Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Friday, December 19, 2003  

Wonder why blogger didn't like my apostrophes yesterday. Sure looked strange.

I haven't really anything much to post today. Still working on the basket weave cashmere scarf for BD and the socks for LD. I'm enjoying them both too, but I'm knitting like a kid with ADHD and not getting much done. I haven't finished Christmas cards either but I believe I have shopped all I am going to, other than groceries. In a moment of boredom yesterday I took a peek at and nearly - did something embarrassing - because they have several interesting items in the under $3 a skein category. Mmmmm. It's hard to resist. Mmmmmm I have spent so extravagantly on myself this autumn it is absolutely evil of me to think of spending more on yarn and more on me. Sometimes I can live quite comfortably with certain evils.

I have a thought to write about Christmas movies and books because I have such a strong emotional reaction to them. I also have this scarf I could be knitting on and .... even without the usual sugar high of Christmas, I'm utterly distractible these days. Sigh. Imagine - I can't even blame it on too much sugar. I shall blame it on Mercury in retrograde.

Still - there are two favorite Christmas tales for me - one is White Christmas, the movie, with Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby. I love this movie - utterly absolutely love it - and weep through the whole thing. I've never quite put my finger on why that movie chokes me up so, though I suspect some of it has to do with the face of the general, played by Dean Jagger. Well - with the whole role of the man, but particularly his face. Hmmmm. Wonder if we new each other in a previous life?

My daddy was a WWII vet and retired from the army reserves, so there was a faint cast of military life, ever present in my childhood. Everything that was my parents’ world before I met them seemed wrapped up in that movie. All the nostalgia of my own childhood feels woven through it as well, since it was the one sure bet to be on television during the Christmas season in 1950's and '60's Richmond. I was grown before I saw either Miracle on 37th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life. My sisters and I quickly learned the words to the duet "Sisters" and could get absolutely giddy singing it. I was entranced with Vera-Ellen's dancing. Was she the prototype for the first Barbie? My goodness, I would have traded my soul for her body - though sadly, she was an anorectic. I just thought she was beautiful to watch in motion. I already had bad ankles by the time I was 11 and to see her prance around in those high heels!!!!

The other important piece of Christmas literature in my Decembers is Ferrol Sams marvelous book Christmas Gift. The book is marvelous - it is the Christmas of the south - but if you can get hold of the audio version, you can hear Sams read his own work and then you will also be blessed with one of the most beautiful of the southern accents - rural Georgia. Sams is one of those writers who was not prolific but the half dozen books he wrote are pure reading bliss. There is so much love in that man that he fills every page with the graceful beauty of jeweled thought.

Our library has an audio copy and right after Thanksgiving a certain librarian checks it out and plays it in her car for three weeks - over and over - listening to the cadence of this rich fruity voice as it tells of Pa Jim and Bubba Hugh and getting Christmas Gift on the Bearcat; of Amalgamation Cake and Roman Candles and little girls who took from refined and corseted women who up their parlors and taught; about the fascination of a relative with characteristics about which we didn’t speak, and about passing along the traditions of a family from generation to generation. Viewed through the haze of the author’s memory - it is the image of Christmas I hold dearest out of all written accounts and if I could not have been me, I would have liked to have been a Sams.

I finally did return the tape to the library - but of course - it's pretty late in the season - it may not draw any attention this year. If someone comes in, I'll recommend it - but one never knows, it may be taken off the display shelf in January and disappear into the back of the stacks for another 11 month sleep before once again riding the back roads of Essex County in the chill December evenings.

posted by Bess | 5:29 AM