I learned many years ago that I have an obsessive personality. I always had to have a theme to pursue and I drove everyone crazy with it but that has just always been me. It was that knowledge of myself that kept me from trying drugs and taking it carefully with alcohol and gambling. I knew what would happen if I wasn’t very careful. The other truth about myself is “Happiness was born a twin, you must share it to have it.” So when I got hooked on a theme I had to have someone to share it. As a kid I loved music I took guitar lessons and piano lessons but it was not the making of the music that fascinated me but the songs and the words of those songs so I never learned to make the music I just could not stick to the practice. I listened to songs over and over again so I could write down the words to the songs and drove everyone crazy doing that! But I didn’t have anyone to share that obsession with so moved on to folk tales and several other themes over the years so was considered “easily bored”. I wish I had latched onto education earlier but didn’t until after I was married and had three children. Poor Joe was born in the middle of that obsession. I found math when I was 30 and the rest is history. I got my degree in elementary education because Norman was sure I could not keep high school kids in line so I started my teaching ( a chance to share what I was learning ) in the second grade and continued my learning by working on my Masters Degree. I moved from grade to grade. I taught grades 2, 2/1, 5, 5/6(science and math) 7/8 math and then Joe was born and I took time off to teach kindergarten. I was going to stay home with Joe but when school started in Sept. I just could not sit and talk to 7 month old and a bunch of women who didn’t want to talk about anything but labor pains and cooking and housework. So I got a teaching job at Crotch Mountain School for the deaf and I was off on a new angle of education and I got my education in Special Ed. That opened up a whole new area to follow and for five years kept me busy and happy. I got my Masters Degree and certification in secondary math, social studies,science and english and in special Ed. Then decided I like the math the best and there was lots more to learn there so got a job in the high school teaching math and being the department head in the math department. At this same time I got hooked on subsistent living so dabbled a lot in that. We tried a farm in New Hampshire in Peterborough then in the White Mountain Area but never gave up the teaching as farming was not going to be the thing without a cash crop big enough to pay the bills and New England was not an area you could make a farm work for us. So we moved to Florida and I expanded my education theme. I became the Math Team Coach and loved that, then moved into teaching college . Norman went along with my search. He retired from the ball bearing industry and tried running a guest house and cottages in the White Mountains then moved to Florida and went into the real estate business getting his broker’s license. Then we both retired and we went to Georgia to subsistence farm and did a good job of that. I got hooked on proper eating and living and found there was lots to study and learn about that. Then we carried it one step further by moving to TN and building a farm from the wilderness. We spent ten years doing this with both of us happy and busy. We didn’t get bored but we did get old so we sold that and have now moved to Florida again. I still needed to find something to keep learning and being able to share what I learn. I was out of step with education, just too old to keep someone else interested enough to share it with. Finally after several different starts I have found a new obsession, and you are my way of sharing my happiness. Hope you don’t mind.
Years ago when I was making doll clothes and selling them at craft fairs and on the internet I met a woman in Australia. She send me a book “Dolls and Bears to Make and Dress” I have read this book over and over again. Every year I would read it and dream of making all the dolls in that book – When I had Time. Well, this year I had time and I made Golly. I enjoyed that and shared it with you. He was well received so I looked up where he came from. I found a reprint of the original children’s book he came from and his history in Australia. I found he is not politically correct so decided I would not sell him but I could keep him to read to my great grand children when they are old enough to understand. That reminded me of “Little Black Sambo” which was one of my favorite stores as a kid so I found a reprinting of that book also and have added that to my new library and will make dolls to go with it. I do want to look into the history of the book and see what I can find about it and why it was finally banned. I then went to the swagman doll and that has opened a whole world for me. I have never been to Australia and knew nothing about it so The Jolly Swagman has introduced me to a whole new world.
The swagman has been a part of Australian history for as long as the country was. He was the traveling man looking for work. The swag was a bed roll that bundled his belongings. This came from the song “Walzing Matilda” written to a old tune in the mid to late 1800’s Matilda is the swag or bedroll. As the swag was the consent companion of the traveling man, many gave their bed roll a female name. Walzing derived from the German term “aug der Walz” which means to travel while working as a craftsman and learn new techniques from other masters. So Waltzing Matilda is to travel with a swag, that is, with all one;s belongings on one’s back wrapped in a blanket or cloth. I also got all the words to the song. so when I read the book-“Poka Dots and the Jolly Swagman” to my great grand children I can also sing the song to them while they act out the story with the doll.
Now it is time to get back to my bears- or I will never finish Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. Have a great day