Friday, November 5, 2010

The Little One in a State of Grace

Events seem to occur on or near holidays in our family. We discovered that we were to become a Mother on an aptly named "Good Friday," our Little One was born just before Thanksgiving, and this year, we finally brought her into God's good graces by baptizing her the day before All Hallows Eve. Such occurrences are not unusual. Yours Truly was herself Christened on Valentines Day. In this part of the world, however, the weather is usually more clement in late October than in mid-February and, true to form, the sun shown beautifully for the Great Event and the day resonated with joy.

It so happens that the maternal grandfather of the honoree is a minister and so he performed the Christening with water from the River Jordan. His contribution was but one in a day full of family significance. The baptism took place in the front hall of the Big House built by our daughter's great-great-great-grandfather in the very spot where, in 1901, her great-grandfather was himself baptized by the first bishop of the newly formed Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. This clergyman later became the Presiding Bishop of the whole national church. Although such a Future isn't expected of the maternal grandfather as he has retired from active ministry (he does, however, still serve at a church), he was pleased to perform the ritual on his first-born grandchild.

No period gowns for this event, though the garment the Little One wore was the same worn by Yours Truly on that Valentine's Day many years ago. It was made by my own Aunt and Godmother. This very same Aunt and Godmother was able to travel from Louisiana to witness another generation brought into the community of the faithful. We rejoiced that a Happy Occasion brought us together and we celebrated for two days.

A good and blessed time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In Which We Visited the Things of Our Ancestors' Kings

...Or, How We Spent Our Fourth of July

Our Nation's Birthday was taken up by a trip to the Meadows Museum on the Campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. There we saw the exhibit of embroideries, paintings, and furniture collected by King Carlos IV of Spain and his queen, Maria Luisa of Parma.

Miss Elodie must confess that most of her knowledge of the Royal Iconography came from the not-so-flattering paintings of the monarchs and their family by Goya.

There were, however, some lovely images of the couple created during their youth. One in particular of Maria Luisa features her in a pink gown covered with exquisite lace. The dentils are rendered most carefully and thereby even a close examination of the painting reveals an accurate replication of the needlework. Miss Elodie is a particular admirer of this type of lacework and has been known to Swoon over those specimens she has been privileged to view.

As the Captain likes to remind Miss Elodie, Carlos IV reigned during the years Louisiana was part of Spain thereby enabling me to claim a bit of Hispanic culture in my Gallic ancestry. Indeed had fate not intervened otherwise, one of the subjects of the Exhibit may well have had some direct and personal contact with my Forebearers.

Near Thibodeaux, just down Bayou Lafourche from my Ancestral Lands, stands Rienzi Plantation which, rumor has it, was to be the Palace-en-Exile for the very same Queen Maria Luisa. Bonaparte set his brother Joseph on the throne of Spain and found it inconvenient to have the Former Occupants nearby. Rather than flee to Louisiana, Queen Maria Luisa traveled to France then Rome. She may not have appreciated the heat of her former colony nor the fact that the town of Napoleonville was just up the road. Ah, C'est La Vie!

The Exhibit, titled "Royal Splendor in the Enlightenment: Charles IV of Spain, Patron and Collector" will continue only through Sunday July 18th and so a visit should be planned today!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Yours Truly has had an interesting life for the past year. Not only may she now refer to herself as Madame Elodie, she also uses the apellant "Mere." Yes, Miss Elodie is a wife and mother. The new arrival, a sweet auburn-tressed girl, has already attended her first immersion event (historical, that is).
The Little One behaved marvelously and seemd to enjoy herself before falling asleep in her Mama's arms.

Planning a little girl's historic wardrobe is certainly fun; hopefully the she'll be similarly enthusiastic about wearing it!