1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Monday, December 15, 2008

La Mere OIE, Another Goose That Gathers Golden Eggs

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth, without any bread,
Then whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.

--a Mother Goose (La Mere Oie) nursery rhyme--

Watching a professional at work can really help an amateur like me understand that photography is really not my thing. A week ago Saturday we drove over to Bayview Park in Pensacola, and the wife of one our son's co-workers took some holiday family photos of all of us. It was a pleasure to watch her work with that camera and a keen eye for detail. The experience wins hands-down over the usual uncomfortable poses, fake sets, and hot lights in someone's studio. Besides, Hubby and I got to take some pictures of everyone too, even the photographer.

Now that Micah is able to sit still for about thirty seconds and listen to someone read, the best choice for story material (at least in my opinion) usually ends up as a selection from a book of nursery rhymes and bedtime stories. Even my son remembers this book, and I found his name scribbled in the pages today. I guess he was practicing penmanship at the time and could not find any paper handy. Once I started reading these time-tested verses again, I began to wonder if people still find them fascinating now that we are firmly embraced by the electronic age.

My various queries at one point turned up over two million entries on the subjects of nursery rhymes and Mother Goose! Not many of them were kind to the old bird, and in fact many of them pointed out that her verses for children are politically incorrect today. Whipping children soundly after half-starving them doesn't sound very kind or correct in any age. One entry I read maintains that most, if not all, nursery rhymes were not originally composed for children's benefit but rather as political jabs at the powers-that-be. Aha! Now I don't feel so bad for possibly scaring the wits out of my children or damaging their psyches when I read those scary stories and verses to them years ago. I was merely preparing them for the big, bad world out there and helping them begin to navigate those shark-infested waters known as p-o-l-i-t-i-c-s and e-c-o-n-o-m-y.

Did I just say big, bad world? I forget sometimes. Our economy is global now, and I have helped create it. My vote counted for the powers-that-be.


  1. What beautiful photographs of your family!!!

    I love the Christmas carols added to your blog!

    I read Mother Goose to my son also, and think the sweet/silly rhymes are just perfect for any child...preparing for the big, bad world!!! LOL! Mother Goose rocks!!!

  2. I love your cover photo here. It looks impressionistic. Did you take that?

  3. Thank you, Julie. We had a lot of fun taking the pics and being "captured" ourselves. Micah enjoyed himself too, romping through the wildflowers and letting us chase him all over the place. Glad you carried on the nursery rhyme tradition.

    C.M., yes, I took the header photo. It was taken the day we visited the Blackwater Heritage Trail (last post). There were several pretty little streams/creeks gurgling along through the shadows and over the grasses. Thanks for noticing it!

  4. Let's hope children never outgrow nursery rhymes or the old familiar stories! Somehow the ogres and trolls don't seem as scary as arrogant politicians or CEO's:)

    My grandchildren love looking at some of the old books I've kept and seeing their daddy's name scrawled in childish letters on the pages.

    Have a happy holiday season, W2W!

  5. I remember some of the Grimm Brothers tales my Grandmother read to me out of her ancient book of children's stories. Grim indeed! I much preferred more modern tales like the Little Engine Who Could. Still I guess kids have to learn about villains and heroes bravery.

  6. Rose, this "kid" for sure will never outgrow the old stories. It's fun to carry on the tradition with Micah. He learns things so quickly, it's amazing. When he is around, we have to really watch what we say aloud, which is probably a good thing anyway. I can't watch or read the news when he visits, or I get too steamed. Hope you have a peaceful holiday with your loved ones!

    Marnie, I wonder who wrote that Little Engine story and when? Do you suppose the author was being supportive of the Industrial Revolution or just encouraging determination/hard work? I guess my suspicious mind works overtime now. I always want to know the story behind the story.

  7. Loved the family photos, Micah especially!! You've changed your blog name too! I think your header is beautiful...looks surreal.

    Despite being labelled as politically incorrect, the charm of nursery rhymes will remain for many of us. And the fact that you can still enjoy reading (them) to your grandchild, is a blessing!

  8. Reading to kids is therapeutic for the reader and edumacational (sic) for the kids. My Mom always used to say it wasn't as important WHAT you read as THAT you read. It's what instilled my own lifelong joy of reading.
    Looks like you're not going to have a white Christmas. Happy Yule anyway, and enjoy your time with family.

  9. Thanks, Kanak. I decided a makeover was in order now that we are not roamin' anymore. Time to do a little housecleaning and sprucing up around here. I'm trying to get an early start on my New Year's resolutions. There is a long to-do list.

    WS, do comic books count? I can remember being fascinated by them for a while when I was a kid. As for the white Christmas, I'll pretend the bits of cotton left behind in the field nearby are drifts of snow. Thanks for the happy wishes and same to you and your family!

  10. There's even more weirdness behind children's fairy tales when you go into a historical and critical analysis.

    What a handsome family you have! I'm reading excessive love in-between the lines, this is as it should be.

    "My vote counted for the powers-that-be." Hmmm.

    Your playlist is wonderful. I've yet to hear anything I've not been attracted to. Gary Hoey's "Feliz Navidad" has great lead guitar. Sting's "Fields Of Gold" will always have special meaning to me; at a time in my life when hurt became a best friend - those memories still speak. And what can I say about Elvis? Except that I used to comb my hair like his when I was a kid.

    My! I almost got carried away.

  11. Beautiful photos..I enjoyed them. Many of the stories that we were told aren't politically correct or just darn right scary, but I don't remember any nightmares over them..just all the ones I have now over the way the country is. Now that is scary..

  12. TC, is the love that apparent? I thought I was concealing it fairly well behind the scary stories and political intrigue. I can just see you looking back and forth between a picture of Elvis and your image in the mirror. Wait a minute! You're supposed to have a Farrah Fawcett poster on your wall, not one of Elvis. Glad you're enjoying the playlist. It just keeps growing. I trim it and tweak it every so often. So you like even the Gregorian chant thing? I've been meaning to tell you, I'm a big fan of your playlist too. Love the Kottke. I actually still have records of his (LPs): Time Step and My Feet are Smiling.

    Michelle, thank you. I wish I could post some of the pics the photographer took. She knows how to work that Nikon and her subjects! I like that quote you used lately about the whole world having its snack and a nap in the afternoon. Can't you just picture the world leaders on their daycare cots listening to a bedtime story and sucking their thumbs?

  13. I have one Gregorian Chant CD: Saint Benedict Introit - Saint Benedict Monastic Choir of the Abbey of Notre Dame of Fontgombault.
    And I love it, and most all other Gregorian Chant. It's very spiritual and solemn, when I listen to it, I'm completely at ease, almost expecting God to appear at any moment with the Heavenly Gregorian Choir. As a convert to Catholicism, it has inspired a historical look at the Church, in both its glory and its gore.

  14. It's amazing how much literature has been influenced by catholicism. I've always been drawn to the pageantry and mystery of the Catholic Mass. First time I ever went to Mass was with a friend when I was about 13. When she got up to take communion, I started to follow her up to the altar. I was stopped just in time by her sister at the end of the pew sticking her foot out in front of me. It was definitely one of those wish-for-a-trapdoor-to-appear experiences. They are great to look back on and laugh about now. Thanks for reminding me, TC!

  15. Well now that is one way to look at nursery rhymes-preparing the kids for the big bad world. Maybe letting them know how bad others have it might make them appreciate their own lots in life? Like the simple pleasure of having a book read to them. Always a nice thing, as well as sitting on beautiful trees with family. Micah is getting really big.

  16. W2W: A good friend of mine, non-Catholic, attended a funeral mass for one of our best friends who died suddenly, this was about ten years ago. They had Communion and when it was our row's turn, he got up with the rest of us, turned to me and whispered, "I take Holy Communion whenever I can." I think if you're prompted by God to partake, nothing should stop you. It seems a little cruel to be denied such a blessing. (And if you haven't detected it by now, I'm a liberal Catholic.)

  17. Gorgeous new header photo! It makes me think of Monet's gardens. How nice it must be to be back with your family. I laughed over the sitting still for 30 seconds line. How much fun to share books and rhymes with your grandson.

  18. Tina, reading to my kids was one of my greatest joys as a parent. Micah is in for a treat when he gets a little older. I'm pretty good at getting into character when I'm reading. Just imagine Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire when he is visiting his brother the make-up artist and is at the employment agency. I do voices!

    TC, I'm of the same opinion as you on communion. God is not amused, I think, with humans putting limits on His open invitation.

    Sarah, thank you! I took the picture from a bridge on the Blackwater Heritage Trail. Who would think an image from a swamp could be so evocative?

  19. Neat post! The family photos are just wonderful, and I know you all enjoyed the whole process. Plus, your comments on Mother Goose were interesting. We forget how dreary, negative and even scary nursery rhymes and stories were until we re-read them with a discerning eye....knowing they were political comments surely does help, and kids always love them no matter what! :-0 I guess the writers would have been punished if they had come right out to say what they felt and believed back then, and they had to hide behind the rhymes. No first amendmenmt rights, then, thjat's for sure!

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my Jamestown post, about my daughter, and also about the boats being so surprisingly small. i think that always startles people the first time they see them. Have a wonderful Christmas!!!


  20. Marie, when I started taking pictures behind the photographer taking pictures, it seemed a bit ludicrous and redundant. I thought she would mind me "looking over her shoulder" and shoo me off, but she was wonderfully relaxed about the whole thing and didn't mind at all. She was so focused on what she was doing I don't think she even noticed I was there most of the time. I guess that's why I said I could never be a professional photographer, at least not for humans. I usually feel self-conscious about taking photos when other people who are not family are nearby. I'm afraid they will think I am invading their privacy. Give me a natural scene, and I'm in my element! I'm also in my element when studying literature's social and political implications in the past as well as for the present and future. Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a joyful holiday!

  21. A fine blog. This, my first visit, has been thoroughly enjoyable.

  22. Thank you, Mr. King. I'm glad I saw your comment on Sarah Laurence's blog and followed it to your site. Reading your post and your visitors' comments, I feel like I'm invited to sit in on a fascinating lecture/literary discussion. You can be sure I will return.

  23. Dear Walk2write,
    I have often thought I would enjoy going on a photo shoot with a professional! So much to learn.
    I also read Mother Goose to my children! I still read fairy tales and tall tales. I love them. I like to read the folk lore of other cultures too.
    Have a Happy Christmas!

  24. Hello, Sherry! Hope you are staying warm. Those fairy tales and tall tales are as compelling today as they have been for centuries. Perhaps it's because they are handed down as an oral tradition, from generation to generation, mother or father reading them to the children. Stories that are passed down with loving intention will be remembered and cherished. Thanks for visiting and have a blessed holiday!

  25. Wonderful pics of the family. I know you are enjoying your time with your family.

  26. Thank you, Lola! I hope you have a merry Christmas too. You and I will have to keep all of those other garden-bloggers warm with our wishes!

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