Guest Post by David Hoexter
I tend to ruminate a lot. Perhaps we all do. At any rate, I was out walking the dog Christmas morning. Gorgeous, clear, perhaps 50 degrees (F). Already around 10:30, yet hardly anyone around. Occasional car passes, another dog walker, one bike.
I passed two of our neighbor’s houses. Long time friends. Our friends in their 80s and 90s, each couple with one member in quite poor health. The other member providing love and care. Pretty much a full-time occupation for all four.
So, I was ruminating about such things when I saw a car back out of a blind driveway in front of me, narrowly missing someone “walking” herself and her little dog. Except that she wasn’t walking, she was in a wheel chair, propelling herself at quite a goodly pace with her feet, dog leash in one hand and the other hand occasionally in use to assist with propulsion or steering. She looked to be at least 80.
What with our (me and dog) frequent stops to do the things dogs like to do, especially this one, it was quite awhile before we caught up to the lady and little dog. Actually, she crossed the street, purposely I believe, to greet us and exchange Holiday and New Year greetings. I recognized her from our previous walks, passing her house, except that on previous occasions she was not wheel-chair bound.
Wheel chair or not, though, she was just as bright and cheery as she had been the last time we chatted. I thought of my own mother, 94 and not quite as spry but always of such good nature, cheer and loving. And so I realized just some of the blessings of my life.
|Mary, David, and Dogozshi|
Since this is ostensibly a pottery blog, and I am required to include at least one image, here are a few of my favorite early 20th century American calendar plates, advertising items given by merchants at the end of the year to thank their customers (and of course encourage their continued patronage). As some of you know, I am documenting these plates, particularly the year 1910, the peak year for the practice.
Ringing Out the Old, Ringing in the New Year. So far, I’ve documented 1,892 plates from 1910, produced in 232 patterns. Of the total, 197 are this pattern (12%), by far the most produced example.
Angel Pulled by Moths. Only 17 of this pattern. For the life of me, I cannot fathom the message (is it some sort of myth?). Maybe there is no message, just someone’s fantasy. Any thoughts?
Canoemates. Need I say more?
Some cherubs. Makes me think of the new year and renewal.
Finally, The Old Swimming Hole. Yes, I know, Winter just began.
For David's other guest posts, see "Discovering America Through Historic Calendar Plates" and "Pottery in Context: An Unexpected Discovery."