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Re: Holiday Greetings

  • Subject: Re: Holiday Greetings
  • From: "Tim Saville" timsaville@breathe.com
  • Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 20:18:27 -0000

Hi Glen
A Very Merry One to you too.
PS I believe they eat snails!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Glen Williams" <gw1944@vermontel.net>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>; <PHOENIX_HOSTA_ROBIN@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
Sent: 19 December 2003 13:07
Subject: Holiday Greetings

> Dear Hosta Folk:
> I don't have a thing to say about hostas , but I can at least offer you
> holiday greetings and a story  from a column I just sent in for next
> local paper.
> Glen W.
>                                 Christmas 2003 and 1951
> Before I get to Christmas 1951, I would like to offer a prelude to this
> Christmas , which is now about a week away. We have  had two major snow
> storms. From my bay window , dawn is beginning to illuminate the sliced
> layers of powdered snow. The winds have softened some of the edges, and
> here and there  are now snow dunes which taper from 1/4" to 2' or more. In
> both storms the wind has sculpted the garden mounds and pathways into
> cantilevered planes of white snow and blue shadows, with both soft and
> crisp edges. The sculpture  holds the memory of the wind and I am grateful
> that all that huffing and puffing has created something so beautiful. Of
> course calling it beautiful, and lauding the wind, clearly means I am
> inside and no longer look like frosty the snowman  trying to move the snow
> in a whirlwind. Some art is only art, well after the initial pangs of
> creation. Looking at nature's art, or being in the middle of creation,
> makes a big difference.**
>  In the wake of both storms,  Shelly the mighty Sheltie has learned to
> diving into the fresh
> powder. Last year it terrified her, this year it's a joy. She disappears
> except for her  black nose, then just when you would think she has been
> lost in her own  avalanche, she leaps up Kangaroo-like , yelps in joy, and
> re-submerges  and the hunt for the Red October begins again. An old dog
> with new tricks sets a wonderful example for me.  The only catch in this
> game is when she is finished  (good for up to 5  Kangaroo leaps), she
> demands that I lift her bodily out of the drift. This happened during the
> very first storm when she suddenly demanded to go out at 3:00 AM. I had
> warned her about that late glass of water, but no, she knew best.  So, I
> was left in my bathrobe and slippers lifting her out of a drift of
> snow because I thought she was drowning, when she was merely waving at me
> to come out and play. When I lifted her out, she immediately squirmed from
> my arms and did it again. I am glad that the neighbors were not looking or
> listening to this performance. I said things that I nearly regret.
>                                          Christmas 1951
> I think I was about 7 years old. My father had given me the princely sum
> one dollar to buy a gift for my mother for Christmas. In turn, my mother
> had given me one dollar to buy a Christmas present for my dad. Although
> the amount of one dollar doesn't seem like much (over 3 billion people in
> the world now live on a dollar a day or less), in 1951 a dollar was an
> immense amount of money  to a seven year old.
> My dad took me to Doane's Gift Shop where Penelope's now is. Despite my
> father's  feelings about shopping, I remember this as a magical time. My
> father could spend many happy hours in a hardware store, a garden shop, or
> a car dealership, but going into a gift shop must have been a horror for
> him. My brother recently told me (as I was sharing this story with him)
> that this must have been the only time he had set foot in a gift shop.   I
> later came to know that for every Christmas he bought my mother a pair of
> leather gloves, a nice scarf, and gave her crisply folded new bills for
> to buy what she wanted. I remember one year where he switched and bought
> her a new purse. The purse was made of cow hide from a Holstein cow (the
> one on the Ben and Jerry ice cream trucks). The black and white hide had
> been cured with the  hair intact. This black and white puzzle design had
> added feature. On the bottom of the purse,there was a section of hide
> bore the evidence of the cow's connection with barbed wire. My father took
> a particular delight in pointing out this flaw.  The interlocking black
> white  puzzle design and the scar made for a highly distinctive purse. The
> colorful beaded Indian fringe around the top of the purse was also quite
> distinctive.  It's hard to conceive of a more distinctive handbag.
> The next year my father , having experienced  the joy of such an
> creative purchase the previous year (and the havoc it wrought),  went back
> to the safety of gloves, scarves, and money. My mother used the purse on a
> few special occasions (funerals I think), but said that she refused to
> the purse out during hunting season. I forgot to mention it, but the size
> of the purse was remarkable too. My mother could have easily carried 3
> gallons of milk in it, and  still have had room for a 25 lb Blue Hubbard
> Squash.
> That December day in Doanes Gift Shop with my father, and a new dollar in
> my new wallet (just for the occasion), was special. Time disappeared
> (except for my father ) , and after looking at all manner of wonders, I
> decided on a single soup bowl. It was the same pattern , a brown line
> design of a farm on a yellow back ground, as the dishes my mother used
> everyday. It made perfect sense to me that one could never have too many
> soup bowls.
> A couple of days later my mother took me  into Stern's Hardware store with
> another dollar, and I began the selection process all over. This time I
> decided on a toy turtle. One could wind the turtle and it would it would
> make its way around the store bumping into things (customers) and then
> starting off in another direction. I thought it was really neat, and I was
> of course hoping that my father would get sick of playing with it, and
> I could have it. Actually my psychology was pretty sound, but my mother
> not fooled. She kindly suggested that something else might give my dad
> pleasure. I felt thwarted, but acknowledged the source of the dollar and
> chose again. Interestingly enough (only interesting if you lead a very
> boring life), I can not remember what I bought my dad that year.  I do
> that the hardware store became  a source of gifts for my dad for decades.
> That Christmas , when I got to the bottom of my Christmas stocking, I
> a wonderful turtle (miracle of miracles) that one could wind up and it
> would travel all over the house, bumping into people . It most have been
> the brother to the turtle I saw in Sterns and I was so impressed that
> had such resources to know just what I wanted. The Christmas elves do
> remarkable work...and I know that even as I write this....
> May you all have a glorious holiday filled with the turtles of your
> P.S.  That turtle, called Tom, did indeed wander all over the house.
> Everyone in the house managed to step on it at least three times, and fall
> over it at least twice, before it apparently migrated south. My father
> explained to me that turtles came from warmer climate.  I always thought,
> that my dad was telling a whopper and it's just that he wanted it to play
> with himself. Until this moment, I have kept that dark secret to
> myself....but then it is the season to share.
> And to all of you a question. Do turtles eat hostas?
> .
>  "...an
> ever-expanding service economy to cater to debt-ridden middle-class
> people and the hoggery of the very rich."
> Glen Williams
> 20 Dewey St.
> Springfield , Vermont
> 05156
> Tel: 802-885-2839
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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