I wrote about Florence Kelley yesterday because I had just learned about her and wanted others to know, too. I found her pretty darned inspiring.
But upon reflection, it struck me that I could probably find four other American Heroes to celebrate between now and July 4th.
It’s hard to have a good patriotic celebration in Hamburger-a-go-go-land these days. Our behavior on the world stage — well, at best, you have to feel as though it were the morning after you danced on the bar with a lampshade on your head. I mean, Republicans feel like that. The rest of us feel a lot worse. Invade a few sovereign nations, ignore international law and the Geneva Conventions, commit a few atrocities, overlook the Constitution — pretty soon the fireworks just seem a little undeserved.
But we have a history to be proud of, even if it is a short one, and have produced some worthwhile people. Let’s go ahead an celebrate a few more American Heroes.
Today, I give you John Muir.
He was born in Scotland, but he came to the United States as a child, so I think we can claim him.
Muir described himself as a “trampogeologist” and was an amateur naturalist and a writer. He was also a rancher, and a successful one. At the the age of fifty, he retired from ranching and became a conservation activist, working towards the national parks system which has preserved quite a lot (84 million acres) of American wilderness. Where Florence Kelley riled up the ordinary people, John Muir took influential men like Teddy Roosevelt camping and persuaded them to use their power for good. He was like her in relying on scientific information and education to get the job done, and like her also in gathering people — he formed and was president of the Sierra Club.
If you click here, you can find the “take action” page of the Sierra Club, which makes it very easy to contact the politically powerful people of today, though they may not agree to go camping with you.
Oh, did you come here for fiberosity? There has been some. Yesterday was my self-imposed deadline for completion of my first official SWAP piece, the print top.
Here it is, finished except for a button and pressing. (Details for those who sew: it is Butterick 4467, in Moda “Windsor Paisley.”)
The July piece is the matching skirt. I intend to cut it out today, although #2 daughter came home and I have the whole weekend off, so joy reigns supreme and plans are subject to change at a moment’s notice. I think that, once she is up, we will go to the farmer’s market and stop by the LYS for a button. They have very special ones there.
I’ve also been knitting the Silken Damask Jasmine, and have in fact reached the beginning of the raglan lace bit. No pictures, because it is after all a rectangle of stockinette, and a better photographer than I would be required to make that an interesting picture, or in any way different from the previous rectangles of Silken Damask stockinette.
Today is the first day for the Knit the Classics A Passage to India project. I have a plan for that, too. Not a monkey, but very likely an elephant. This is because the elephant was a more sympathetic character in this book than the monkey.
It is also the first day for the SewRetro sewalong. I have not been able to convince my computer that KaliMama’s snazzy button is not a piece of text. I have a plan for what to sew anyway. I like sticking the buttons in because then I can easily zoom back and check progress and what size needles I was using and what did or did not work and what needed adjustment and so on.
However, my needlework priority for the weekend is to finish up all those hems left over from Memorial Day. In between preparing for the July 4th cookout and hanging out with my family.
My Summer Reading Challenge books for week five were Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler and A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie. They could have been deliberately chosen as the opposite ends of the spectrum of detective novels. (They weren’t, as it happens. One was the book that happened to turn up from Booksfree and the other was a lagniappe a Frugalreader sent along with my requested book. What a guy!) Anyway, one was convoluted and one was simple; one was plausible, within its time and place, while the other was entirely implausible and practically cheating. One was suspenseful and startling and the other was cozy and soothing in spite of the dead bodies. One was held together with a nursery rhyme and the other with Orpheus in Hell and the nine muses. I enjoyed them both. I am now reading Don’t Cry for Me, Hot Pastrami, which is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, though quite far from the literary end. It will probably be finished this week, too, but the SRC is two books a week, so it is outside the pale.
Actually, I’m pretty excited about having the weekend off. I have a long list of things that I’ve been neglecting to do, but may also enter into the spirit of the weekend by not doing them.