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December 2008

Late Stuff

OK, out of the things I ordered that were supposed to be here the 24th at the latest there are still three presents for Brandy, 2 presents for Amy, 1 present for Roscoe and one non-present package for Brandy that are not here. Almost every single one of the above is sitting at the local distribution centers for the various shipping companies and have been for several days. They just haven’t delivered because of the White Christmas thing that is going on here. Grrrr….

Brandy says a number of things she was expecting have not yet arrived either.

Oh well, just means Christmas lasts longer I guess.

It is *still* snowing, so I’m not holding out hope for these things arriving Friday.

Maybe Monday.

Merry Giant Tomato Day!

Diary of Hiram Harvey Hurlburt Jr: Chapter 10

I think I was eleven years old when my father allowed me to take his smooth-bore rifle gun to hunt with. It was made for him by a gunsmith named Ira Call at Woodstock, VT. Ira Call a brother of Joe Call the strong man, who could take a crowbar across his knee and break it. Said to have taken two ordinary sized men that were quarreling one with each hand raise them from the ground, and rap their heads together. I had his son to work for me in putting up a frame barn, but he broke and bent so my crowbars that after two weeks I dismissed him.

When my father went to get the finished article, Call took it out to try its quality of bringing down the game – and he took the swallows flying to do it, which he accomplished twice in succession. That fixed the credit of that piece of work. It was used for training having a bayonet fitted for that purpose, with cartridge hot, canteen all the requirements of militia training.

There was a boy about my age, Clark Stowe, his father David Stow permitted him to come to my house, and then each of us with loaded arms went to find game. We were generally successful in finding a partridge or pigeons in the summer time but when we made a successful shot we generally returned to show our skill. How careful we were of our ammunition – so very careful not to throw away a shot.

About this time there was great amusement and real live excitement that came to us boys. It was the general muster of militia. One company from Cornwall had uniforms, red coats and white pants, they were to represent the British another company from Bridport with blue coats, they represented the Americans. Then a company called the Floodwood company, there were several companies. Also a tribe of Indians were represented. Orange Brittell was the chief. Some of the companies followed the Indians down by our house to the creek where the road ended to take the Indians, but they were prepared to escape, as they had their canoes ready under the bushes, in which they jumped in and paddled away. The skulking along behind the houses, as the troops followed down the road was wonderfully exciting, and the way Brittell got away with his tribe was not to be beat. It made quite a talk for a time when the people were together at the store or mill. Brittell was dressed like an Indian chief, and Col. Sardis Dodge, said to my father he did his best to capture him; and the Col. got so excited talking about this sham fight. That he said to father, “He wished the whole thing has been real.”

These June trainings and musters of sixty five years ago were great days for us boys. They were anticipated before occurring with great anxiety and their memory afterwards were treasured for a long time.

I recollect father came home from a muster in Cornwall, VT and reported of two captains come into collision about electing officers, and they went at each other with swords, and they fought very skillfully, both excellent swordsman, and the quarrel was ended by one cutting the others sword in two, and no blood spilt. Still each did their best to make serious work.

It was a little later that we Weybridge boys walked quite a ways toward Vergennes in 1840 to meet the Convention for Tippacanoe on its route to Middlebury. It had a long procession with a log cabin on wheels with hard cider. There was a great excitement at Quaker Village. A family closed in with them in the procession by the name of Hardy Walker with his wife and two daughters, Josephine and Seraphine, the youngest Seraphine was entrancing in her beauty at quite a distance, on nearer view the spell was broken. Their carriage was covered, of ancient make, like the drawings of long ago and on each side in large letters was the name “New York”. After all my boyish inquiries I could never ascertain the facts; only it was supposed Walker purchased in New Your City and the name had never been changed.

(The full diary will be located here when complete.)

And Still It Snows

It was supposed to change to rain at some point today. It didn’t. At least not here. It is still snowing big white fluffy flakes.

Meanwhile, a bunch of packages, from more than one vendor, that were all supposed to be here today at the latest, are still not here. Most of them appear to be within 10 miles of here in the hands of the delivery companies. But they are not here.

Some of them even say things like “delayed due to natural disaster” on the tracking information.

Whatever, just bring the damn presents.

Still Snowing

Storm Effects

Well, it looks like the storm knocked out our DirecTV. Probably just enough accumulation of ice and snow on the dish to block the signal rather than the dish actally being knocked out of whack. We’ll see if it comes back on its own when things start melting, or if someone has to get on the roof to fix it. (Brandy says I am not allowed to be the one to go on the roof, something about falling.)

Also, just checked my work email and got word that they are saying to only come in if you absolutely have to and can do so safely. So I’ll be working from home yet again today. Given that the current forecast only shows a one day break or so before it starts getting snowy again (with a nice dash of freezing rain!) I wonder if we’ll even manage to squeeze in a normal work day this week at all.

I like the working from home thing in moderation, but I think I’m almost ready to be back in the office now. :-)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Chore of Playing

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Ice Spear

Diary of Hiram Harvey Hurlburt Jr: Chapter 9

I could not have been more than seven years old when I went up to the four corners to school and there lost my heart for the time being to a lovely ??ce. What put me in the greatest agony was, my fear somebody would discover the predicament I was in. In the spelling class I was proficient at that age and a girl whose name was Minerva Ayres was a match to me in spelling; but I just worshiped her. I had my aunt who went to the same school for my caretaker and I suffered intensely for fear she would discover it. I think Minerva might have been at my age. She was small, slim, lady like very gentle and studious, and when she missed a word in spelling, if it had not been for my horror of telling lies I should have purposely misspelled so as not to pass above her; I had just committed the act when I noticed I was trembling with excitement. Then I noticed Minerva was trembling too. This surprised me, and when I reached home my aunt told my mother about the excitement in my spelling class; That Hiram and Minerva Ayres were all in a tremble when the class was through spelling. I can remember now the hot blood sprang to my cheeks when my mother said, We will have Hiram spell his lesson this evening in preparation for tomorrow. I worshiped this Minerva all through the season, or until a girl about the same age, only more tiny in appearance and a bird like voice, name of Brittell. She had come for a bit to her father’s old home in Weybridge and she took to me at once, coming and taking my hand leading me a little separate by ourselves, while she told me of her folks out West, of finding a raccoon nest of a number of little ones, and her father brought them home for his daughters as pets. She made this description very fascinating to me, so much so that my heart began to enlarge, and I felt more at ease when near Miss Minerva. And I recollect that the trembling some how cease, and I could begin to look at this love episode as something that could be endured, but the pleasurable feeling was there – and if I kept patiently waiting I would find the one designed for me at last.

As Dante says: “Wherefore we see children desire exceedingly an apple and then proceeding further desire a bird; and further still a beautiful dress; and then a horse, and then a woman, and then riches not great, and then greater and then great as can be. And this happens because in none of them does she find that which she is seeking, and she trusts to find further on.”

About three years more of living made me 10 years, then I could go to spelling schools in the evening, and then go home with a girl! This brought happiness to a high pitch, rather doubtful if so much could be endured.

There was a little girl came out to her grandfather’s nearest neighbor to stay awhile. Her grandfather was a wheelwright, and he made his grandchild a set of

[full line of text missing]

cake, she invited me to come through the fence – the boards of which were placed far enough apart for me to crawl through. It was a case of love again, and under her directions of which she seemed perfectly aware, and used her authority accordingly. I must sit in such a place, and must answer all questions, and particularly to leave when she gave timely notice, as my behavior was such, that I recollect my short visits at first grew to be longer ones, and when she went back to her home, the pleasantness of the summer days ceased to exist for me. All these heart troubles I had bury in my own bosom, no one that I could say one word to.

There were two dark eyed girls just across the street that now took my attention, and we had a play house in which I did my best to make it pleasant, but some the feeling was not broken I had for the girl that came so seldom to her grandfather “Silas Herendeen”‘s.

(The full diary will be located here when complete.)

Wind Fizzle

We didn’t end up getting any significant wind. No power loss. No trees smashing the roof open. Nothing exciting. We did get a couple more inches of snow, and indeed it is still snowing. Nothing disastrous though.

Of course, everything is still completely shut down and paralyzed. Our street has yet to see anything resembling a plow or a salt truck, even though the first snow was a week ago now. Basically they are taking care of the highways and other major streets, but residential streets probably just have to wait for things to melt on their own.