So lately, I’ve been working on a lot of historical fiction.
It has been a process that is teaching me better ways of researching and put me in contact with my local museum and got me volunteering, all of that fun. It has also forced me to look at traditional roles.
People who listen to this song are going to laugh, as it is a spoof, and it’s a good one. The thing is, though, that this type of attitude was common, expected, and encouraged back in the times that I’ve been dealing with. To go against it would have invited considerable censure and ostracism. Today if the woman was to think this way, we’d mock her just like the song does.
Yet, this is the role that women like Tillie, Mena, and to a degree even Lady Nichols would have been expected to fill and enjoy. It’s hard to find that balance between what was and what we would like to see today.
Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.
I have mentioned before that I like wearing vintage clothes.
I probably did not mention that this love of vintage clothes was part of what led me to volunteer for the museum the first time around. I can’t remember now why I was with my mother at the museum, but I know after our tour we ended up talking to the lady who, at the time, ran the gift shop. She told me about history fest and about volunteering for it, and because I could wear my cool clothes, I contacted the volunteer coordinator (again, at the time, she has since retired.) That led me to my very first experience with history fest.
History fest is the museum’s busiest time of the year. Students from all over the state and the neighboring states come up to see the village and get a bit of living history. I learned many different things in the course of my time doing history fests. They were three days when I first started volunteering and have expanded to four due to popular demand.
Hands on history is fun. Don’t believe me? Go ask one of the kids. They love the demonstrations and making things and history comes alive for them.
One of the things I also gained from the experience was, well, an obsession. Someone asked me this year why I liked this house so much, and I think it’s because it’s the house I would like to live in. Not necessarily with everything they have inside it now, but I love the architecture and the way it is “modern” for its time and it just seems like a place where I would be at home. Other than my hopeless addiction to the internet and my computer, I sometimes think I was born in the wrong time period. I love the Victorian/Edwardian ages.
So, yes, I am a bit in love with this house. Maybe a lot.
While I was at the fest this year, I was chatting with a lady who was doing the quilting demonstration at the next house over while I waited to do tours, and she suggested that I do a story about living in the house. I had, actually, been thinking of doing just that, and with the help of a story that used to be told about the house when I first did history fest, I had an opening line and a bit of a plot.
So I owe Mena and Merritt’s story to the museum, to the Stevens house in particular.
While I was there, I used the downtime between tours the first afternoon to record a short video on my phone. It’s poor quality, and it’s rather shaky. I was also sick and the kids were loud outside, so the soundtrack is gone and replaced by some nice music from the Gosford Park soundtrack.
Ignore the glimpse of me in the mirror and door. I’m not important. Though… I do match the wallpaper, or my skirt did that day.
And, honestly, I don’t know where the purple came from. When I edited it, I know I made it black, but watching it on youtube, it’s purple. Your guess is as good as mine.