"My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them -- by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents." - Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mama's Name

I wrote the poem below in 2002 at the age of 14. It's not a great poem, it rhymes but the meter is off quite a bit. It's just a fun story really. The funny thing to me now is that I've just recently started loving the name Eleanor and am seriously considering it as the name for my first daughter. Just now looking at it again I realized that I had chose Eleanor for the name in this poem. :)

One day a lady asked me,
"What is your mother's name?"
Of course I said, "It's mama."
My brother said the same.

"No, the name she was given at birth.
The one her parents gave her
When she first came to earth."

So then I got a thinkin'
My brow began a wrinklin'.

So what if it were true,
That my mama had another
Name I never knew?

And then I began to guess,
Could it be Grace, Ida or Jess?

Could her name be Dorothy?
Bernice, Clara or Emily?

So I went to ask mama,
Was her name Wanda, Wendy,
Sandra? It couldn't be Zee!

"Mama," I said.
"Yes." She spoke
As she made bread.

"Is your name Mary,
Beth, Ruth or Lucy?"

"No Ellie, it's not."
She said to me.
"Well is it Katie?"

"No miss Eleanor."
"Well what then?
I can't guess no more!"

"Come close, I'll whisper in your ear."
So I leaned close to hear.
She said: "It's Eleanor, my dear."

"That's my name!" I exclaimed.
See, our names were the same!

So every time I think of this,
I think how special mama was,
And I give my daughter a kiss.

For her name is Eleanor too,
And when she feels blue,
I tell her of mama's name,
And mine is the same.

Laurie B Michael 2002

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Heedless Young Housekeeper - part 3

After Catherine had sent Dorcas to ready her dress, she turned her attention to the kitchen where their cook was already bustling about filling the entire place with tantalizing aromas. She was determined to shine in the table’s abundance, there would surely be no reason for General Tilney to find fault with their eating habits as he had on his previous visits. Mrs. Robinson, Catherine privately thought, exceeded even his cook in quality but Henry’s father too often seemed content with mere quantity, this evening he would not be disappointed.


“Dinner will be served at seven o’clock precisely.” She said more for her own remembrance than for Cook’s.
“Don’t you fret ma'am; we’ll be ready for them.” Mrs. Robinson said confidently in a tone that seemed to advise the enemy to beware.
On this note of confidence young Mrs. Tilney made her way to the drawing room, in her opinion the prettiest room in the world. She so enjoyed sitting here with its view of the apple trees and the small cottage in the meadow. It was the first room at the vicarage to feel the effect of its young mistress having been newly papered and furnished in the first year of her marriage. There Catherine straightened a candlestick and found one of Kitty’s dolls behind a cushion that had gone astray.


Later that afternoon as Catherine retired to dress before the Northanger party arrived, her husband came from his dressing room tying his cravat. “Cathy, my dear, I have been remiss in congratulating on our fifth wedding anniversary.”
“I had nearly forgotten it myself, in the busyness of the day.” She confessed and motioned for Henry to tie her sash.
“It seems like only yesterday we were engaged. I can still remember what your mother said when I asked for your hand.”
“Really, and what was that?” Catherine sat at her dressing table and slipped a pair of emerald earrings through her earlobes.
“She told me that you would make a heedless young housekeeper.” He said, smiling at his wife in the mirror.
Catherine chuckled. “I dare say she was right!”
“She also said that there was nothing like practice, and I believe in that statement she had great wisdom. I am daily filled with amazement at the way you care for our children and manage the household. I’m so proud of my little wife.”
Tears stung her eyes as she turned to look at him. “Things haven’t turned out too terrible.” She whispered.
“No indeed.” Softly Henry bent to kiss his wife the “heedless young housekeeper”.


A Heedless Young Houskeeper - part 2

After all had breakfasted, Catherine set about preparations for the Tilney’s dinner party as Henry had retired to his own untidy study to prepare for Sunday sermon before the meetings and business of the day.

She and the housemaid had completed most of the necessary housework in the past week. Henry’s own dear housekeeper had passed away only the year before, but young Dorcas had already proved herself an invaluable help to her mistress.

Catherine had many things to do; that evening the Tilneys would be hosting a dinner party including the Bevises and the Walshams, two Woodston couples, and Henry’s curate, Mr. James Paterson. Henry’s father General Tilney, together with Lord and Lady Whistledown, were to bring the table up to ten. These last three were to make their way from Northanger Abbey early in the afternoon, to visit and fulfill their promise of bringing the new baby to Woodston.


Little Edward Ainsworth was the first child of Henry’s sister Eleanor who had married Edward Ainsworth, Viscount of Whistledown a few months before Catherine’s own wedding. The couple had recently been spending a few weeks at Northanger Abbey before traveling on to Bath. The two ladies longed to see each other after an absence of almost a year since “wee Neddy”, as his uncle nicknamed him, had been born. Catherine’s own little Harry was only a few months older than his cousin and her Kitty almost two years older.


Named for their parents, little Kitty and Harry were the first, she hoped, of many children that would grace their home. Her husband had once suggested that they should try to exceed previous records of their parents by having twenty children. Catherine spoke of overtaking countries with such a brood and Henry joked of putting the old gossips of Bath into a flurry or at least filling the ancestral pile of Northanger Abbey with more noise than it ever had before. She wasn’t sure she could manage a brood of ten as her mother had, but she was used to have children around - five or six might be her maximum. Catherine had already imparted to Henry her premonition that she was expectant and secretly wished for a daughter to name Eleanor.


With Jemima caring for her young ones in the nursery Catherine walked the length of the hall to the guest rooms and with Dorcas’ assistance aired, dusted and stocked them with fresh linen, ready for their Northanger guest’s convenience. She then descended to the dining parlor to oversee table settings, seating must be perfect, but she was confident that this evening there would be no lack of conversation.