Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Hesperus And Me

A phrase I heard countless times in my childhood was, "You look like the wreck of the Hesperus," as I was sent off to fix my hair, dress, shoes, whatever.  Mother never explained what that meant, but I guessed it was a mess as it applied to me.  Being a tomboy, such trivial matters held no interest for me.  Truth be told, they're still not at the top of my list.  However, even now I'll catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and think, "Woman, you look like the wreck of the Hesperus."

Thanks to Google, I finally looked up Hesperus and discovered that it is from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow written in 1842 and based on an actual shipwreck at Norman's Woe (isn't that a great name?).  It is probably something my mother had to learn in school and, boy, did it stick with her.  She certainly used it to good effect later in life.

Several of my friends are in the throes of major house makeovers, painting and moving furniture, etc., and Deb and Craig are purging closets and garage.  I look around here and think my place looks like the Hesperus washed up on the shoals.  I'm still in the thinking stages, but some of their ambition is contagious and I'm about ready for my semi-annual clean up.  Soon.

Not yet sated, I continue to gorge on tomatoes.  Just as one must make hay while the sun shines, one must eat homegrown tomatoes while they're there.  No store-bought tomato could taste as good.


Emmy Abrahams said...

Not only tomatoes, but sweet corn and watermelon...but, the end of the heat is something to look forward to, as well.

Funny how all the expressions of our mothers stick around so long
My favorite one I still recall was, " don't pout, your face will stay that way."
Luckily it did not.

Kathryn Williams said...

My mom always said, "This too shall pass," and it's fairly accurate. I guess I could toss in that at this very moment 2 young'uns have been playing in my living room (and 2 more rooms) and yes, it does indeed look like The Wreck of the Hesperus! I remember my mom talking about that poem too - or at least the title!

Emmy Abrahams said...

Kathryn..that was a favorite of my mothers also, and I must admit, I have said it a few times.
My mother used it when I broke an arm twice, and other such occasions.

Kathryn Williams said...

It's a good one, Emmy!