Friday, December 26, 2008

A Kind of Hush

by Nancy

Some 40 years or so ago, a group of British musicians "invaded" the American music scene. Exactly 40 years ago yesterday (I'm writing this on Christmas Day), Apollo 8 orbited the moon with guidance systems more primitive than the computer on my desk. And somehow, the news coverage this week has drawn them together for me.

The title of this post was inspired by a song one of those invading British musicians, an extremely cute young man named Peter but known as Herman, made famous. The refrain was There's a kind of hush/ All over the world tonight . . . and went on to talk about lovers in love. There's a hush in my neighborhood right now, the hush that comes on major holidays when everyone's inside, at gatherings that mark romantic and filial and friendly love.

Not all of these holidays are Christian, of course. The world's Christian population is somewhere between 20 and 33 percent, depending on which sources you consult. Which means the rest of the world follows creeds (or nonreligious ethical systems) other than ones based on Jesus's teachings. In the United States, Christianity (and thus, Christmas) is a dominant cultural force, but that's not so in other parts of the world, where Jews, Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists dominate. In those parts of the world, I assume, shops are open, streets are bustling with whatever traffic is usual, and people are going about their daily business. Yet all of the major religions and ethical systems have at least a couple of things in common--a belief in kindness or charity to the rest of humanity and a desire for peace among peoples (I except the militant religious splinter groups from this statement and hope we can avoid discussing them. For me, at least, today is a day to think of peace on Earth).

Which brings me, at last, to Apollo 8 and its crew, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders (who took the famous picture at left). They noted that there are no boundaries or divisions on the planet in that photo or in the view from space. Subsequent astronauts have said the same thing, that after a few days in space, they stopped thinking about their own parts of the world and saw it as a whole. The Earth is, of course, still fraught with war, genocide, famine, and plague. The hush in my neighborhood doesn't extend nearly far enough. I hope, though, that it will someday.

In the meantime, I'm grateful for my family and our friends and neighbors and our peaceful morning. I'm also grateful for all the Christmases past that I shared with family and friends who've moved away or passed away. A good friend of ours made our beautiful tree skirt, came over with her husband to help decorate the tree every year until they moved to Arizona, gave us ornaments and beautiful, cross-stitched art, and reveled in all things Christmas except the holiday itself. They're Jewish, you see, and she didn't feel right about putting up a tree of her own.

One year, when I was about 7, I got the Barbie Dream House for Christmas. The adults in my life didn't realize it came with Massive Assembly Required (all the furniture--think tab A and slot B--which was then cardboard). I don't think, personally, that could possibly have been as bad as tiny decals for Gundams and Power Rangers, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the adults were so distracted by furniture assembly that they forgot to open the chimney flue. Until the smoke from burning wrapping paper poured into our living room to remind them. We had to evacuate the house until they got the situation straightened out, and then we froze with the windows open for a couple of hours. My grandfather lived with us, so our house was jammed with aunts and uncles and cousins on Christmas Day. And all us kids were in the yard together that morning, freezing. I cherish the memory of that day. All the adults are gone now, and the kids have kids of our own, and the cyle of life moves on.

I hope you've had wonderful memories of this day or other holidays your family celebrates. Will you share them? What's your favorite holiday, and what does it make you think about?

53 comments:

Virginia said...

Did I get him again!

Helen said...

Well done Virginia

Have Fun
Helen

Nancy said...

Virginia, you're on a GR roll! I hope you'll keep him very busy.

Virginia said...

My favorite holiday is Christmas by all means. I love spending time with the whole family. We all meet at my sister's house on Christmas for a wonderful dinner. My sister's house used to be my mother's house where I grew up. My mother past away almost twenty years ago but the memories are still there. Its like a part of her is still there, and you never forget those wonderful Christmases of the past.

Helen said...

What a lovely post Nancy how I wish there could be peace all over the world and I do love that song I have it on CD here and often listen to it.

Memories of special days are so wonderful and no matter what happens we always remember them. Christmas is such a special time in our family and has been ever since I can remember it is a time for all of the family to get together eat lots of great food and exchange memories as a young girl I would listen for ages to my parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles talk about the things they did as children and play with my cousins and make memories of my own.
This Christmas was very special Jayden and Hayley are at the age where their eyes light up with the presents and it was so much fun watching them open them and of course we had the 2 new babies in their bouncers watching what went on next year they are going to love the paper and boxes.

Have Fun
Helen

Sue A. said...

Nancy a heart warming post. And lucky you to have gotten a Barbie Dream House. I would have been happy just to have gotten Barbie.

I remember my extended family getting together around New Years, because the oldest of my father's many siblings also had a birthday then. The house would be packed with my cousins and as my cousins grew up and married, they added their own children into the mix. They were fun times! There's something magical about large families. That one generation held us together for decades. Now sadly we've scattered into smaller family units.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Virginia.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving is a close second. These holidays make me think about my family and how exciting it is to be seeing everybody for the big dinner.

Anna Sugden said...

Lovely post, Nancy. Happy Boxing Day, everyone.

I love Christmas - it's the one time of year when old friends get in touch, families get together and following the happy traditions always fills me with joy and peace. It's the one time when we don't travel - people are welcome at our house, but we don't go anywhere *g*.

Back later - got to put the Boxing Day soup on.

PJ said...

Nancy, what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your precious memories with us. My favorite holiday is Christmas and my memories sweet. Growing up, all my aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family lived within an hour's drive of us and there were many family gatherings during the holiday season. My parents and husband have all died, only one aunt and two uncles (out of 11) are still living and my brothers and the cousins are all scattered across several states. While we are no longer together on Christmas we share the holidays via loving and lively telephone conversations that bring back those wonderful memories and create some new ones too.

PJ said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could have the same perspective on our world as those astronauts?

I'm of the Herman's Hermits generation and that song has always been one of my favorites. I was enjoying my own "hush" last night. I sat in the living room with Christmas music playing, all lights off except the beautiful tree, surrounded by four worn out but very happy dogs and reflected on all the blessings of my life and another beautiful holiday shared with my family of the heart.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

One of my earliest and best Christmas memories was when I got a nurse's uniform for Christmas. I always wanted to be a nurse and one year I got the whole uniform. I also got Betsy Wetsy. Betsy Wetsy was a doll that cried and wet her diaper. She was my first patient and I kept losing her from her cradle because my dad was fascinated with her. Everytime I would leave her to check up on all the extended family in the house I would come back to find her gone then have to go to find dad.

terrio said...

Beautiful blog, Nancy. This Christmas was a bit different for me in that I spent it alone with a cold. But I realized this morning that I spent most of the day talking to family and friends on the phone. So even though they weren't here, they were still with me. Made for a nice thought.

Hope everyone had a great day and got all the things on their list. And maybe a few things they didn't even think of. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats, Virginia! Perhaps you can get the GR to help with the Christmas cleanup!

What a wonderful post, Nancy. Such sweet memories!

I love Christmas! I never get to spend enough time with my family even at the holidays, but for Christmas we are all at my Mom's house - the house where we grew up after all of our traveling days as Air Force Brats. It is where we feel closest to our Dad. He loved Christmas and was always the biggest kid about it.

Every year is memorable for us. I think sitting down to Christmas dinner is always the highlight because the food is fantastic and the conversation is so much fun. We laugh and talk about Christmases past and tease each other unmercifully. And the glow on my Mom's face when we are all there around her table really makes Christmas magical.

jo robertson said...

Nancy, what a gorgeously lovely post! I shared your sentiments with my husband, who appreciates good writing and new thinking about an old subject. Well done, Bandita friend!

The strongest Christmas memory I have is of my father rushing outside and claiming that he saw Santa flying away in his sleigh. We children ran after him, searching the skies for a long, long time. We never noticed my dad had slipped back inside the house.

Lo and behold when we went inside, disappointed that we'd never seen Santa and his reindeer, there were the presents under the tree! How had Santa gotten by us to deliver those gifts?

Dad did this every Christmas eve and we three children never suspected the truth of the matter. When we were much older we realized Dad was like a little kid. He couldn't wait until Christmas day for the presents to arrive!

Minna said...

I've got 2 favorite holidays: Christmas and Midsummer Eve.
Everybody used to get together at home at Christmas and more or less during the Midsummer Eve, too. Still, everyone tries to visit around Christmas and New Year, but work and families usually make it impossible for everyone to be at countryside at the same time.

Minna said...

That Apollo 8 reminded me... For some reason the movie, Apollo 13, seems to be becoming one of those movies they show at Christmas time around here.

Kate Carlisle said...

Lovely post, Nancy! And yes, I was around when that song was a hit, too. :-) I still love it.

Congrats, Virginia! I'm sure the GR can use the exercise if you've got any heavy chores to do!

Jo, the story of your father running outside to distract you kids is priceless! What a great memory to share!

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday and I wish you all peace and happiness in the New Year!

Nancy said...

Virginia, I miss having Christmases like that. We had friends over for Christmas dinner, and our little threesome had a lovely day yesterday, but I miss having big crowds of relatives around.

Nancy said...

Helen, glad you liked the post. Your Christmases past sound a lot like mine.

There's something about little children at Christmas--maybe their absolute belief in the magic of it--that transforms the day. At least, it did for us. The glow in the boy's eyes on Christmas morning wreathed our hearts in reflected warmth as we watched him. He's older now and knows the magic isn't really supernatural, of course, but he still likes to pretend.

Sue, thank you. The Barbie Dream House was the big item that Christmas. Barbie and her accoutrements were too expensive for us to add to often.

You wrote: They were fun times! There's something magical about large families. That one generation held us together for decades. Now sadly we've scattered into smaller family units.

This exactly describes our family on my mom's side. There is something magical about all that shared history, and I miss it sometimes.

Nancy said...

Jane, I used to always look forward to everyone's arrivals. One of my mom's cousins lived with my mom's family growing up, and she and her husband spent every Christmas with us until she died. I remember sitting on the couch by the living room windows, eagerly waiting, year after year, for their car to come down the street.

After she died, someone asked my mom if she'd had any children. Mom said, "No. Well--yes, she did. Mine and Susie's and Ed's." The words made a huge impression on me, that I remember them after so long.

Nancy said...

Anna, thanks. Happy Boxing Day to you, too! I loved your post about this holiday last year.

You wrote: Back later - got to put the Boxing Day soup on.

Okay, now you have to explain this--what is Boxing Day soup?

Nancy said...

PJ, thank you. The geographic closeness you describe was how my mom's family was, only it was more like 2-3 hours. Since my dad's family lived in Florida and on the West Coast, we didn't see them nearly as much. We haven't stayed in touch the way you have, though. I envy you that, just a little.

You wrote: I'm of the Herman's Hermits generation and that song has always been one of my favorites,

You (and Helen and Kate) may be interested to know that I saw Peter/Herman onstage years after the Hermits had faded from the music scene. I went to NYC to visit a friend in school at Columbia, which had an arrangement for cheap student tickets to certain Broadway shows. We looked over the offerings, and I actually squealed when we got to The Pirates of Penzance and I saw that the stars were Maureen McGovern--and PETER NOONE!

I said, "Peter Noone--Maria, that's HERMAN! We have to see this one! You'd like to see this one, wouldn't you?"

She sort of rolled her eyes and said, "Well, it's Gilbert and Sullivan. And Maureen McGovern sang the Poseiden Adventure song. Okay."

I'd never experienced Gilbert and Sullivan and really didn't care the proverbial two hoots about that. I wanted to see HERMAN. To whom the years had been kind, actually. We had tickets in Row 8, fabulous seats, and I came away pleased that the former teen heartthrob had aged gracefully. I also was a newly converted Gilbert and Sullivan fan.

The dh and I had a tape, The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan, that we played during car trips until it wore out. It was actually his when we married. The movie Chariots of Fire had a character who was appearing in The Mikado, which I've never seen. I was inspired to go buy a book about G&S operettas, all thanks to cute old Peter Noone!

Nancy said...

Dianna, maybe your dad was trying to figure out why you were so hooked on this doll. We didn't have her, but we did have Chatty Cathy, who talked when you pulled a cord in her neck. We found her when my folks cleared out the basement before moving to a retirement community. Alas, but she only made "RRR...RRR" sounds.

I wanted to be a nurse until I found out about the whole blood thing. I never had the outfit, though.

Terrio, thanks. I'm glad you had a good day. Sick on a holiday is no fun. I spent Thanksgiving here alone one year because I had the flu and the dh was visiting his sister's family in Minnesota. We'd intended to both go, and I didn't want him to miss it. It was sort of strange.

Louisa, glad you liked the blog. It's wonderful that you still have these family gatherings. That must be so cool!

Nancy said...

Jo, thank you--and the dh, too. Glad you liked it. I love that trick of your dad's. How sweet! Christmas at your house must've been a blast.

Minna, do tell--what's the Midsummer Eve celebration like? We don't do that here, and it sounds intriguing. You know, Apollo 13 was on here recently, but I didn't make the holiday connection. Now that I think of it, though, it does seem to pop up this time of year.

For New Year's, we get a half-bottle of champagne for the dh and me, Mountain Dew for the boy, and some cheese and crackers, and we huddle on the bed to watch the ball come down in Times Square. The dog gets a couple of crackers. She seems pretty sure she'd like champagne if someone would only let her try, but we're not going there.

Minna said...

Long time ago the Catholic Swedes tried to turn Midsommer Eve into a Christian holiday, like all the other holidays, but I'd say that in this case, the pagans won!
http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=26052

limecello said...

I love Christmas... and randomly, the lunar new year :). Family get togethers, family friend potlucks, all great food, good times, and good friend.

Congrats, on the GR Virginia!

Kirsten said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the lovely post. I also cherish dreams of peace at Christmas. I love the story of the WWII troops taking a truce at Christmas and singing "O Christmas Tree" from the trenches. I do hope with all my heart that there is some way for peace like that to be lasting.

I made a new fantastic Christmas memory this year -- being snowed in and having my aunt and lots of friends from our neighborhood packed into our house, singing Christmas carols and acting out our church's christmas pageant because our service was cancelled (due to snow!). It's the community and love we shared that made it special.

Hugs to all at this special time!

Minna said...

Hardly anyone even remembers why it's called Juhannus now:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer#Finland

Maureen said...

Yesterday we my parents and my husband and I were just talking of Christmas' past and we were talking about the Barbie Dream House which was one of the worst things we ever put together for both our son and daughter. Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and I have many great memories.

Helen said...

I am loving all the memories they really are good.
I am sure we make new memories every Christmas and the good thing is we keep making them.
How lucky are you Nancy to have seen Herman I always loved their music.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, congratulations, Virginia! Yes, Virginia, there is a Golden Rooster... I see Miss Helen was breathing down your neck!

Isn't it funny, Nancy? I remember that song as sung by the Aussie super group The Seekers. It's actually a song we sang in my primary school! I remember Miss Sneyd thumping out the accompaniment which kinda negates the 'hush' aspect of the lyrics!

Things are very quiet in Australia (apart from people hitting the big sales) for the next few days. Basically until after New Year. A lot of businesses just shut down for the duration or only have a skeleton staff. It's midsummer, the cricket is on, everybody's exhausted after Christmas. So basically we lie around and enjoy sloth! That's certainly my plan!

EilisFlynn said...

Year-end holidays are a really neat topic, and you know how much I love reading about them, Nancy! Thank you!

Nancy said...

Minna, thanks for the very cool links!

Kirsten, if you have to be snowed in, better to do it with friends and family and provisions on hand. Especially the provisions if you're going to have the people! How neat that you did the pageant anyway. Your part of the world has really had a lot of snow lately. Maybe that's your quota for the winter? Meanwhile, the AC was on here yesterday--so very un-Christmas-y.

Maureen, I suspect many families found the Barbie Dream House to be the bane of Christmas. The assembly was way more complicated that any toy should've been.

Helen, I imagine you remember "Henry the Eighth" and "Mrs. Brown?" Not very inspiring lyrics, to be sure, but the group looked cute singing them.

Anna, I think I remember the Seekers. Didn't they have a huge hit with "Georgy Girl?" I suspect all our snowbound banditas and buddies would love to have some of that midsummer heat. I, on the other hand, would really like just a touch of snow. Not enough to make driving hazardous (we southerners who don't live in mountains have so little practice that we're a menace in serious snow or ice).

Eilis, glad you liked the blog!

Virginia said...

I have been shopping today and the GR was resting but now I am putting him to work to help me clean up some of this mess around here. Its pretty nice to have a little help for a change.

And yes Helen is a very hard one to beat when it comes to getting the GR.

Treethyme said...

What a wonderful post! Anna, I remember the Seekers, too, but mainly for "I'll Never Find Another You." I loved all the Herman's Hermits' songs, especially Silhouettes and Mrs. Brown (and, of course, A Kind of Hush). I remember there was a Herman's Hermits movie that I saw with my little sister.

Barbie came out when I was a kid. I wanted the "bubble cut" Barbie with the black hair and the glittery black dress -- I was into glitter even then. Didn't get that one, but I did have a blonde one until my sisters lost its head.

My "dream house" was a converted orange carton (can you even get those anymore?) that was a lot of fun. My daughter had the Barbie townhouse when she was little, and it was a royal pain to put together.

One of the nicest Christmases we ever had (before the kids were born) was spent at the London home of some good friends who are Jewish. They observe their religion devoutly but enjoy the trappings of Christmas, including the tree and the traditional Christmas feast. They served goose -- the first and last time I've ever eaten it. It was very good, just too much trouble for anyone in my family to attempt.

My daughter's boyfriend of four years is Muslim, so now we're learning a lot about his religion, too, as well as finding out about Kwanzaa from other friends. I'm glad we can celebrate our differences rather than fight over them. It gives me hope for our big blue planet.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

GREAT POST, Nancy.

My sister and I LURVED Herman and the Hermits. I thought I read that Herman/Peter now lives near Santa Barbara, California. Anyone know? Wish *I* could afford to live there!

Congrats on the GR, Virginia! You've had him twice in less than a week, haven't you? Better watch out for surveillance devices! Esp. since he has recently been with P226 on covert ops.

Helen, what a WONDERFUL piccie of you with a baby in each arm! They are so adorable in their red Chrissy outfits! You definitely got THE BEST present ever.

Treetyme/Becca, people like YOU who are tolerant, open-minded, and ready to learn about other beliefs give ME hope for our little blue planet! I'm hoping and praying that 2009 will bring us closer to that universal Peace On Earth.

AC

Nancy said...

Virginia, I'm glad to know you're keeping the bird busy. It will help build his character. *g* I thought about shopping, too, but inertia took a powerful grip, assisted by the books I got for Christmas.

Treethyme, I remember "I'll Never Find Another You," but I didn't realize that was the Seekers. I'm sorry to hear Barbie assembly didn't improve over the years. Since we have a boy, there were no Barbie Christmases but many, many with Power Rangers and their gear to put together.

You wrote: I'm glad we can celebrate our differences rather than fight over them. It gives me hope for our big blue planet.

Me, too. I envy you getting to know people with such a wide range of experience.

AC, thanks. Glad you liked it. You wrote: Better watch out for surveillance devices! Esp. since he has recently been with P226 on covert ops.

I think we might all want to bear that in mind. The bird seemed to take an unholy delight in that little expose blog he did a while back.

Crianlarich said...

Beautiful post, Nancy. I fully agree with all your sentiments.

As for favorite holidays, I'll be odd man out. My favorite 'holiday' is each time I board a plane for Glasgow. Scotland is my favorite place in the whole world and I fly over as often as I can, usually twice a year. At least once a year. And every time I go, each time I near the boarding gate and see the flight number and "Glasgow" ... well, my heart nearly bursts with joy.

To me such moments are the best ever 'holidays' of my life. To me, there's no better feeling in the world. If I could bottle and sell the rush I get, boarding that plane, knowing it's taking me to Scotland, I'd made a mint. It's an incredible high. And no matter how often I go, it's always the same.

Anyway, great post, Nancy!

Pat Cochran said...

Christmas is my favorite holiday
and family is the key to enjoying
the holiday for me. I recall huge
numbers of aunts, uncles, and all
the cousins at festive gatherings.
Our first "official" family reunion
was held late in the 1980s with
over 350 people attending. When we
lose Dad's remaining 3 siblings, my
cousins, sibs, and I will be the
"seniors"! My hope is that we can
keep sharing the joy of family,
enjoying a meal, music, and love
for one another.

Pat Cochran

Joan said...

Everytime I would leave her to check up on all the extended family in the house I would come back to find her gone then have to go to find dad.

Hmmm, dianna...You needed to put a bed alarm on that one!

Betsy Wetsy...um, yeah been there done that with my patients....about a hundred times fold

Joan said...

Crianlarich, you hit a nail on the head!

I experience the very same with my trips to Ireland!

I'm really trying NOT to spend all the money for a Rosetta Stone language program for Gaelic though I want to learn it desperately!

I enjoy Christmas most I guess, and love it when it is cold and the sky is clear and there really is a "hush" on the world. One of amazing joy and hope.

Sigh

Janga said...

Christmas is my favorite holiday for many reasons, but certainly one of the most important is that it connects me with my past through tangible reminders of people I love. Every ornament on the tree has a history, most of the recipes I use were handed down from my grandmothers, my aunts, or my mother, and the Christmas Eve service is essentially the same one I remember from the days when my sister and I were angels and my brother was a shepherd. This year two of the grands were lambs. One is a lamb, but I have a feeling that his red-haired younger brother with the mischief dancing in his eyes and a most inappropriate grin will be the one the congregation remembers.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh, Nancy...I adored Herman's Hermits when I was a young girl!! And that is such an easy song to sing. It's been in my head all day since reading the blog. Unfotunately, I've been working on blogs for next week and napping for work tonight, so since I got put on call..........WHOOPPEE........I finally have time to comment!!!

I never got the Barbie Dream House. I secretly wished for it for years, but never put it on my wish list. Maybe I should have! But when I started singing the Carpenters songs in the car, my mom decided to give me their first Album as my big present one year. OMG!!! I was all of 11, but boy did that make me feel grown up.

As for this Christmas? The family all came for dinner, DH and I waited to open presents with them. The girls took exception to having help with the last minute meal prepartion, until I informed them, that having them help me in the kitchen, the three of us laughing and goofing around is part of "MY" holiday tradition. No more fussing, hehehe....must remember that next year!!

And of course our grandbaby is almost one, so seeing the tree, and ornaments and packages through her eyes was fantastic!! She actually managed to open one herself! Can't wait until next year!!

Glad to hear so many of you had such grand times.

PJ said...

Nancy I bet you didn't have the a/c on today! We were uptown tonight for the Pep Rally (North Carolina and West Virginia meet here in a Bowl game tomorrow) and it was COLD! I was very glad to be wearing my gloves, scarf and heavy coat.

Virginia said...

I just remembered something funny about the Barbie Dream House. I didn't have one when I was growing up but my best friend had one and I would visit her and we would play with it all day. The funny part is that one day we decided that those cardboard beds was just to hard for Barbie so we found these nice soft cotton mattresses under the bathroom sink. Barbie had a nice comfortable bed until my friends mother caught us with those mattresses and took them away from us. We just couldn't understand why she didn't want us playing with them. Needless to say those mattresses where her mother's sanitary napkins and we didn't know the differents until later in life.

Joan said...

ROTFLMAO, Virginia!

Michele L. said...

What a truly moving post, Nancy! Loved it!

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. All my relatives and family along with some friends and extended relatives, all gather together for Thanksgiving every year. There are always about 35 of us and we have a ball! Everyone always brings something good to eat, along with a deep fried turkey, a brined turkey, oven roasted turkey, smoked turkey, smoked hams, and sometimes a quail or two. It is absolutely an amazing feast that I always look forward to every year!

Everyone gets along so well, has so many stories to share and we just laugh and eat like crazy! We all stay the whole day at my cousin's house.

So Thanksgiving is my favorite of all the holidays since I spend it with all my closest friends, family and relatives.

Nancy said...

Crianlarich, thanks so much! I sympathize with your feeling about Scotland. I felt that way when we went to England. When ground appeared out the window after hours over the Atlantic, my heart lifted and I felt newly awake and excited. I was 21 the first time and already an ardent Anglophile. I haven't been there nearly as often as you've been to Scotland, but it's deeply woven into my heart.

My memories of that summer when I was 21 are all bordered in green and gold, like the sunlight coming through my window in Oxford every morning. I hope every trip you take there gives you that wonderful rush!

Nancy said...

Pat, 350 related people! Wow! That sounds so incredibly cool.

Janga, what cute lambs they must've been! We buy ornaments when we travel, as souvenirs. I really should tag them because no one except me remembers which ones came from where. Every time we hang one of them, though, I think about where we were when we bought it.

Joanie, is there a way you can try to learn Gaelic that's a little cheaper? Those programs look pretty expensive. I know what you mean about the temptation, though. I look at the Dutch set because I want to do a Dutch character (as part of my continuing campaign to raise the bar for myself).

Nancy said...

Suz, glad you made it! Christmas with the little one must've been great fun. I love the way they look so intently at everything.

The Barbie Dream House was on my list for several years before it turned up. Of course, so was a pony, and that never showed. *g*

PJ, the AC was NOT on today--you're right. In fact, I didn't stick my little nose out the door all day. I read Christmas books and worked on proposals. And toyed with the idea of starting to think about my Spring classes, but those're still two weeks away.

Nancy said...

Virginia, that is just TOO funny! I can just see it happening.

Michelle, thanks very much. One of my cousins prefers Thanksgiving to other holidays, too. We went to dinner at her house one year and had a lovely day.

Joan said...

Joanie, is there a way you can try to learn Gaelic that's a little cheaper?

Oh, there are. I had a computer program once that I could pronounce back and it would grade me.

It broke and so did what LITTLE bit 'o Gaelic I managed to pick up.

The Rosetta Stone programs just sound easier.

Crianlarich said...

Nancy - I loved your description of seeing England appear out the airplane window. 'Bordered in green and gold' is so apt. And a beautiful visual. We sure are on the same page, yes. I see Scotland as many varying shades of blue.

Joan - Yes, Scotland to me is how Ireland is to you. Ireland is incredible. Of course, the farther back in history one goes, it becomes apparent how closely entwined the two countries are. Both are amazing places.

I imagine everyone has a special place. Life would be so hollow without one, I think.