A Rose by any other Name

When I was in grade school I did a speech project on Shakespeare’s adage “A rose by any other name…” from Romeo and Juliette. I was a young romantic teen who was all into roses and romance and goo-goo-eyed gossip and summer crushes. Why wouldn’t I write about such a phrase if, in fact, we had to study Shakespeare? But that was a long time ago. Now I realize that Shakespeare was right. Sort of.

I suppose the point of Shakespeare’s monologue was to imply that it doesn’t matter what things are called, it matters what they are. Roses would smell just as sweet if they were called bluebells or snickerdoodles. Although snickerdoodles have their own sweeet aroma, don’t they? So here lies the muse. Are names important?

I’d like to think that we chose our children’s names based on research and good intentions. And we did. We talked about how they flowed and looked up their meanings and origins. I think most parents do. There is significance to who you were named after, your legacy, your family tree, etc. etc. Do you agree?

I suspect marketers and logo experts debate about what to name their products. Maybe not. I’ve heard many a story of music groups randomly picking names that seemed to stick. The Beatles? Really? Wham? Hootie and the Blowfish? Do they smell as sweet? Yeah, I guess.

I guess I was thinking about this these past few weeks as I was dreaming about our new place. The hubby says it’s not a “farm”… but it has a barn and a coop and so it must be a farm, right? Either way, a good property needs a name, right? I heard from the neighbours that most of the neighbouring farms were once owned by The Tinney family. The other half were from Linton’s. Dairy farmers. The name “Linton” seems to have it’s roots in the classic novel “Wuthering Heights” … which unlike Shakespeare, I did not read. Still, like most classics, there is a villian and a love interest and yadayada.

Why am I saying all this? Well. Names are important. They link you to your past. They connect you as a character in a story. They leave you a legacy to follow or one to create. Proverbs tells us that a good name is greater than silver or gold. What it means is that your character is connected to what people call you. Just think of all the names we have for God. Each describes a bit of His charcter. And that character helps us hold Him (and us!) in a good standing compared to others. Do you see it?

Anyway… my brain is kinda wandering around in this subject. Perhaps my thoughts are not as clear as I’d like them to be. Bottom line: names are important. But character is more important. And your name links you to your character and it’s legacy. Which is most important. So our new farm needs a name.

The Linton’s of Wuthering Heights lived in the Moors. Mitton Moors? Not really a moor. Not really a meadow either. Money pit? Maybe. Retirement Acres? Chicken’s paradise? Let me know your thoughts. I’m curious.

Building Blocks

Greetings my friends! I’m still here! We’re packing, purging, and getting our current house ready to list. All the while I’m beginning to dream about the “farm”. I’ll be too late to plant the garden this year but will take on the pond this summer. And learning to appreciate sunsets from my wraparound porch. Still, my brain is currently occupied with boxes and shelving and storage and … stuff. I have way too many books. And crafting projects. And paper notebooks. However. The current bane of my existence is LEGO. Read about my first experiences here. I hate to say it but not much has changed since that post oh so long ago. In fact, it’s kinda funny that Lego was involved in blog changes then… and blog (okay whole life!) changes now.

Okay. So let’s recap the muse about Lego again. Denmark, 1916. Woodworker named Ole Kirk Christiansen is known as the “creator” of Lego. His original shop was building houses and furniture but the Great Depression caused the crew to focus on smaller projects like wooden toys. The term “Lego” is loosely translated to Danish for “play well” leg godt. In Latin “I put together”. The name stuck.

Photo by Rick Mason via unsplash

Fast forward through some tweaking and brick adjustment, and by 1958-60’s Ole’s son, Godfried had taken over the family business and began the big switch to plastic bricks over wooden ones. I was shocked to know that Lego Canada wasn’t fully established until the late 1980s. The bricks had made their way to North America sometime before, but Canada didn’t have its own branch until then. My childhood. I must be old. Now, of course, we have Lego amusement parks, online clubs, T.V.’s Lego Masters etc. etc. And no age limit to builders. AFOL is a thing: Adult Fans Of Lego. My grown son is one.

In fact, the whole house is filled with Lego maniacs. Someone inevitably receives a box at Christmas. During the pandemic, weeks were spent building Hogwarts giant castle complete with minifigures and moving staircases. And so the conundrum of moving it all. No one is willing to part with it (even though I hear you can fetch $60 a kilo for the loose bricks). I have a large, I’m talking knee-deep, bin full of loose bits and bobs and teeny tiny pieces I painstakingly sorted from various shelves and jars. I’m still finding random bricks here and there. I was chastised for not keeping the kits together… but what’s a mom to do when there are sooo many? Plus I have built kits collecting dust on shelves. Any hints? At this point, I am open to all and every suggestion. Message me. Please.

I suppose I cannot complain. We have been blessed with the resources to give such creative projects to our kids (those kits aren’t cheap… even second-hand!) And I am thankful that this hobby is one the whole family can participate in. Skills are required and bricks are boredom-busting… at least for a little bit of time! I love Christmas afternoon. The little baggies are all over the dining room table and heads are bowed in brick worship and concentration of builder booklets. Even our girls.

So my muse takes me to Ole Christiansen again. Could he have built my soon-to-be new-to-me-century farmhouse back in 1900? Would he know his toy would become a worldwide phenomenon? Will I ever find a solution for how to pack, sort, and store all those tiny bricks? I need perspective. Hebrews 3:4 says:

 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

I must remember that houses, Lego bricks, dishes, books and treasures I find are human things. Made by some factory and shipped from Amazon. Even the precious ones are created with human hands. God is the builder of our relationships. Our connections and our friendships. Our families. He orchestrates the timing in our lives of who arrives and who leaves our blips in time… and the whys of when they are there. I’m glad you all are out there. Connected to me in a weird way through my words on a page. I may not know you… and I may know you well. Your purpose in being here is real. I’m glad. And if you have an idea on how to organize Lego for moving: I’m very glad! Message me!

Christ’s Flower

I was recently enjoying a conversation with my soon-to-be daughter-in-law about wedding flowers and the traditions of which. We admired various Pinterest pics of bouquets and simple arrangements, each with a pop of colour and delicacy. God’s pretty creative. In searching out something for this week’s post, I was perusing through Easter poems and came across this one. It isn’t really “Easter-themed”, but I thought it was beautiful nonetheless. Also, because I love all things vintage, the imagery of a young girl stitching by lamplight appealed to me. Christ’s flower. Carnation? Read it twice. It will have you musing as it did I. There were big copyright warnings attached here, so I will include them in hopes not to anger the writers/publishers or whatever.

Supernatural Love


My father at the dictionary-stand   

Touches the page to fully understand   

The lamplit answer, tilting in his hand

His slowly scanning magnifying lens,   

A blurry, glistening circle he suspends

Above the word “Carnation.” Then he bends

So near his eyes are magnified and blurred,   

One finger on the miniature word,   

As if he touched a single key and heard

A distant, plucked, infinitesimal string,   

“The obligation due to every thing   

That’s smaller than the universe.” I bring

My sewing needle close enough that I

Can watch my father through the needle’s eye,   

As through a lens ground for a butterfly

Who peers down flower-hallways toward a room   

Shadowed and fathomed as this study’s gloom   

Where, as a scholar bends above a tomb

To read what’s buried there, he bends to pore   

Over the Latin blossom. I am four,   

I spill my pins and needles on the floor

Trying to stitch “Beloved” X by X.

My dangerous, bright needle’s point connects   

Myself illiterate to this perfect text

I cannot read. My father puzzles why   

It is my habit to identify

Carnations as “Christ’s flowers,” knowing I

Can give no explanation but “Because.”   

Word-roots blossom in speechless messages   

The way the thread behind my sampler does

Where following each X I awkward move

My needle through the word whose root is love.   

He reads, “A pink variety of Clove,

Carnatio, the Latin, meaning flesh.”   

As if the bud’s essential oils brush

Christ’s fragrance through the room, the iron-fresh

Odor carnations have floats up to me,   

A drifted, secret, bitter ecstasy,

The stems squeak in my scissors, Child, it’s me,

He turns the page to “Clove” and reads aloud:   

“The clove, a spice, dried from a flower-bud.”

Then twice, as if he hasn’t understood,   

He reads, “From French, for clou, meaning a nail.”

He gazes, motionless. “Meaning a nail.”   

The incarnation blossoms, flesh and nail,   

I twist my threads like stems into a knot   

And smooth “Beloved,” but my needle caught

Within the threads, Thy blood so dearly bought,

The needle strikes my finger to the bone.   

I lift my hand, it is myself I’ve sewn,   

The flesh laid bare, the threads of blood my own,   

I lift my hand in startled agony   

And call upon his name, “Daddy daddy”—

My father’s hand touches the injury   

As lightly as he touched the page before,   

Where incarnation bloomed from roots that bore   

The flowers I called Christ’s when I was four.   

Gjertrud Schnackenberg, “Supernatural Love” from Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992. Copyright © 1982, 1985 by Gjertrud Schnackenberg.  Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC,  http://us.macmillan.com/fsg. All rights reserved. 

Caution: Users are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and downloading is strictly prohibited.  The right to reproduce or transfer the work via any medium must be secured with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Source: Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1993).

Gathered from Poetry Foundation

Good, eh? Do you see the reason it was listed under “Easter”? I hope you had a wonderful Easter week. I hope this poem also made you muse. Be blessed my beloveds.