stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
We went to an event yesterday and I won a competition. I don't 'do' competitions - in fact I may be the only Laurel of the SCA who did not ever compete (sort of - I did once, early in my SCA life, and the judging was so ridiculous that I had to laugh rather than get mad and that was the end of that.) But this time a friend was sponsoring a "in honor of our neighboring Shire which was just disbanded" A&S competition and I was concerned that there would not be any entries - which would really hurt the feelings of the (probably) two ladies from that Shire who'd be attending the event. So since my first event was hosted by that shire ("Samhain", 1989), I decided to bring their "traditional" dessert to yesterday's event and serve it as my homage. It didn't fit the actual category of the competition since I was not using anything from the Shire's heraldry but I figured that those two (turned out to be three) ladies wouldn't care - they'd just know that their group was remembered with love.

So I back-documented the dessert into the category of "probable", that being the closest we could come to "medieval" (I found one for dates cooked the same way), and was good to go. It turned out that the head cook was also sponsoring a last minute side-board dish competition. So what the heck, I entered that too... again, because he's a good guy and the chances were slim that there would be many entries (there were actually 4 besides mine. I was relieved for his feelings! It sucks to sponsor something and only have 1 or 2 entries.)

I won.

The cooking competition. And got this as a prize:

I was stunned to see the salt/truffle fusion in the prizes. Wow. He spent some money on that. Now - I'm not actually much of an every day cook and don't want to waste his lovely prize so I have decided that I shall do the time-honored thing and save these spices to pass on as an appreciation gift to the Chancellor of Pennsic University this year - he's a kicking good cook and I have not done enough to support his work over the last few months. So this is better than my standard "knitted bag filled with goodies" appreciation thing. But I am going to regret losing the containers. :)

More importantly, a few people liked the dish well enough to take photos of the "documentation" so they could serve it for dessert at feasts they will be preparing in the future or as a dessert for their camp. So Berley Cort's legacy will live on.

The recipe? You're actually interested?

Pears Poached in Cream
heavy cream
canned pears (you can cook them up from raw but why bother?)
assorted spices (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, a tiny smidgen of mace, whole cloves, and chunks of dried ginger)

Combine in a pot and heat over a low temp burner. Spoon up with a slotted spoon.

The cream will last for friggin' ever so be prepared to make this again and again as you try to use up the nummy cream. It microwaves well if you want to just keep opening small cans of pears for a quick 'two person' dessert. Or do as we did yesterday - crumble windmill cookies into the bottom of a bowl and spoon the cream and the remaining pear bits over the top, then eat like a thick pottage. Some of us were thinking about trying it with peaches, though, and spooning the mess over a small spice cake with strawberries on the side.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I've written about Gimli and Cindy in the past and don't really want to write about them more... I thought I wouldn't have an entry for tonight - but then remembered Saruchan.

She was a little pomeranian dog that, technically, wasn't ours. We were living in Navy housing in Yokosuka, Japan, and our next-building neighbors, a couple with a teenaged daughter, owned the dog. The couple were having marital problems, as one might expect with a second marriage that combined a teenaged daughter (his) and a new wife who was not a US native, now stuck in Japan with the daughter while hubby was out to sea for 10 months out of every year. So the daughter acted out, didn't bathe, stayed out late, and 'forgot' to take care of her dog. On various evenings, we'd end up bringing the dog into our house after getting tired of hearing it barking at the neighbor's door for hours. Poor little thing.

Finally, one night there was a horrendous storm and in the midst of it we heard frantic barking. It was Saru-chan ("little monkey face"), locked out of a house that appeared abandoned. We brought her in and took care of her and in the morning I went over to give the two women a piece of my mind. Which was undelivered - the wife had packed up and left and the daughter was staying with a school friend until her father could be reached and return to deal with the shambles of his family life. In the meantime, the dog had been left outside in the unfenced yard to fend for itself.

So we took it in. Saruchan was terribly spoiled - it was certainly an 'all about me' train she was on. Look at the ground for even a second and you'd find her down there, in your sight range, her whole body shaking as she wagged her tail and angled herself for the scritches she just knew you were dying to give her. Take her outside to play 'fetch' and you could throw the ball, watch it land, and then find the dog at your feet looking at you with happy anticipation that now that your hands were empty, you were ready to give her those overdue scritches. Sit on a chair or the couch and obviously you were there to make it easy for her to climb into your lap for petting and scritches.

Head to the kitchen and she would nearly vibrate with excitement - doggie treats AND scritches! Naturally. It's not as though you'd be going in there for any other reason, now is it? I mean really - she was right there, making it easy for you to worship her. Because she was adorable... and she just glowed with delight that the world knew it.

If she misbehaved, I would say, "Saruchan, bad dog!" and she'd run upstairs and hide under the bed in the master bedroom. Never any other bed. And she'd not come out until one of us would call her and tell her "It is okay, you can come out now." Then she come down with her head hanging low and her eyes drooping until you extended your hand and gave her some petting. At which point all was right in the world and she was back on her pedestal of perfection-deserves-scritches.

We had her for about two months before we found a home for her. With Arni out to sea so much and me working my watch shifts (called a "2/2/2/&80", it was 2 evening shifts, two day shifts, and two mid shifts, compressed into 5 days followed by 80 hours off) and four hours of travel time to the house from my duty station, we just couldn't keep a dog. Cats, yes. Dog - no. But we had loved that little thing and worried over her and I was very relieved that she went to a good home where her people would care for her much better than our neighbors ever did. Heck - I worked to try to find someone who'd care for that daughter as well... that didn't work out. She was shipped back to the US and her mother's custody, her mother who didn't want her in the first place. But "needs of the Navy" and all that.

Saruchan. Exasperating, demanding, adorable. We would have probably killed the little rat if we'd been forced to keep her but being able to be her fairy godparents gave us the chance to love her and then set her free.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I wasn't sure what I could say to this theme - our scare in May has made me so much more aware of the passing of time and the approach of Death. And I couldn't really think of anyone who had passed this year who reall, truly, was a big part of the fabric of my life... so I went back into my archives to find what I'd written over the year as losses were made known.

And what I found, instead, was this:

which lead to this celebration of man - to my complete astonishment and wonder at the sheer talent of the performer. And even though it isn't 'recent' for many of those mentioned in the entry cited above, well... there isn't anything for me to say, really, just... watch them, if you have the time and join me in appreciating the gifts that they gave us.

I am so grateful that we have the ability to revisit such wonders at the click of a fingernail against a screen.
stitchwhich: (Default)
My childhood was in the very beginning of TV-land for America - black and white, grainy and snowy, we'd gather in the evening in front of it and watch whatever our parents chose to view, from one of the three stations that were available. Sometime while I was still very young, started broadcasting in color. It was amazing and even the grown-ups would be home to see it... although, really, most television in those days was 'family oriented' and, basically, geared towards adults.

Comedy was a big business back then. I grew up on the Lucille Ball Show, Art Linkletter, (Sing Along with Mitch, which wasn't comedy but I'll throw it in there), and especially - The Red Skelton show. How I loved that man. How I still love that man. He was funny and sweet and always kind. His humor didn't depend on belittling anyone but himself. He made himself into the straight guy and invited the audience to make the joke. He was the consumate entertainer and in his craft, he taught thousands of us children lessons about life that we will never forget. About loving, about pathos, about kindness and humility.

Join me in celebrating one of the Great Bards of our Time

stitchwhich: (Autumn)
A few years ago I wrote about my sister in law, Patty. I just went back and re-read the entry and realised that I still feel her loss greatly.

I don't think I have any other people in my family who I think of as martyrs. I have an almost-family person... Mustafa Mostajiri (I'm sounding that out - he was Persian), who I was engaged to for a couple of years and who ended up being gunned down in the streets when the Shah of Iran lost power. Mustafa's family could afford to send their son to college in America, so of course they were evil and bad and deserved to die.

Yeah. Not so much.

If it was him that I saw on the TV broadcast, he had his young son in his arms when they were killed.... "to the last child" has a meaning we don't really see here in the US. How frightening it must be to live in a country where such a view is considered normal.

I'm in a bad mood right now, grumpy and depressed. I shouldn't be writing. Please just follow the link and read about Patty - I know that her story, while the ending is sad, will inspire you.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I have had, in my life, three librarians who have deeply affected me. I don't remember their names. It's been too long. I do know that by now they have all died. But nameless or not, they deserve my tribute.

The first one was the librarian at Forest Hills Elementary School. I was only there for the last part of (I think) second grade... I don't remember much about it. But I had already been bitten by the literary bug and she was delighted to introduce me to the Newberry Award books and a whole slew of ones far beyond what my grade level was. (We were still in "Dick and Jane" books in class). She is the one who introduced me to "The Cat Who Went to Heaven". I read that book and read that book, and checked it out so often that no one else had a chance to read it that year. Although I will say that she helped me learn about sharing by teaching me to leave it on the shelf for a full week before checking it back out again. And at the end of the year, she put that book back in my hands when I was returning it for the last time, and told me that the school didn't want it any longer and I could keep it. Looking back now, I know that she probably paid for a replacement copy. No school is going to discontinue to carry a Newberry Award winner. I treasured that book, as I treasured her gentle kindness throughout my time there. It was against her shoulder that I wept when we had a beloved teacher (not mine) die on the playground as a result of an odd accident... other kids went to their teacher or their parents - I headed for the library.

The second one was in charge of the school library at Campbell Elementary School in Milwaukie, Oregon. The school was one of those 'open campus' styles - very radical for my time period, and the fifth/sixth grade class rooms were in a one-story building with the library down the hall. I was one of those annoying children who got all their work done fast and early and then sat around, bored and chatty, unless I had a book in my hand. Actually, I almost always had a book in my hand and sometimes it was even one of the textbooks. (My usual practise was to read through those the first week of school and then the rest of the year was, basically, review). So my fifth-grade and then sixth-grade teacher gave me permission (encouragement, begged me) to leave the class if my work was done and to go into the library until the next session would start. The libarian, a sweet and canny lady who looked a lot like I do now, would let me check books back in for her, shelve them, and even taught me how to repair damaged ones. Ach! Even now, I get enraged when I find a damaged book somewhere.

She trusted me - that was something I had not experienced much before then. Children, especially abused or neglected ones, are forced to trust all sorts of people, just for their daily existance but are rarely extended the same. She trusted me. She'd let me read, even take home, the new books when they arrived - after they'd been inventoried but before they had been readied for the shelves. I was allowed to read a book and when I was done with it, stamp it with the school's name and glue in the envelope on the back, then give it to her to make a card for the catalogue. That gift of respect and trust was water on desert ground... and I florished because of it. When I was 17 and living in a totally different town, she came into the restaurant where I was working and recognised me. At the time, I was completely annoyed by what she said, "Why Terri, you haven't changed a bit!" (What teenager wants to hear that they look the same at 17 as they did at 10 or 11?) but I was so very happy to see her and we talked and talked. I bought her dinner for her.

She, in a way, led me to the third librarian in my world - the one in charge of the Milwaukie Public Library. Which had a policy of not allowing children under the age of 12 to read any of the books outside of the children's area. Which were the same titles, for the most part, as the books already found in our school library. My school librarian wrote a letter of recommendation for me which, along with a note from my mother, gave the Head Librarian the excuse to make an exception and allow me rights to the 'real' library. Heaven! I had already read everything in my school library, starting at the upper left shelf and working my way around the room... the Public Library was HUGE and had - aha! - oodles and oodles of non-fiction biographies. History by way of people's lives. That librarian, too, befriended me and set aside new books for me to check out ahead of even the adults. She had been banging her head against a wall trying to find a way to let me check out the adult books - I had been spending hours in the library, alone sometimes from opening to closing, reading the books I wasn't allowed to take home.

I'm 40 years past knowing any of them - but their kindness, and their dedication to children and literacy are part of my legacy from them. I will never forget them.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
It seems that tonight, instead of thinking of one person or two from my personal past, my mind just keeps coming back to all those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have lost their lives in our recent wars - of all those men or women who darted back into harm's way to save a comrade, who volunteered for an IA so someone else wouldn't have to, of those who safely made it back home only to die of fear, of torment, of emotional scars too heavy to bear in the world we are accustomed to on this side of the ocean.

They are all heroes.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
The time of year for remembrances is approaching... every year I forget what order they're in so just so I can find this when I get back from this weekend's event (Monday starts the Nights of Honor), I'm posting this now.

I really hope I get to read other people's stories - I love that. I know that few of my friends share my faith - but really, does it matter when we're just taking the time to think about and appreciate people who have helped shape us into who we are, people without whom we'd be less than what we are?

Those who have passed on but have deeply affected our lives:
Oct 25th - The Night of the Heroes.
Oct. 26th - The Night of the Seers/Teachers.
Oct 27 - The Night of the Martyrs.
Oct 28 - The Night of the Bards.
Oct 29th - The Night of the Recent Dead.
Oct 30th - the Night of Remembrance of Family Pets

Oct 31st - Samhain
stitchwhich: (antler sparklies)
First, gakked from everyone who's been online today while I wasn't:
Copy this sentence into your LiveJournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

You'd think that would be a "well, duh" sort of thing but actually, I believe it is more of a 'preaching to the choir' thing so far as my friends-list is concerned.

Tonight is The Night of the Recently Dead.

Sone of you already know about the number of losses my household2, The Great Dark Horde, has taken this year... quite a few of those Brothers were people who were dear to me personally and, well, I find I just can't write about them. I can't. Joyce-the-Big-Animal Veternarian, with a heart bigger than the world and an impish grin - and a personal insecurity that made you want to alternately shield her from the world or smack her upside the head. Joyce, who died alone in her bed on her farm while we all lived our lives doing other things thinking that she was just busy or in a phase and trusting her to re-establish contact (or setting a timer to do that ourselves if it got too long). In the SCA, you'd know her as Irina. She was a heavy fighter and an offkey but enthusiastic bard. She was little Mary's bestest friend...

Sir Starhelm. Can't write about him. Can't. I'm glad there is a memorial stone for him at the sanctuary. Maybe someday I'll visit it.

Ah, hell. I can't do this.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I'm not going to do a public-ish week of observation this Samhain - it seems as though I've said about all I can about folks and the latest losses are still a bit too raw to write about. Since no one else on LJ actually participates I can't get my gumption up by reading other folk's stories first, darn it.

So I tagged all my entries and I'm just going to re-read those. :)

(Edit) *sniffle*
That was a good read. I probably shouldn't have read them all one-after-the-other but oh, well, I did.

[Edit the second]
Hey, it's The Night of the Bards.
Farethewell, Tony Hillerman. Like Louis Lamour, you brought parts of our mountains alive for us - the living desert, the clear air, the people who live their lives in isolated clumps yet hold a close community with each other and their land, the special bond that the Dineh have with their world.

Thank you.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
At first glance, tonight's remembrance seems banal, doesn't it? Or maybe it would to someone who has never had pets...

When I was in sixth grade and Junior High, my mom let my brother and I live with her again. We did the 'family' thing and got a dog. We couldn't decide on a name for him (my step-father didn't care so wasn't involved in the naming) so the dog ended up with all three names: Sir Pumpkin Prince. Yes, I was at the 'silly adolecent' stage and was responsible for "Pumpkin". In my defense, when he first came to us he was the *exact* shade of pumpkin all over his body. And later, I just called him "Fats", which he answered to faster than anything else.

He was a beagle/dauschund mix. We think. He ended up with beagle ears and almost the height but with a dauschund's thick body. His markings were beagle, save that everything brown/black ended up being (forgive me) pumpkin-orange. I loved him dearly. I'd never had a dog for longer than a few months before, my mother always became bored with them and gave them away. Fats quickly decided he was my dog and sat at my feet, slept on my bed, followed me to the apple tree and laid beneath it while I sat in the branches and read. I cried into his neck more than once and had my tears licked away and got snuffles in my ears... he patiently sat beside me as I weeded my mom's garden and careful stayed out of my own garden nook (I designed a small 'japanese' garden in one corner of the back yard - there was a nook created by Douglas Fir trees where nothing 'useful' would grow. So I put in a small pond, rocks gathered during my hikes, laid down moss and set a tiny temple lantern in there). Fats and I would sometimes lay beside it and listen to the insects buzzing around the water.

He'd play 'fetch' for about three throws and then he was done. He loved to run, though, and our game was for him to run to the apple tree while I went somewhere else in the yard (we had over an acre of land in the middle of the city, so had a formal yard, a 'back yard' bounded by a row of Douglas Fir, then a 'back field' with a kitchen garden on one side and meadow on the other. At the furthest corner of the 'meadow' was the Granny Smith apple tree). Once we were well seperated, I'd call him. "Pumpkin! Here, Pumpkin! HEY FATS!" and he'd come bounding towards my voice, his ears and his tail the only things visible in the tall grass of the meadow or garden - two orange flops, then one stick-tail, then two closer orange flops. He'd race flat-out once I was in sight and launch himself at my chest. Then I'd catch him and try - never succeeding - to fend off a face-wash. It'd end with me tucking him (sort of) under one arm so the other one would be free to scratch his ears and pet him. "You silly thing," I'd say. "You're just a big puppy, you know that?" and we'd go off to do whatever my mom had decided was my next chore.

Just after I entered High School, my mom sent me to live with my (unknown) Grandparents in Utah. I had developed an ulcer and the Doc threatened her with The Authorities, so off Bill and I went. At least I got my brother. Anyway, when we came back a year later, Fats wasn't there. My mom explained that she knew she couldn't take care of him so she'd dumped him on a street where lots of kids were playing. I have no idea what ever happened to him.

That was years ago. He'd be long gone even if I had been able to find him again. Until I had Gimli in my life, I never loved an animal so much, nor was given such unjustified love in return.

So here's to you, Fats, Sir Pumpkin Prince, best dog-buddy and wrestle-partner. I miss you.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
Today Arn and I (and two other friends) went down to the beachfront to help clean up the "De-Feet Domestic Violence" walkathon. They did it very well - 5 miles along the boardwalk, short, pretty, and easy to patrol. So there we were, waiting for the raffle to be finished so we could help tear down tables and chairs, put away decorations. Our first job was to store away tall person-sized wooden cutouts that were shaped like people. Each one had a gold plaque on it - the story and age of a victim of Domeestic violence. The youngest in this line up was a 14-year-old-boy. The oldest - a 70 year-old-grandmother. All killed by their loved ones in a fit of anger...

*sigh* They are not recently dead. But the stats are that every 3 minutes someone is beaten and abused in a domeestic situation and too many of them will be dead, tonight, for having no place they are able or willing to turn.

So my honoring tonight, which should be for someone I knew and loved, is for all the strangers out there who will not see the morning, who are not sitting at a computer with a loving spouse/housemate preparing for bed in the next room. I'm so sorry I wasn't there to protect you.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
All I could thinnk about all night was that little girl saying, "Shoot me first" in order to buy time for her sister and other girls to be saved.

I just didn't know what to write about it.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I wrote this back in '03, but that was on Diaryland and, well, the words still hold true:

I haven't known many Bards in my life... but many have touched it unknowingly. Laugh all you want, but John Denver was one. He wrote and sang about love of the land, of the mountains, of simple pleasures and the pain that comes of doing one's duty when one wants to simply play... and the rightness of accepting that pain and the satisfaction that comes of doing what was right. He brought comfort. He was ridiculed for singing of simple things - well, he was ridiculed a lot more by folks who'd never known the mountains or the crisp new-born air of a snowtop, or the plain and comfortable joy of relaxing with one's family in your own home than he was by folks back home. He put into words what we felt in our hearts.

So he sang of the things I love and I found comfort in the songs. "I am the eagle, I live in High Country, in rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky....". The song soars above you just like the sight of an eagle on a mountain thermal - grand, free, clean. Hovering above you so impossibly and yet true.

I lived my whole young life in the mountains. I never knew a flat horizon save on the sea... it took years to adapt to the sad sight of a clear, lonely skyline. No more touching the stars, no more dark shadows against the night sky. No more orange/pink/deep purple backdrops to our mornings and evenings. We lived in Denver at the same time that the by-then famous JD lived above the city with his wife and family in a small community town. Folks "down below" left him alone and gave him privacy. I never saw him in concert. I never really needed to. I was teaching needlework back then, for one of those weird home-party companies - one of my students was a dear old lady who'd spent part of her life as John's babysitter when his military daddy was stationed nearby. She'd tell me stories of the boy she knew and chuckle over how he'd grown up.

He brought love, and a pride in that love, of the land and the wilderness to the hearts of so many people. And he died following his bliss, flying across the Pacific waters in his own plane. Probably writing a new song while he was doing it.

He wasn't the only musician who touched me in an inarticulate place deep in my psyche. Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, oh and so much... George Gershwin. Ah, "Rhapsody in Blue". There was a boy-genius in Jr. High who'd play it for me whenever I looked sad and strained (this was when my mother's illness had gone to severe and untreatable). Sometimes I only made it to an hour or so of school but he'd always be there by the piano and after our practises he'd softly play the intro to call me near. the other kids cleared the room to play at being grownups in the hall or on the way home. We stayed, pianist and audience, sharing the exubrience and tragedy of the piece. It was, for us, our life's stories. He had the whole piano part memorised thanks to a stage-pushing mother. He said he could forgive her for forcing it once he learned how much I loved it. We were never more than friends of the heart - and never needed to speak of our pain and love for our parents. That, we expressed in our music. I lost track of him when I left for St. Mary's... heard he'd given in and done the "child prodigy" concert rounds and burnt out by the time he was 20. Justin... I hope you're a happy middle-aged man now. Your playing stays in my heart. (It also makes it very difficult to find a suitable recording of 'Rhapsody', darn it, because I know *exactly* how it's supposed to sound. Lucky for you I found a Philadelphia Harmonics & Blues Star rendition of it. I don't know who's playing the woodwind, but it brings chills).

"Oh lay me down in Forest Lawn in a silver casket.
With golden flowers over my head in a silver basket.
The Drum & Bugle Corp. plays 'taps' while cannons roar
And 16 liveried employees sell souvenirs from the funeral store.

I want to go simply, when I go.
They'll give me a simple funeral there, I know.
With a casket lined in fleece and fireworks spelling out 'rest in peace',
Oh take me when I'm gone to Forest Lawn...."
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I was thinking of a hero, actually, one who is know to Christians and Jews... see, after Abraham but before Christ, there was a man. An unwanted man, exiled from his family, until there was a war - and he became a leader of his people. And he swore to G-d that if G-d would grant him victory over the Ammonites, "Then I swear that I shall offer up as burnt offering whatsoever shall first come out of the door of my house to greet me." And so it was. He won, and the first thing to greet him from his door was his daughter, his only child... he cried out and wailed in sorrow but when she learned of his vow, she said, "My father, you have given your promise to Yahweh; treat me as the vow you took binds you to, since Yahweh has given you vengence on your enemies the Ammonites." Then she said to her father, "Grant me one request. Let me be free for two months. I shall go and wander in the mountains, and with my compainions bewail my virginity." So it happened and when the two months were past, she returned to her father and was sacrificed.

She didn't rate a big chapter in the story, she wasn't considered more than a by-note in the history of Isreal's growth, she didn't even have her name recorded... This story always moves me far more than that of Abraham and his son - that child didn't know what was happening and was lied to, bound, and saved by G-d but this girl knew and accepted her fate with trust... I know which one I honor more.

Anyway. The night of teachers... I guess writing about George Washington Carver (a teacher) last night should have been balanced by mentioning a hero tonight, eh?
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
I don't think I'm going to post this in time for it to be (chronologically) the 25th, but oh well...

I didn't really have a Hero in mind, tonight. I went back and re-read my entries from the past. When I first started observing this tradition, I'd written a short comment on Mike (Kane):

The Night of the Heroes. Well, Kane was on my mind, of course. I miss him. He made me feel safe, small, petite - and beautiful. And when he asked if he could fight for me in Crown, I thought it was the highest honour I could achieve because it showed how much he trusted me. Remembering that helps me curb my snarky tongue sometimes. Not often enough to do him honour - but then, he did rather appreciate a tart remark sometimes.

... it seems that I just couldn't, really, write about him. And I still can't. Then I went on to write about my sister-in-law, Patty and last year,it was my maternal grandfather.

They are still my heroes. There are other folks who qualify. I thought of George Washington Carver, for instance - quiet, determined, so incredibly intelligent and so able to hold his dignity in the face of such ignorance... that was a man, my friends. When I was a child, one of the ways I stayed sane was to read - and his story was one of my comforts. But I'm not really sure what I can say about him. His perseverence inspired me. His committment to personal freedom and dignity - ditto. But I haven't the words, tonight, to honor those who are my heroes and so I'm leaving you with just links to read.

Thank you, those of you who shared your stories here on LJ. I smile when I think of a Scot who was everyone's 'papa' and a Grandfather who was so very strong and so very clear in a grandchild's mind, even 30 years past his travelling into a different Realm.
stitchwhich: (Autumn)
Oct 25th - The Night of the Heroes.
Oct. 26th - The Night of the Seers/Teachers.
Oct 27 - The Night of the Martyrs.
Oct 28 - The Night of the Bards.
Oct 29th - The Night of the Recent Dead.
Oct 30th - the Night of Remembrance of Family Pets
Oct 31st - Samhain

I'm not going to write an entry for tonight quite so soon (it's barely the 25th) but I will. And I'd love to read anything anyone else wanted to write about their Heroes who are no longer living. Honoring the Past is a good thing to do, once a year.
stitchwhich: (Default)
A group of comments in different forums have all served to bring to mind (and heart) someone I loved... I miss him still. It's been years and I still reach for the phone sometime or think it might be him when it rings. I know he would have been half-complete had he survived without his Lady. I know that if I had to make the choice for him, I would have let him go so he'd not miss one moment with her. And she was my friend too but I was able to lay her to rest in my heart. Him - he's still there. And when folks talk of the 'old days' and of old songs and happy moments, I think of him. His laughter, his mischievousness, his caring heart and the look in his eyes when he saw me that made my tummy flutter. And the other look of wonder and love he had when he thought his friends didn't see him watching them.

He'd be so proud. No. Wait. He IS so proud of his squires and how they've grown and achieved so much. I know somehow he knows. I can feel his warm pride and love like he was standing next to me when I think on them, him, and their achievements.

But I still miss him. And I want a hug and his shoulder to sniffle in.
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This is the last Night of Observation, late as usual (gee, this writing after midnight is getting to be a habit)... The Night of Family Pets.

I was going to write about Cindy, my last basset hound, but really, after I said goodbye to her ( I found that I don't have anything to add. And Gimli... ah, Gimli. I wasn't going to write about him, but I think I will )
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The Recently Dead... that might just be the three guys who are using heavy tools to sand down pieces of metal not ten feet from my office window. Armor needs to be made, I understand that, but... (actually, I'm feeling a little sorry for them too, since it's cold enough that two of them are muffled up in coats, scarves, and hats. I'm glad they're smart enough to wear hats).

I'm relieved to realise that in my world, I don't have any 'recently dead'. Everyone who I can think of who have passed on this year were more important to me because of how their deaths affected my friends rather than how they affected me. That's a nice change from last year when I had to write about my mother and Gyrth. As I was saying:

Johan von Traubenburg )

I have one (maternal) grandmother left alive. My parents and three of their parents have passed on. It seems so strange. I'm becoming the Oldest Generation.

Tomorrow is the last night, the night of Family Pets.
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