Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Old Man Winter..

...He is here with Jack Frost in tow...

Today I was glad I had grown my hair. The temperature has dropped from yesterday.
I looked at other women in the street and wondered what planet they were from. How many I have seen shivering in skimpy, inadequate, light clothing with no coat or scarf or gloves. What are they waiting for? Permission from the Crown???


I had made the oddest mistake with Kipling's dates. I checked them, then tabbed over and inexplicably typed: 1836-1945.
First of all, hell of a long life, but before I deleted I was surprised to note that they are both important historical dates:

1) In 1836 the Texas Revolution ended - independence from Mexico under General Santa Ana - and the Republic of Texas was founded. For those 9 years it kept an Embassy in London on St James's Street where Berry Bros stands today, and had reputedly very friendly relations with the Court. I can imagine some interesting exchanges, though....
It was admitted to the Union, meaning it gained statehood, in 1845.
In all, six flags have been flown over Texas (hence the name of the theme parks dotted across the state):
i) Spain - discovered by the Conquistadors in the early 16th century. In 7th grade I wrote a history poem about the discovery of Texas and wish it were with me so I could share. Cabeza de Vaca and all that...yea, his last name is "Cow's head"...
ii) France - only the bit closest to Louisiana but it was all claimed, in an expansion attempt, for King Louis by de la Salle in the 17th C.
iii) Mexico - after Mexico gained independence from Spain, lots of Hispanics migrated to Texas - we were friends with a family from this exodus - they were very Anglo-Spanish. It was a sort of frontier between the US and Mexico, until Santa Ana became dictator and claimed it too.
iv) Republic of Texas - you know this bit already. This Lone Star flag is used as its state flag today.
v) The Confederacy - for a few shameful years during the American Civil War, Texas seceded from the Union in solidarity with its Johnny Reb, pro-slavery, cotton-pickin' brothers.
vi) The US of A once again from 1865 onwards, and it ain't goin' anywhere any time soon.

2) In 1945, as we well know, WWII came to an end.


Um. Yes, I paid attention in my Texas History class. We had just emigrated there, I was an idealistic 12-year old, and I was enamored with the place. By the way, the name Texas derives from the Caddo Indian word tejas which means "friendship".

Tell me to shut up before I give you a complete history...!


The other day, the Quote of the day was from Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). I wrote it down and just rediscovered it:

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

This is true. Words are powerful, potent and effective. They can elevate your mood or they can depress you. They can make you laugh or they can make you cry. They can entertain and they can educate. They can increase your knowledge and make you powerful. They can have a physical effect, good or bad. They can reverberate for hours after being spoken.
Words can change your life.


Jia Li said...

thanx for all that Texas info...I never knew that...then again I never studied American History...NFLD History and Canadian yes...

Randis said...

Shut up, already, then. Don't particularly want to hear more about Texas. Hear enough as is.

Olivia said...

Jia Li - you're welcome. I got a bit carried away.

Randis - hey, what side of the bed did you get out of today???

Randis said...

Hey, you told me to.

Anonymous said...

fascinating!!!! I have lived in TX and still didn't know half of info. I paid more attention in my world history class then in Texas history.


Olivia said...

Vanessa - Tx history is taught in 7th grade, and you moved to the US in 8th...right?

Anonymous said...

well, second semester 7th grade.