Families in Shipping and Commerce

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“Great people have great values and great ethics.” ~ Jeffrey Gitomer

I recently revisited a National Historic site that I remember from my childhood.  It’s just a couple of miles from where I grew up in Towson, Maryland.

Hampton Mansion, tagged as a “Palace in the Wilderness,” at one time equaled half the area of present day Baltimore. The site tells a story of early settlers, the Ridgely family, prominent Marylander’s who were colonial merchants in iron production, shipping and commerce. Ridgely’s iron was said to be “the most profitable exports in the mid-Atlantic colonies.” Read more about this tale of an industrious family who helped fuel a new nation.

The artifacts, beautiful gardens, parterres and vistas, the Georgian mansion, stables and workers quarters for the indentured servants are all evidence of a powerful businessman, who was said to be “genteel” kept “the best table in America” and was “very kind to his servants”. Written entries in journals evidence the care that was taken make Christmas gift lists for all the domestic help of the estate.

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Themes from the Bathtub

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When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes — I already have everything that I really need.”― Dalai Lama XIV

All week long our blogs have been focused on happiness, personal growth and success. But, we don’t always have to look at the big scheme of things to find fulfilling things in our midst. Contentment is not necessarily about career advancement, more money in our wallets, moving up the social ladder and having material things. It’s about incorporating little things that bring  joy into our lives.

There’s something that I deny myself that I need to give into. Allowing myself time to soak in the tub. I rarely do it. Only if have some ache or pain – and fortunately for me that’s next to never. There is something that seems time wasting about lollygagging in a bathtub. I am more of a power shower person than a soaker.

It’s not the first time this notion that I need to let myself linger in a tub for no reason has occurred to me. Every so often the thought comes along and then I  act on it a time or two, and then forget about it.
bathtub_reader 2Imagine how happy it might make me if I combined all my favorite things with drawing a bath. Add in teatime and reading and it sounds like a recipe for euphoria. I think I’ll go explore it.

On second thought, rather than read in the tub, perhaps I need to let my mind wander and see what ideas I can come up with for next week’s blog theme.

See you on All Things Fulfilling on Monday.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Author of the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

Roped into Helping the Help

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Advent Day #5  A piece of rope hanging from a ceiling becomes a turning point in Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It also changed a girl’s self-definition.

Rope from ceiling

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For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that we use it so little. – Rachel Carson

Rope hanging from the ceiling became one turning point in Sue Batton Leonard’s award-winning memoir. Outdoor clotheslines during the “baby boomer” era got heavy use! Our family  had a swimming pool, which meant lots of wet towels and clorine drenched bathing suits- I can remember the odors so clearly. In the Baltimore humidity, sometimes air drying took a lot of time. During the long stretches of heavy, moist summer air the towels took so long they didn’t always smell so fresh and needing laundering all over again to remove the smell of mildew. I remember how stiff the towels got – they could almost stand by themselves.

twin-girls-hanging-laundry-on-clotheslineOur beloved Fanny was usually mindful of watching the oncoming weather, knowing she had just hung the clothes out that morning. I can hear her now, “Jine, Sue, quick Miss Battoney, we needs to get dem clothes down off the da clothesline – here comes da afternoon downpour!” My mom, my sister, Fanny and I would race outside and pull the clothes off the line so as not to have them soaked all over again just when they were nearly dry.

But there was nothing like climbing into bed in spring with clean, air dried sheets. A deep, restful sleep was nearly insured. The breezy winds, with the clear blue skies not yet sated with the summer’s humidity left the best smell of all. Traces of the nearby lilacs seemed to float from the pillowcases, making for sweet dreams.

During these cold dark days of winter, memories of my childhood do much to warm my spirits. If you are interested in writing a memoir, this time of year is a great time to get started. It’s a wise use of many indoor hours.

Wishing you fulfilling days ahead and see you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

For more information on the award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Wandering Early Places of Worship

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“Ghosts wandering here and there troop home to churchyards.” ~ William Shakespeare

Today, as promised, I’d like to share more about my fulfilling travels to  St Paul’s Kent in Rockhall, Maryland. If you are ever in the area, do stop by and visit this historic Anglican Church. It was organized in 1692 after William and Mary ruled England.  The historical facts about the church are many but, here is a brief synopsis about the structures in the 19 acre churchyard.

  • The first building was 40 X 24 ft – erected by Daniel Norris (1695 – 1696)
  • The present church was constructed in 1713 at the cost of 70,000 lbs of tobacco
  • 34 pews were contained in the original structure
  • It is only one of four 18th Century churches to have a semicircular apse
  • Church walls feature Flemish bond brickwork
  • Semicircular arches are above doors and windows
  • Church remodeled in 1940 with an addition adding 23 new pews
  • The stained glass window in the chancel cost $250 back in 1864
  • The church bell was installed also in 1864 for $10
  • The Marble baptismal font was a gift by the congregation to the church in 1863
  • The Parish House, offices and classrooms were added in the later part of the 20th Century.
  • Actress Tallulah Bankhead is buried in the churchyard at St Paul’s Kent.

Although our country is relatively new compared to European history, getting out and exploring historic churches and museums in Maryland is a fascinating way to spend a beautiful fall day. Not too far from St Pauls, Kent is the African-American Schoolhouse Museum.http://bit.ly/1tFqu9R. Since I was headed north to another historic church called Shrewsbury Parish, I’ve saved that museum until I return next time to the Eastern shore of Maryland.

I hope you enjoy these images of the historic landmark church St Paul’s Kent. It is a beautiful and holy place for reflection and meditation!

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Below Photos: Another structure in the churchyard – Circa 1766 according to bricks on the side of the building. This building was inaccessible but peaking through the windows there were identical fireplaces on each side of the interior of the structure. The photo of the fireplace was taken through old windowpane.

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IMG_20141028_151351_247Happy Halloween, everybody. On Monday I will making revelations about my mother and our stop at Shrewsbury Parish – off at the beaten path of the Eastern shore of Maryland.

This blog is brought to you by http://www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.For information on Sue Batton Leonard’s EVVY award-winning memoir, please visit this link http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.