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Books, Tea, Classical Music, and Me
August 9, 2017
Over the summer, I've enjoyed morning tea on the porch, time at the computer writing, and the lilting tunes of the classics. Additionally, I've discovered the music of Unger is a balm to my soul (Ashokan Farewell is one of my favorites). Granted, it's no secret I have a passion for these things which led me to consider the foundation of such interests. Upon contemplation I can trace it all back to the days of childhood with two very engaged parents who insured I was exposed to all the wonderment the world had to offer. My mother taught me the love of tea (to date, she still doesn't partake of coffee:). A typical breakfast in my childhood was cereal or an English muffin with butter and honey. A cup of Lipton hot tea was always served. Although I am something of a tea snob now (I scold those who drink tea dust in a bag), I still enjoy a cup of Lipton tea as it conjures fond memories of childhood. And thus, I have been a tea drinker my entire life.
Books are another passion my parents bestowed upon me. Every night my mother read to me, changing her voice for each character making the story come to life. As I matured, reading remained an integral part of my daily routine from novels to magazines. To date, I love to curl up with a pot of tea while pouring over the glossy images of home decorating magazines. My motto is that one can never have too many books! Our home is inundated with volumes arranged on shelves, interspersed as part of the decor, or stacked neatly in corners. Books are a treasure chest to the soul where words are like precious gems. A person's favorite author/book is as personal and revealing as his/her choice of clothing style. My favorite stories as a child (and still today) were "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," by Washington Irving. How many children can claim literary classics as their favorite childhood tales? For an extra little giggle, my favorite Christmas special was, and is, "The Grinch that Stole Christmas." (It would seem I have a curmudgeon, ghost thing going:).
As for storytelling, my father was always on hand at my slumber parties to share spine tingling tales with all of my friends. One of his more notable stories was that of the "Newark Monster" which he claimed to be true even after I'd matured. On another occasion he told Edgar Allen Poe's infamous "Telltale Heart." My friends and I had no idea we were inadvertently getting a literary lesson. We all loved the story and it was shared at subsequent slumber parties around the neighborhood. Although dad told us the author's name, I was in high school before I realized the tale was a classic.
Music has been an important part of my life as well. I sang in the school chorus growing up and played the violin and flute for short periods of time (like most kids, I didn't like practicing and eventually lost interest. I still regret not continuing with the violin). I owned a stack of record albums and a small hot pink case of 45's that I listened to everyday. However, when traveling in the car my mother always played the classical music station. This did not bode well with me as I preferred the pop music of the day. I found classical music boring but was forced to listen to it, nonetheless. No doubt, my mom's intentions were to expose me to this style of music in hopes I would learn to appreciate, and possibly enjoy, it at some point in my life. Mission accomplished! As an adult, I love classical music. I listen to Vivaldi, Mozart, and Bach when at work, writing, and sometimes when I run. My appreciation of this time honored art form is deeply instilled within my soul and I am thankful for its foundation.
I'm fascinated by the things that have contributed to the Victorian I am today. What are some of your favorite childhood memories that formed the person you've become?