Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday with Auntie

I'm sure that the burning question in everyone's mind is What exactly does an old maid do in her spare time? Not that I can blame you - we happen to be fascinating creatures.

The short answer is that we do whatever the hell we want because we are forces to be reckoned with and everyone is afraid to try and stop us. The longer answer is that we do things like dress in our best Swamp Yankee garb and take our nephew to the store to buy hair gel and to the library so he can get his library card updated and work on the research for a science project.

I love libraries. They are the Old Maid Mothership: quiet and full of books. I can happily wander around a library for hours, picking up books on this and that and exploring whatever interests me at the moment. I am currently in the grip of an obsession with the seventeenth century - specifically, the early American settlers from whom I am descended.

I've also developed an interest in Anne Hutchinson, who was a haughty, opinionated woman and a thorn in the side of our Puritan forefathers. She was a founder of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the town where I grew up. The book I am holding in the picture is Eve LaPlante's American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, The Woman Who Defied The Puritans, which is considered by The Friends of Anne Hutchinson to be the best book on the subject.

After we finished up at the library and ate our weight in pizza, I convinced my nephew Cameron (the young giant pictured above) and the Army Dude that we should go to Lawton's Valley in Portsmouth, which I had been to for picnics as a child and I remembered had a small graveyard. The Army Dude said to Cam, "Auntie Maria never met a dead person she didn't like." There's something to that, actually. The dead are far less annoying than the living.

The oldest headstone that can still be read in the graveyard is from 1776, but my research indicates that the oldest grave is from 1763. Most of the people buried there are the descendants of Captain George Lawton, who was a follower of Anne Hutchinson and was a signer of the Portsmouth Compact with William Hutchinson, Anne's husband.

The things I do only seem random.

1 comment:

Jason said...

regarding "...we happen to be fascinating creatures..." does that means Team Maria (trademark symbol here) has more people? Are they hiding in Old Maid HQ??? I didn't know the HQ has a landing pad for the Old Maid Mothership. Since Halloween is coming up, I'm thinking you could dress up like the photo in your "Auntie Maria IS Auntie Maria" post, or maybe as a witch of some sort. A nice, random witch with a combined Hyundai / Hello Kitty logo on the broom stick.