Do I have links for you! And stories.
Here’s the strange thing. This first link goes to the blog of my good friend SonomaLass. (Not her IRL name!). Her partner is British and they go to the family farm in Scotland or to Britain proper once a year. This year (and last, actually) they did a canal boat trip and her pictures are wonderful. You will love them. By the way, she brought me back the most beautiful coffee cup:
I LOVE that coffee cup. She says considered getting me the Blue Tit, but decided Swallow was better for a romance author. She is very wise.
Go look at her Canal Trip Pictures, think about Regency folk floating along, but also read about her trip. When you come back, I’ll tell you how we got to be friends.
Fun, eh? Yes, I want to go, too!!
How I met my Good Friend
Two or three years ago now, I kept seeing someone in the comments at Dear Author saying funny, smart stuff and given her handle of “SonomaLass” I finally replied to one of her comments and asked if, by any chance, she lived in Sonoma County. The answer was yes! So, short story even shorter, she lives about 20 minutes from me and works in my town. We’ve been meeting up for conversation and European Sipping Chocolate ever since. And, also as it turns out, someone else turned out to live very close by and now we all three meet regularly and talk about romance novels and all kinds of stuff. I love the internet.
All About Lace
My next link is to A Most Beguiling Accomplishment for a post about lace. I love her blog. Don’t forget to check out the side bar (left and right) for more great links.
When I was 16, our Italian-born neighbor took my sister and I with her when she went to Italy to visit relatives. Some of her relatives lived in VERY small villages in the Alps. It was like sitting in the middle of someone’s ridiculous fantasy about quaint Italian villages. We sat outside their stone house at a table shaded by enormous grape vines and I watched a plump old woman hand make this lace:
|Hand tatted Italian Lace. Photo by Moi.
She was unbelievably fast at the lace making (done with bobbins). Like an expert knitter, she didn’t even have to look. She sat with us, chatting with her relative and her American visitors and her hands were constantly moving. My sister also got a lovely hand made lace doily.
From lace to maps: The David Rumsey Map Collection. Connected to Google maps, too.
Oh, my goodness. I have a thing for maps. It’s almost worse than my thing for looking at vacation photos.
My next link is outside our period but it’s an article well worth reading about an American woman physician who also did some early sex research beginning in 1892. Celia Mosher was an extraordinary woman, and this Stanford Magazine article makes me wish I’d know her or that she’d lived miraculously long enough to know that other women came after her and they did not have to make the sacrifices she did. Because of women like her, other women got to have bigger dreams and to see them come true.
What strikes me about this article about Dr. Mosher is the sense of how isolated she felt. How many extraordinary women of the past also felt isolated by their ambition and brilliance? It’s a tragedy.
Which leads me to my last post, which is totally outside our period because it’s from just a few days ago (August 2012). An Unexpected Ass Kicking. A touching and inspiring article. I hope you take the time to read it.
When I was young, my grandmother came to live with us for a few years. She got homesick and eventually went back to Oregon where, a couple weeks after locking herself out of the house and climbing through a window to get in, she passed away of a heart attack at age 87. She was a woman who talked a lot. And I mean a lot. It could be very tedious, to be honest. As a young woman, my grandmother, not that it matters, was heart-stoppingly beautiful. She certainly is in her wedding picture.
But over several evenings, I sat with my grandmother (who was in many ways an extraordinary woman) and listened to her talk. I didn’t have to say much, but I learned an awful lot about her her family that no one else knew. In fact, I was the first one to hear the story of the family ax murderer, later confirmed by my sister who found the article about his trial. But I LOVE listening to stories.
In fact, I once went to a party where I sat next to a man I figured was probably approaching 80, and he started telling me all about his life growing up in Poland. His family tried to rescue me, but I didn’t want to be rescued. I’m sure they’d all heard the stories before, but they were new to me. It turns out he was 104. Which is why all his stories had no cars or electricity.
I hope to make it to a doddering old age without doddering, and I hope there’s someone around to listen to my stories.
Got any stories about extraordinary people? I would love to hear them!
Super Secret Surprise for people who read this far:
I’m giving away a copy of my September historical Not Proper Enough here.
Rules: Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or older to enter. No purchase necessary. Post a comment to this post by Midnight Pacific on Friday August 17, 2012. International OK.