365 Days of Earrings

Friday, November 11, 2011

Glass Mittens and Paper Poppies

I woke up to a chilly morning-- a perfect day for making fleece stocking caps during our Friday afternoon project time. I don't have any hat earrings, but I do own these glass mittens that were a gift from a student a few years ago.

As I climbed into my car, my eyes fell on the infinity scarf that lay on the passenger seat. Mmm. Cosy.

I wrapped the scarf around my neck, turned on the radio, and heard young veterans talking about their struggles to find employment.

"Veterans Day!" I muttered aloud to myself.

Mmm. Red, white, and blue. Colors that say thank you to those who have served my country.

When I got to school, my fellow 3rd grade teacher, Claire, reminded me of her British tradition of wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day. We scrambled to design a template as the children began to arrive. By the time we headed for our 8:40 assembly, poppies adorned the chests of each of the children, giving us all a chance to explain the tradition to others.

The only relative of mine that I know died during World War One was my grandmother's sister, Bessie Gale, who was called Danto by her nieces and nephews. She was a musician who traveled to France in October of 1918 with the YMCA to work in the canteen service. Within months, she died in the influenza epidemic that killed 20 to 40 million people between 1918 and 1919. 

My grandmother was devastated at the loss of her sister. My mother said that Mema would never attend any event that commemorated war, so angry was she at the senseless loss of life.

My student Olivia made me a paper poppy this morning. I wore it all day in memory of Danto Gale, my great aunt who was buried in a cemetery in Talence, Gironde in France. I wonder if poppies grow there.

1 comment:

Käthe said...

I love how rich the family history is on your blog!