Bloganuary question yesterday, which I never got to, was “Do you have a memory that’s linked to a smell?”

The Bloganuary question today is “Describe the happiest day of your life.”

Visits to Memory Lane seem to be immanent in these questions. IMMANENT was the Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning. Not to be confused with IMMINENT, this word immanent means INHERENT or INDWELLING. Synonyms: essential, ingrained, intrinsic. A new word for me!

As to the first question, I thought of Avon Windjammer cologne. When I first met my husband and we were getting to know each other, he had this maroon furry pullover jacket, and he used Windjammer aftershave. I remember laying my head on his shoulder in that fuzzy pile and smelling the faint trace of Windjammer. I think I’d still recognize that scent.

As to the happiest day of my life, it would be hard to pinpoint because there have been many high points of joy along the way. Christmases as a child, carefree summer holidays spent with my siblings. The day our daughter arrived. One red letter event, of course, was our wedding. August 1970. And here’s one little memory snippet from that day.

Are you old enough to remember fluffed facial tissue flowers? We’d cut out a big cardboard heart to put on the front of the best man’s car, and the daughters of friends fluffed Kleenex flowers for days before the big event. In the morning we pasted them onto the cardboard, which our best man attached to the grill of his car. And of course we didn’t have quite enough, so my bridesmaid and I spent an hour or so that morning fluffing more tissue flowers.

We drove away from the church in style! Then sometime after the service but before the reception we got a nice little shower, just enough to water our flowers. 🙂

No More Coddling!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CODDLE. We ladies had a little discussion in Sunday school yesterday about “How much to do for your children,” which fuels my response to this prompt.

NO MORE CODDLING!

Jake tapped the corn syrup bottle in disgust. “Mom, I want the maple syrup, not–”

His father interrupted. “If you want maple syrup, get it yourself.”

Mom was already half way out of her seat when Dad grabbed her arm. “Sit down, Nancy.”

She protested. “I can get it for him, Dan. He’s probably tired from all his building yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. I’m exhausted!” Jake added a weary sigh for effect. He looked from one parent to the other, waiting to see how the ball would bounce.

Dad put an arm on Mom’s shoulder. “If you continue to coddle him, he’ll want you fetching and carrying for him when he’s thirty-five. When he and Tim were working on their tree house yesterday, he was carrying wood and pounding nails for an hour. He can manage a syrup bottle now.”

Jake rolled his eyes, got up and shuffled to the fridge. He grabbed the syrup and plunked it on the table, dropping into the chair again with a martyr’s sigh.

Mom watched her eight-year-old boy pour syrup on his pancakes and wolf them down. Tears picked her eyes. Would the time come when he didn’t need her at all – for anything?

A moment later Jake slipped off his chair. “Some of the guys are getting together at the school to play scrub. Is it okay if I go?”

Dad grinned at him. “After you put the syrup back in the fridge, and help your mother clean off the table.”

Greats & Great-Greats

The Bloganuary question for today is: How far back in your family tree can you go?

Clicker-Free Vector Images — Pixabay.

By accessing the records of Ancestry. ca and My Heritage.com, I’ve been able to find the great-greats and more, on both sides. My Mom was a Harmon, her mom was a Falconer from Minnesota. Grandma Falconer’s grandparents came from Scotland as singles; I have record of their marriage in Philadelphia, PA. Grandma Thelma’s mother was a Working, from a family that emigrated from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania.

The James Welcome Harmon family came up to Canada from Minnesota to homestead here in SK. There were Wilson, Smith, and Sillsbe women married into that family. I can go back with that clan at least six generations, to the state of Maine.

I have records back to Great-great-great-grandfather David Vance who married Agnes Jones in Gallowayshire, Scotland. David’s four sons came to Canada; en route my gr-gr-gand married Sarah, the daughter of Samuel Allen in New York. The Allens go back to Plymouth Colony, now Boston.

Great-grandfather Samuel Vance was married to Mary Smith. No Smith family records, as her father, John Smith, was kidnapped by a press gang when he was nine. John worked his way to Ontario and married Ruth Dobson of Oxford County. Her family came from New Brunswick. I have record of great-grandmother Ruth’s parents and siblings.

My dad’s mother was the child of Alice Watchorn (her father Charles’ family came from central Ireland to Lanark County, Ontario) and William Turner. I can only go back to his father, my great-great-grandfather Charles and his wife Alice Doyle. He supposedly came from Ireland and married in Halifax Nova Scotia.

I find genealogy interesting, following all the lines reaching back into history, and would gladly connect with folks on the other family tree branches. But the effort would have a lot more meaning if I didn’t just have names and dates, if I could actually roll back the years for a few minutes and see the sort of people they were, how they met, etc.

Jubilation

Today’s Bloganuary Challenge asks the question “What brings you joy in life?”

In a nutshell: my family, my hobbies and interests. At this stage of life I don’t feel a lot of the thrilling kind of joy, but more of a deep contentment and gratitude for the many blessings God has given me. My spouse, my daughter and her family, my grandchildren. Our home, the acreage we live on with the nearby woods full of birds. The blogging community I can be a part of.

I enjoy writing, blogging, poetry, reading, painting, piecing blanket tops, doing jigsaw puzzles, listening to singing. I enjoy visiting, especially with the seniors at the Villa. I was there yesterday helping them with their jigsaw — a really hard one for senior eyes! I enjoy watching the birds. Observing nature, weather, the skies — all this brings me delight. Which is why I’ve used nature themes for my book titles.

Sask prairie & sky

The first thing that came to mind when I read the challenge was this song, which I heartily agree with. Here are the first two verses:

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

    Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee    
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
    Op’ning to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    Drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    Fill us with the light of day!
    
    All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
    Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
    Stars and angels sing around Thee,
    Center of unbroken praise.
    Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
    Singing bird and flowing fountain
    Call us to rejoice in Thee.

    Henry J van Dyke
    1852-1933

 

Grace

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is GRACE.

As Martha, today’s prompter, writes, GRACE isn’t the easiest word to define. Still, M-W offers eight different definitions, some with three to five subs.

Grace is a NOUN describing physical grace as shown by APPEARANCE or MOVEMENT; or social grace as in CHARM or the ability to make others feel at ease; or showing FAVOR or APPROVAL–the disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.

There’s divine or spiritual grace as in the MERCY or PARDON of God. As John Newton, a former slave ship captain and merchant of human lives wrote after his conversion: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!”

And then there’s GRACE the verb, meaning to confer dignity or honor on someone(s). The mayor graced us with his presence at our charity function. Also to ADORN or EMBELLISH: The finest bone china graced the dinner table.

When it comes to GRACE as it relates to us mortals, most of us can relate to the butterfly. Grace isn’t something we’re born with.


It takes time to develop. Some children may have natural tendencies to be careful or supple, but mostly grace is learned from the good example of others and by enforced daily practice. “Now say ‘Thank you” to Grandma, Carter.” “No, Sara. We do NOT say things like that in public!”


Grace usually takes serious effort on our part.


We all admire full-fledged graces.


Graceful people bless our lives. People who are kind, who respect your rights and your stuff. Folks who don’t walk on your floor with their muddy feet, who don’t grab the last cookies, who consider your feelings and don’t ask embarrassing questions, friends who don’t blab your secrets, flirt with your spouse, etc

Pixabay images:
Caterpillar: Virginia Costanzo
Cocoon: Kathysg
Chrysalis: Francesco Vignati
Monarch Butterfly: Dawn Howeth