My First Charades

August 26, 2017

I had told myself ….  NO MAS!!!


– for my ducks… I seemed to be gathering everyone in Southern California……and thought once a week was ‘nuff after I espied 32 Mallards  outside my kitchen with their bibs on…..


But then this unrelenting non (Ha!) Global warming seems to be staying  still Hot…..for at least another week…it is 120 tomorrow with the low at night of only being 90….


And then tonight….they all arrived….and 3 had the bold nerve to come up and knock on my double glazed sliding glass window….as I was at the kitchen table doing the NY Crossword puzzle…and gave me THAT stare that only someone with a long bill can give you….kind of intense…..


So what the heck……


I have been reading an OK biography of George Orwell…it is good but lacks details of his personal thoughts…

but so many men back then…they did just NOT express themselves as it showed a male weakness…my father was even that way…the old stiff upper lip that all men had to show…even if they experienced PTSD…which SOOO soo many of them did after the First World War and the Second….


Now that I think of it…even I was groomed to be that way …as after I was bullied repeatedly at St Albans…felt it was a weakness to tell anyone about it…so never did…..until much later in Life


The Wonderful thing about that you can find almost anything from old old movies to really anything…


I have taken up water-coloring ….(tho I do not have much spare time…)…due to a tutorial that this wonderful English Lady teaches…..


But I was searching for maybe a BBC video of George Orwell’s first wife…Eileen O’Shaughnesy Blair (George Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair…and he never legally changed it)….as she during WWII had a cooking class that she did….I just wanted to get a feel for her voice…..


I did not find her but came across George/Eric’s and Eileen’s adopted son Richard Blair giving a video for the George Orwell Society in which he says my father always said repeatedly that


“Freedom is the Right to Hear what other people do NOT want to hear”


It really sort of upset me…what with what we are going through right now….but yes that is what Freedom is…..


It made me think of “political correctness”…of years and years ago playing charades with my wonderful Aunt Mary…


it was after one of those wonderful dinners she served at Forest Lodge….with all those bear – bobcat skins hanging on the wall that her father had caught….the eagle staring at you as you ate dinner…in that wonderful logged High Ceilinged room


….an owl over near the front door…. the Blue and White Meissen china – Tiffany Silver…. Crystal Finger Bowls after the First course… (the first time I thought was a soup course)……a hand made wooden.. One  plank  dining table that seemed to stretch out to the lake…I mean I think it must have seated like 24 comfortably…..


Her help were the local Scandinavian girls…or the ones she brought from St Paul or New York


It is where I learned that you (if you were a server) served food on the left and picked up the plates  from the right…..


Yes she was Very Wealthy but as a child I only knew I had to  look my best…not tap dance  like Shirley Temple…. and NOT talk…….I knew nothing of high finances… what child does….


But she was one of the kindest …most caring people that I would Ever meet….she was driven in an old station wagon..wore the simplest basic clothes….I mean she had Always Had it all…so why needlessly spend money on herself…she looked like Miss Marple in one of the Agatha Christie movies…dressed in simple  off the rack tweeds….


Anyway we  were all stuffed with our freshly caught  trout dinner …and had moved into that Wonderful Living front of the Fireplace …above which did hang old authentic Revolutionary Rifles…with  original George and Martha Washington’s lithographs hanging next to them…Martha had a bonnet on


.well you could not really call it a Living Room…it was just a Very special relaxed timbered  room…the scent of the  phlox freshly cut from her upper flower garden was quite heady…


the stuffed animals everywhere…on the walls..the beautiful antique  grandfather longcase clock that displayed the positions of the Moon…. ticking away…


the old property maps of when King George (?) gave them most of upstate New York…this was the Livingston family…back when this country was first founded


Well after Hildy served us  our coffee… Aunt Mary said we would all play a round of Charades…


And don’t you know I GOT the clue Aunt Mary wanted to be performed…it said


“There is a ‘N…er’ in the wood pile”


I said AUNT Mary…I CANNOT attempt to Try this….


She said well Why Not  Robby…it is an old common expression


Aunt Mary was born in the late 1800’s….and due to my research lately have learned that most wealthy people ….in the UK and probably the US….went along with their wealthy  herd….Jews and Black people were working/lower  class and Not to be associated with….this was only changed after WWII…in the more Liberal cities…

though Aunt Mary NEVER in my mind was one to believe this way…she never followed the herd in her quiet unassuming way….


When I attended St Albans…well there were no black people until the 8th Grade when Frank Snowden came in…later to be a Dean at Yale…who my wonderful roommate Maria Derliplaniska


(gosh she was and is Gorgeous… ..studied under Frank  years later….she left me for Dubai where she taught English, French, etc to Arabic speaking girls…she knows like 20 languages….must contact her..)


But here is Wiki’s explanation of N…in a Woodpile:


A nigger in the woodpile or fence is a figure of speech[1] originating in America meaning “some fact of considerable importance that is not disclosed—something suspicious or wrong”.

Commonly used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, usage has declined since then, and use of the phrase by public figures has often been followed by criticism over the racism of the term “nigger“.


So all these years later…realize that Aunt Mary did not mean anything bad in her clue….


Lord I miss that woman!!!


She had such an unassumed way of  Magically   Touching Everyone!!!


Wonder if the White House has a Woodpile

One Response to “My First Charades”

  1. I had always heard or have heard that phrase repeated when a child does not look exactly as one of the parents

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