Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When I went to the supermarket yesterday, I passed their array of fresh flowers and was blown away to find this huge bouquet of peonies. I miss my US peonies terribly so to have these to admire is brilliant. I don't think I have soil suitable for them here. I don't think thay will last long; they've already gone from bud to full blown in 12 hours.

In the process of researching 17th century America for genealogical purposes, I am reading American Jezebel by Eve LaPlante, about Anne Hutchinson. I'm not a very religious person. I was raised in the Congregational church, which was my choice for my family, made when I was 7. Since this denomination is descended from the original Puritans, I expected to find some chords to resonate in the story. I cannot say that today I am a Christian because I no longer believe in many of the basics of Christian faith but I do try to follow the ethical standards. I am now totally dumbfounded to find that the founding fathers of Massachusetts, who left England for religious freedom, became totally legalistic and narrow in their beliefs in the new world and prosecuted Anne Hutchinson for her differing opinions on points of theology. Of course, much of it boils down to the fact that she was a woman, who was supposed to be silent and obey her husband. Anne was brought up as an independent thinker, and one who believed at a deeply emotional level about how "salvation" is achieved. I don't believe in heaven or hell and I'm not sure what I think about what happens after you die. Sometimes I believe in karma; sometimes I think you just die. Of course these are the same legalistic ministers who banished my ancestor Roger Williams, so I shouldn't be surprised, but I was. The original society of Massachusetts in the 17th century is not quite how we were taught in school. I'm not sure those controlling ministers should engender the respect that they get as "founding fathers."

Canberra's weather continues to confuse me. We got 90mm (almost 4") of rain last week. Last night the thunderstorms started around 6PM and are still rumbling and raining at noon the following day. I have a small lake in my back yard and I would love it to stop raining long enough for me to pick strawberries, etc. The garden loves it and the weeds like it too. I need to get my gutters repaired but the guy can't fix them until it stops raining!

The cataract problem continues to bother me. If I read too much or do too much close work in the evening I often get a headache. Apparently cataract surgery is a simple process so I'll go ahead with the weaving course. I continue to have a weak back, but I'm doing exercises to strengthen the muscles. I have a weak lower back originally because I am missing part of a vertebra. I am told this is an extremely mild variety of spina bifida; it just means my lower back hurts when I lift things the wrong way.

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