Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The storm of this past Monday (nicknamed by our local news people as Megastorm Monday) was a real nor'easter, and we got hit with some bluster. It brought us all a snow day, which we all enjoyed so much that Ada told me that night, "I hate to put this great snow day to bed." My thoughts exactly. Above is a shot of Esme contemplating walking into a snowdrift...
While we were watching the reports of the storm's approach, I told Ada that it looked like March was roaring in like a lion. She was puzzled and then delighted as I explained the old saying to her. She looked up and me with a big smile and concluded, "Well, Mommy, then March will end like a lamb. And it will be spring."
I love watching her discover the old nuggets of expression people have been using for years. Call them trite, but many of them give a sage order to the progression of life. Even if I don't embrace the social values embedded in a few of these gems, I admire how effectively they convey those beliefs.
My mom has a wealth of these, and they come to her (as most of these do) by way of a grandmother. Here are a few of my favorites:
"Rain before seven, sun before eleven." My August birthday is at the height of thunderstorm season, and as I child I would chant this to myself if I woke early to a rain shower.
"Whistling girls and cackling hens, both will come to no good ends." My grandma would say this to me, conspiratorially, as something that her mother said to her. But my grandma and I were kindred spirits, and superb whistlers, if I do say so myself. She was so amazing that before she got dentures, she could whistle two tones simultaneously. Ah! I still aspire to such a grand thing!
"An apple doesn't fall far from the tree." An oldie, and one everyone knows--but not as true as we imagine, which explains some people I know...
Wild apples, the kind grown from seed and not grafted, are notoriously heterogeneous. This means the seed that grows from a fallen apple is likely as not to be absolutely different from the tree on which it grew. It may not fall far, but chances are it will be something altogether other from its parent tree. Incidentally, this is why wild apples are so persistent. Consider for yourself how this might apply to the ways you differ from your parent tree...
What are some of the expressions that have been repeated in your family? Now's the time to delurk! Really, I'd love to hear them...how I love your stories!
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