eglantine_br (eglantine_br) wrote,
eglantine_br
eglantine_br

Gratefulness Meme

Charlie gave me a letter for the gratefulness meme. She gave me the letter H. So I started thinking, and being grateful is good, and it feels good, but it is real thinking, isn't it? Serious thought, at least for me.

Where we place gratitude is like what we eat, maybe. It tells who we are.

So:

Hornblower

He started it all, all the new friends, and the new books, and my coming back to writing. I have found again that childhood joy of knowing that the world is full of people with ideas I want to hear. And it is a delight to know that the world is full of kind interesting funny people who want to write. So thank you, Horatio, who led me to Following Sea.

H names

Both my last names are H names. They mean different things to me. I was one of those who was happy to change my last name when I married. I put the old one aside with relief.

I had not had a very good time in the first 22 years, with my first last name. In fact it was pretty miserable. But I learned a lot. My family valued learning for itself. Our house was full of books. My parents believed that it was good to be useful, and to know how to do useful things. I remember my mother once cheering me on when I cleared a clogged sink with sulfuric acid, and it exploded all over the bathroom, so I used it to clean the grout too. Mom believed that a decent woman should be able to change a tire, deliver a baby, (human,) go home, wash your hands, make a delicious pot roast, and put on a dress and do some public speaking. I have done them all, not all the same day.

The second name was my husband's. I have had it now longer than the first one. It is me now. I like it. And starting over allowed us to invent a culture all our own, importing some things and discarding others. I think Tolstoy was wrong. Happy families are different. There is a miserable sameness to unhappy ones.

Husband

Sounds lame, but I really do like him. He is, among other things, my friend.

History

Oh this is a big one. I think for me there is a fascination with the place where fiction intersects with history. Reading for fun turns to reading to learn, and learning one thing leads to wandering into backwaters of other things. For example, Hornblower leads to learning about the Georgian Navy, and the reading habits of the Georgian Naval Midshipmen, (fictional and real,) and that leads to Marlowe and Marlowe wrote translations of Ovid. I don't know Ovid from an ostrich. So reading about him now. See what I mean?

And the best thing of all is that I'm not the only one. You guys know what I mean, because you do it too!

Tags: real life
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