My Story Begins

Our history course this year ended with the Ottoman Turks taking over Constantinople in 1453, and the Gutenberg printing press. I thought our book’s author did a great job of drawing our attention to the way many events in history are linked together, like a chain. There are about six important links in Constantinople’s chain, for instance, that without any one of the events, the others might not have happened in quite the same way. The author pointed out how the apostle Paul is one of the first links, spreading the gospel to key cities in that area and establishing a godly heritage for many people there.
One of the activities for that lesson was for the children to make their own ‘history chain’ of any five events. I shared as an example the progression of my father choosing to move to Ohio to go to college, then meeting my mom, then me being born, then me choosing to go to Liberty, then me meeting Luke, then the children themselves all coming along. Pivotal events in this chain include my dad’s and my big, states-long moves to go to college. If those events wouldn’t have happened, who knows who or where I would be, let alone the children. I think they really caught hold of not only the interesting side of history, but also the providence of God.
I’ve been mulling over the idea of writing my memoirs for some time now. On the one hand, shouldn’t one wait until they have a) done something noteworthy or b) lived a long time to see something noteworthy happen, before they plunge into something like this? The older I get, however, the less I remember, so my gut says to get kickin’.
I don’t know how far I’ll get into this before I lapse into a blogging coma again, but for the next little while this space will be the notes for that elusive memoir, for better or worse. I know there are some terrific links in my history chain that I want my kids to see and experience the way I experienced them, so here goes.

I was born on June 21, 1976, in Athens, Ohio, exactly three weeks past my due date. Since I was in a breech position, I had to be delivered caesarian. Back then the hospital stay for that surgery was one week, and after that, my mother went to stay with her mother in Rutland for another week. I think it is interesting to note that my dad, though seeing me in the hospital after being born, didn’t come to visit my mom at all while she stayed with her parents. Mom says it was because they were thirty miles apart, and due to his hectic work schedule at the coal mine. Did you know I was born a coal miner’s daughter? The separation would have been difficult- I can’t imagine not seeing Luke for weeks after A Major was born. He was my biggest help in those early days, singlehandedly unraveling my no-bottle, no-binky ambitions to allow me to get some much-needed sleep. Grandma Turner quite expertly filled this role for my mom, in addition being able to share her wealth of experience in motherhood.

How did your history chain begin? Tell me your story.

Mr. McGregor and Me

“Now, my dears,” said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, “you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr. McGregor’s garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”
~Beatrix Potter

I got so spoiled at Carol’s house, with those garden boxes up off the ground. Here at the new house we are planting things at ground level, and it is like leaving my most precious valuables out in the yard to be ravaged by the elements and the animals. Just as I’d feared, yesterday the kids came running in to tell me that some of my tomato plants had been compromised. We’d seen a rabbit in the garden the other day, and I suspect that this was the culprit.
Luke is my knight in shining armor when it comes to fencing. C had a phase where he was wandering away from the house, and Luke built me some temporary barriers to at least help slow his progress. Sigh- “My hero!” Not to be outdone, last night he put up a fence around my poor Romas in the hopes that this would give them a fighting chance against the unknown snacker. This morning, I looked out to see a rabbit in the garden again. It was hopping all over the place, apparently confused by the fencing. Big S ran out to shoo it away and check on the tomatoes. “Fourteen,” she came in with the survivor count. I started with eighteen. Yikes.
Seeing that rabbit (I’m guessing it’s the same one both times- he’s found his own Hometown Buffet!) made me think about the Beatrix Potter story we love about naughty Peter Rabbit and the gardener he thwarts, Mr. McGregor. There have been times in my life I could identify best with Peter. Aw, c’mon, it’s only a carrot. He’s got a whole garden full. I’m hungry, and getting what I want is all that matters, right? Lately, though, I am so much more in tune with the gardener, running after that pesky rabbit, rake in the air, angry as anything that he’s getting away. Gardens, and life, take a lot of work. It is frustrating to put in all that effort, only to have it not be appreciated by careless ones around us. Maybe I am getting old and crochety, but planting those tomatoes wasn’t easy.