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N in azaleas

Good morning from cloudy Detroit

It's cloudy, but it's very pretty here in the summer, if you know where to look. The trees are full and lush, and the daylilies are blooming cheerfully. At last, I see where all those pictures I wondered about as a kid in the children's encyclopedia came from. To a girl in Houston, Texas, a blue spruce is about as likely a sight as a unicorn.

Maybe that's where my love of fairy tales and whimsy was born: even the non-fiction, the "facts" I learned as a little girl weren't very true in my environment. The first robin of spring is never hangin' round the slightly darker green leaves of the oak tree in January in the stories we were taught in 1st grade.

I was thinking about that again last night. On the local PBS station, there was a show about solving historical problems. The problem in question: was the bayonet found in the rafters in a home in a town in New Jersey used in Custer's Last Stand (Battle of Little Big Horn)? The research was conducted in likely places: an expert in Richmond, VA; a specialty library in Lancaster, PA. I felt a little thrill of "I've been there!" that made me want to pay more attention. I wonder if I would have been more interested in American History if I had seen the places discussed in the textbooks.

More than the arrogance we are accused of, that may be why so many Texans enjoy or insist on Texas history in the schools in Texas. It's a little unusual, but it's also easier to see.


Moving to the Northeast certainly gave me that sense of, "Oh THAT'S what the history books were talking about." But the funny thing is where I noticed it specifically was in traditions related to Christmas. Every story I'd ever read of a typical turn of the century Christmas made no sense to me - cutting down your own tree? drinking hot cider at an orchard? snow? huh?

My first year in Connecticut, I had this feeling of, "Oh THIS is what Christmas traditions are about. Now I get it."
For me, it was seeing that leaves actually change color before they fall off. I never actually *saw* it happening until I spent a few years in Illinois.

I now understand why Autumn foliage tours are so popular
Oh, TOTALLY. My first year in Connecticut, I was just floored by how beautiful fall was. And all my neighbors kept saying, "Eh, this is about a 2 out of 10, not a good one." I would reply, "Well, in my world it goes to 11."

My mother is coming up this fall to do a foliage tour with me. She's never seen the beautiful fall colors. I can't wait to share it with her.
N in azaleas

September 2009

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