Thursday, 31 January 2013

Thursday thoughts . . .


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When I was a little girl, I had a book which I just loved called . . . 365 Bedtime Stories, by Nan Gilbert. There are several versions of this book, but this is a picture of the one that I had,  which was published in 1955.    In it were 365 stories, one for each day of the year, most revolving around the children on a make-believe street called, "What-A-Jolly Street."  I just adored this book, so much so that I wore it completely out.   It was very well loved.   For years and years I have looked for a copy of it . . . but alas, anytime I have found one, it has been far beyond my capacity to pay the price asked for it.

Never mind . . . it lives on in my mind, just like the characters and stories on it's pages.  Each story had a moral value and taught me something, but there was much more than that on it's pages.   To a child whose father was in the air-force, and who lived far away from any extended family at that time, this book gave me a sense of community and a sense of belonging.   I never knew my Grandparents really . . . not like other children did . . . but there was an elderly woman in the book named Mrs Apricot and the neighborhood children always gathered on her front porch where she would tell them stories.  She was everything that I imagined a Grandmother to be.    I had vague memories of my own Grandmother, but she had died when I was 5 years old and so they were quite dim.

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Inside the front cover and probably the back, I can't remember . . . there was a map of the street which told you which house belonged to which family . . . there was a school and a store and of course Mrs Apricots house and all of the children's homes.    I used to daydream about what it might be like to live on just such a street as What-A-Jolly  Street.  I took many a trip down that street in my little girl mind.

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Yesterday afternoon we went to see the film Lincoln.  It was something which we really wanted to see together before I went to Canada and being Wednesday, it was Orange 2 for 1 day at the movies, where Orange customers can get a free ticket into the cinema for every one bought.

We really enjoyed it, although it was a bit wordy at the beginning . . .  but I got such a clear picture of how Congress works and of just what a great man Lincoln was and how very much he did for his country.  When we were watching it I thought of my old Bedtime story book.

I first learned of President Lincoln when I was a small girl . . . reading about him on the pages of my Bedtime story book.  I remember reading how as a little boy he grew up in a one room log cabin . . . about how he learned to read by firelight and how he would use burnt pieces of charcoal to write his letters with . . . and about how he grew up to be the President of America, one of the greatest nations in the world, from his very humble beginnings.


It gave my little girl heart hope for the future, for . . .  if a backwoods boy of such poor beginnings could become the President . . . what were the great things that I could do?  The possibilities were endless and amazing!  It is a wonder how a child's mind works, isn't it?   Anything is possible for them.  They are not bound by the restrictions and fears which bind the adult mind . . .

I would highly recommend seeing this film.  The acting in it is superb,  as is the cinematography.   It is beautifully and brilliantly filmed.  But then again . . . you would expect nothing less from Steven Spielberg.  I recognized many, many film stars in this film,  and I thought that Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field were excellently cast as President Lincoln and his wife Mary.

We talked in the car on the way home and wondered at all of the black people in America that suddenly found themselves free . . . what an amazing thing that must have been for them, and frightening too, I would imagine . . . what next for them???  I reckon that would be another interesting film or documentary for someone to make.  There surely must have been some difficult struggles for many, many of them to overcome.   And isn't it just so amazing that a race once so repressed and ill treated by the American people. . . now has the pride of being able to call one of their own Mr President.   I am glad for that, for now all men truly are equal, which is what Mr Lincoln wanted for the people of America, and as it should be.

Yesterday's Silver Lining . . . we stopped at McDonald's after for a drink and we saw the sweetest little toddler.    She had pretty red hair . . . the kind of red hair you wish you could have, and big brown eyes.  She was just beautiful.  She was wearing a pink tutu and her father was in the army, as he was wearing his fatigues.  She smiled at us and brightened our day.   A smile freely given makes every day better don't you think?

A thought to carry with you through the remainder of today . . .

"If we pay close attention we will come to realize that no day is the same as another.  Every morning brings with it a hidden blessing.
~Paulo Coelho 

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Roast Lemon Chicken. Simple and delicious.  Enjoy!



3 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Every day does have it's blessings and it's always nice to see your silver linings. Hope your Thursday is filled with many more.

Laurie said...

you are the silver lining to many of my days Marie, I read your blog long long before I ever commented or long before I started my own,you helped me through some rough times without ever knowing you did, I thank you for that, in fact I did hank you on my blog a few days ago, I hope today is all you could wish for,

Carolyn T said...

Hi Marie - Carolyn here, from California . . . enjoyed what you had to say about the movie, Lincoln. I agree. Really good movie, and I learned a lot about the edgy side of politics (not very pretty, and certainly it all seemed like a big game to me). You might be interested (now) to read Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker. It's a brand new book (I got it on my Kindle) which chronicles the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Keckley, a black woman who made most, if not all, of Mrs. Lincoln's gowns while her husband was president. It's a very fascinating insight into the day to day life at the White House during Lincoln's presidency. Knowing how you enjoy sewing, thought you might be interested. There isn't much of anything in the book about sewing, other than the fact that Lizzie was renowned for making the kind of tight bodices that were popular in that day. Funny name - can't remember what they were called.
Give Mitzie a pet for us!