Wind-ups and Lesson Plans in Oysterville

Dec 18, 2017 | 1 comment

Sydney Winding Down After Winding Up

Yesterday, it was ‘get out the wind-up toys’ night, and I was fearful.  In my mind (as I planned our holiday activities) it would be a time of play and laughter and reminiscing.  We’ve given wind-up toys to one another as stocking-stuffers for years, but this is the first time in forever that we’ve had the leisure to get them out and put them on display for ‘the season.’  Usually, Nyel and I do it hurriedly to have everything at-the-ready and the family blows in at more-or-less the last minute.

This year I asked that things be different – that everyone gather ten days ahead so that we could talk about the house, its generational contents, and its future disposition.  Hard topics, in a way, but, joyful, too.  There are few subjects as close to my heart as Oysterville and this old family house – the house we’ve all taken for granted for our entire lives.

‘The Kids’ – Christmas 2017

I was lucky enough to be living on the Peninsula for twenty years before my mother died – a whole generation of time to hear her stories of times past and to learn the history of the beloved objects I had never even been curious about.  Much of that information has found its way into one or another of my books and, probably, much has crept into the family-memories of Charlie and Marta.  But, with only short ‘special occasion’ sorts of visits, I am not confident how much has stuck with them.  It’s partly the historian in me but mostly the family DNA in me that wants to convey whatever I can before it’s too late.

So… here we are.  In my mind’s eye, I pictured decorating the house, cooking festive meals, and talking about this and that with the historic information just coming in willy-nilly the way it had for me.  But twenty days doesn’t equal twenty years of incidental ‘indoctrination’ (which sounds severe but I can’t think of another word that fits.)

Who is this guy? Is he flipping us off? Or picking my teeth?

Unpacking and playing with the wind-up toys went perfectly!  Just as planned!  And, right on cue, Charlie asked, “When are you going to talk with us about the house?  Isn’t that why you wanted us up here early?  Don’t you want to show us about things in each room or something?”  Gulp!  Suddenly, I realized that the way I learned my Family/House/Oysterville history lessons isn’t quite the way it will work this time around.  And, just as suddenly, the teacher in me kicked in.

I awoke this morning with my ‘lesson plans’ completed. I fully expect our ‘classes’ and ‘field trips’ to be as much fun as last night’s wind-up experience was.  How did I get to be so lucky as to have two such wonderful ‘kids’ home for Christmas, indulging me in my desire to give them Lessons for Posterity?  I hope I’m up to the task.

Let the lessons begin!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    They ARE wonderful and it has a lot to do with you!


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