Reading Ivanhoe at the age of nine

I remember The Engineer absolutely cracking up when I told him that our mother read the book Ivanhoe at the age of nine. I don’t remember why she told me that little tidbit. I mean it was probably because I was acting like a smart-alecky little kid, even though I was a 30 or 40-something mother of two and systems analyst. But I don’t remember the exact context. And I don’t remember exactly why it was so funny to The Engineer and me. Probably because neither of us had ever read Ivanhoe. Although I did read it after that little episode. If she could read it at nine…

When I unearthed the artifact in the photoooo, I let out a wee little bit of a gasp. I am certainly not the first person on earth who has dealt with her parents’ estate so I know some y’all will recognize the little time warpy feeling of “Oh! I remember that!”. Because I do remember this little cross-stitched picture so well. I want to think that it was on the wall in my loverly dream bedroom back in the house on Superior Street but I’m not sure. I know it was somewhere. And I remember The Commander telling me that she had stitched it when she was, oh, I can’t remember… Three? Six? Nine? Oh, probably not three but I believe six is possible. After all, she read Ivanhoe at nine. At any rate, it disappeared from sight at some point, likely when the parents moved to the Dillon house. I was busy with my life and I forgot about it… until I was cleaning out The Comm’s dresser a couple months ago.

It’s so hard sometimes to know what to do with the things that my parents owned. There is stuff that’s easy to get rid of that I’m pretty sure nobody wants (exercise bike anyone?). There is stuff that seems to be destined for a particular grandchild. Mouse, as a fiber artist (among many other things), will likely end up with the thimbles from yesterday. I think Mouse is probably the only person in the family who actually *uses* thimbles. There is stuff that I like but cannot adopt because I don’t have room to store it. Or because I would kill it. Thank you to Lizard Breath and Dogmomster for adopting the houseplants. Dogmomster posted a wonderful photo on facebook showing how she had given a massive mess of African violets the space to breathe and thrive. THANK YOU!

Some things, like this little cross-stitch, fall into a gray area. In general I am in a flinging mode as you know if you are a regular reader. I have no plans to leave the earth any time soon but, when I do, I am not going to leave a mess behind. Also, I want to live a simpler life. Less stuff means it’s easier to clean and find the things I do need or value. But I will hang on to this little cross-stitch picture. Maybe my short-term strategy will be to take it up to the moomincabin and hang it up somewhere so others can look at it. And maybe it’ll just stay there until great big bugs take over our planet or whatever.

Odd that the cross-stitch has a green frame. I have been known to buy green frames. The first time I did so, I was kind of surprised at myself. It seems to be an odd color for a picture frame but I often think it works well… Who framed the cross-stitch? My mother? Or my grandmother? I dunno. Also, do I frame photos in green because it’s in my DNA or do I just subconsciously remember *this* frame? Or because it happens to work out well for the particular piece of art I am framing…

2 Responses to “Reading Ivanhoe at the age of nine”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Flinging is fine, but all the emotions around this cross stitch lead me to believe that you would regret getting rid of it. Plus it would only take up wall space! My husband wants to blow up some of his NYC photos from the ’70s, frame them and hang them on the wall. I’m not big on decorating, but will try to find a spot since they’re special to him, like this item is special to you!

  2. Mouse Says:

    That cross stitch goes nowhere. My walls would happily rescue/adopt it, but I think the cabin is most fitting.