hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Friday, January 6, 2012

Visions of a Future

In the grey months in Point Roberts, it is easy to feel kind of stuck.  Each day, remarkably like the day before, can easily send you spiraling.  And, this mood, if you are the right kind of person, may have a reverse effect and send you into imagining projects that you might put together someday, maybe today, well, probably not today, but ...  later.

Last summer, I got myself together to order a bunch of lily bulbs because I thought it would be nice to have a bunch of lilies.  Now I await the growth of a dozen or so lily plants.  But in the grey days, I am imagining something better, maybe 80 lilies.  That's what the winter does for you, gives you dreams of grandeur, possibilities of plentitude, surprising plans.

I hear from a Point Roberts friend the other day that she has been spending her grey days planning a multi-summer trip around the U.S. visiting the final resting places of all the U.S. presidents and vice-presidents, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Other Important Americans.  Now there is a project to take hold (or have take hold of you).  She pointed out that the research possibilities that the internet gives us make the planning of such a trip a very engaging process.  Not to mention the wonders of strange information that comes up along the way.  Consider this, for example:

"Alabama's only grave of note is William DeVane King.  Now you ask why I remember this.  Well, Mr. King was actually Vice President King for about 40 days under President Franklin Pierce (1853-1857).  . . . There are a couple of things about Mr. King that are unique.  He was very ill with tuberculosis and so went to Cuba for "the cure" before the election even.  And because of this, he is the only president or vice president who was sworn in on foreign soil (Cuba).  He also served only 43 days of his term of office, growing increasingly ill, he returned to his native Alabama and died shortly after his return.  NOW .. .here's our connection to him.  The Oregon Territory, in celebration of the election of Pierce and King, named two of their territorial counties Pierce County and King County.  And when Washington Territory was carved from Oregon Territory, the names stuck.  And today … King County's county seat is Seattle, Washington … Pierce County's county seat is Tacoma.  Some years back when I lived in Seattle, the county hoi polloi decided that they simply could not continue to sport the name of a slaveholding Alabaman, so they changed the PERSON the county was named for to Martin Luther King."

That's what the grey days can do for you: delight you with unexpected information and challenge you with an unexpected trip.  But not right now: later.

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