Thursday, December 13, 2012

Legacy and Simple Lives

Today I'm going to share a story with you about my home, but first I'd like to share a few links to things that I've found this week around the web that I hope you'll find interesting. I got a good response to my last post that featured this idea and wanted to give it another go this week.

  • I don't love the first part of this post about public breastfeeding (and in part I can't relate because I've really never been given anything but support and encouragement about publicly feeding my child) but the interview and story about the gorilla are particularly interesting.  The story is about a gorilla who didn't know how to breastfeed its baby because it was raised in captivity. Reportedly it was able to successfully breastfeed its second baby after being exposed to nursing human mothers with their babies.  The interview talks about the role of public breastfeeding in a society. I want to be a part of a community where mothers breastfeed openly in public so I do. It can be hard sometimes, especially at the beginning, but posts like this one give me that ammunition I need.
  • I love thinking about children as little scientists and philosophers, constantly testing and adjusting their understanding of the world through experimentation. This article talks about preschoolers using play to draw conclusions about other people and how the world works.  Interestingly, it suggests that direct instruction can actually make it more difficult for children to learn from play. This is a line I constantly walk with Ellie because I want her to have structured "work" but also to have freedom to explore.
  • This series on PBS about chefs looks really interesting. 
  • I love this post about choosing your battles, another very big thing I struggle with daily. It also talks about drawing on mindfulness during times of stress and vulnerability.
  • On a similar point, this is an excellent post about setting AND keeping limits with your little ones. I find the steps, especially letting the child work through their emotions about the limits, and examples to be very helpful. 
  • My husband and I are going to try making this activity of listing things that can help us reduce the tension in our home. Like many couples, we were more harmonious before we had a child and are working to get back to that place. 
  • Lastly, my friend Nikki just opened her Etsy shop QuietRitual featuring her natural body care products, which I talked about on my Facebook page. I have used most of the ones she has listed and they are incredible. Totally luxurious but 100% safe. No artificial fragrances or preservatives. 

I hope you find a few of those links interesting!  Now on to the story.
I don't know if I've mentioned it here before but the home we purchased a few years ago has quite a history behind it.  We are the third owners of the small two-bedroom home, the first being a family of seven!  The second owners lived there for many years, having children who grew up and left.  We purchased the home from the wife and mother, in her mid 80s, who was downsizing to move into an apartment complex associated with assisted living.  Her husband had passed a way over a decade before we bought the home but he left his legacy throughout and I am still discovering small but incredibly meaningful things that once belonged to him and are now mine.  (I posted on my Flickr about his pencil sharpener and screw jar.)
Bob was a book buyer by profession for the majority of his adult life.  This is no small fact in this the only American City of Literature. When his wife moved, she allowed her children to go over the house and take what they wanted and we told her to leave us absolutely anything else.  We have slowly worked our way through his books which line the walls of the basement.  (This photo is from when we closed on the house, so none of this furniture remains but all the shelves are still full of books.)
Many of the books that were left behind are very special gifts from the publishers, given only to select groups of people.  Some are numbered and most contain a plate like this one:

Without exception they feature incredible book design and typography.  Today I'm going to show you four books that Bob left behind that are about Christmas. They are beautiful and meaningful.
The book on the far right, The Spirit of Christmas at Monticello, has beautiful illustrations and type.

 The one on the far left has a sweet little press logo.

And is filled with poetry.

The book called An Alphabet of Christmas Words is right up my alley, featuring the meaning and history of English words related to the holiday. I love it.
And finally my favorite, Two Kinds of Christmases.  Beautiful binding.
A little note on handmade paper just inside the cover.
Featuring this quote.
And filled with letters related to Christmas. Some ancient.
Others a little more modern.
And still others that are incredibly moving. Please click on this one to read.
We feel so lucky to have inherited so much of Bob's legacy. I can only hope that I should die with such an impressive book collection to represent me decades after I'm gone.

Finally, it's Thursday and that means it's time for Simple Lives! Thanks for sticking through this huge post and click through to see what people are linking up this week. We all have the holidays on our minds so it's great to be thinking about how to keep it simple.

 Featured Posts from Last Week's Submissions
SLT Featured Post Badge
We really enjoy reading your posts each week! Featured post bloggers, please grab the badge above and display it on your site! Link it to one of the host blogs' posts for the specific week that you were featured. Here are our picks from last week's submissions. Thanks to all who participated -- it is always hard to choose!
1. Canning Jar Pin Cushions by The Local Cook. "I like to stitch while we watch TV. So I thought hey, I should get a pincushion."
2. Homemade Liquid Hand Soap by Thank Your Body . "It's good. It's gentle. Effective. Toxic-free. And doesn't leave my hands feeling like they just got a chemical bath." chocolate cloud cakes
3. Chocolate Cloud Cakes by Riddlelove. "These little cakes are gorgeous in presentation and delightful to sink your spoon into."


Liz @ Tip Top Shape said...

This is such a heartwarming post! It's nice that his legacy is living on in you all finding and experiencing his books.

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