Jan. 20, 2000

This is my contribution to Connected Recollections, the journal collaboration project for the MEMOIR webring. The topic this month is:

Old Wives Tales

Do you remember any "old wives' tales" or superstitions from childhood? How did you learn them? Do you still believe in any of them?

When I was a child (wayyyyy back in the 1950's, when we walked five miles to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways and we LIKED it) there was a quaint, romantic friendship ritual -- blood brothers and sisters. I remember being quite young (five? seven?) playing in the back yard with another girl whom I unfortunately cannot at all remember, and being persuaded to scratch my finger (on purpose!) so that we could mingle drops of blood and become "real sisters".

It probably didn't help the friendship along much, but remains one of those innocent childhood notions. Well, formerly innocent. I don't know whether children still do this but I have to hope not. The fear of disease claims yet another expression of intimacy. Fortunately, the notion of friends feeling as close as sisters remains.

The other superstitions I can recall were more prosaic. We used to avoid cracks in the sidewalk ("step on a crack, break your mother's back", although that one never made sense to me) avoid walking under ladders (good common sense) and worry (for about a minute) if a black cat crossed our path or if we broke a mirror.

My mother once heard me humming early in the morning, and said, "If you sing before breakfast you'll cry before dinner." It took me about thirty years to think of wondering why she would say that to me. I guess she was having a bad day, or else I was way off key. Or both.

Benjamin Franklin was full of good advice:

  • Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.
  • Vessels large may venture more,
    But little boats should keep near shore
  • It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.
  • Remember that time is money.
  • God helps them that help themselves.
  • Early to bed and early to rise,
    Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

It seems night owls and procrastinators got little respect in the 18th century.

Linque Du Jour:   The Clio Chronicles

This is the online journal of the originator of the Memoir Webring and Connected Recollections collaboration. Her past and present are beautifully and insightfully intertwined in this collection of personal essays, musings, and collaborations for various projects. Almost every entry has me muttering, "Yes, I'm like that too!" Connected by recollections.

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