Archive for March, 2017

The Scold – Lorain- the ducking/cucking stool


Time, people and trials in this town have left me in a sort of out here alone on a limb mode of thinking – the last of the “scolds”

Oh! I know there are others that share my thinking but could it be they are afraid of the “ducking/cucking stool ” which censors our opening of our mouths ( locally and nationally)? As if the bad mouthing, concrete crashing Neanderthals weren’t enough of a deterrent.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/windows-on-lorain-the-neanderthals-a-tornado-history/
I have seen it too many times over the years of advocacy and I seem to have come away from those years half drowned ,soaking wet and getting more and more weary of trying – life here can do that to you. So I now find myself walking away, not raising the volunteering hand – and have left most of the “community” – I just don’t fit in .

As I “escape” from Lorain and the world into the realm Roku watching murder, mayhem and mystery I supplement with programs such as “Escape to the County” and the land of my birth where there are still pockets of the idyll and people looking to find their dream in the country.

It was during one such viewing this morning and the town of Leominister
http://www.leominster.co.uk/ and the story of Jenny Pipes (1809) the last woman to be legally ducked. She pronounced a “scold” by her community and the magistrate passed sentence

“In the common law of crime in England and Wales, a common scold was a type of public nuisance—a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarrelling with her neighbours. The Latin name for the offender, communis rixatrix, appears in the feminine gender and makes it clear that only women could commit this crime.
….. being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond. Although rarely prosecuted it remained on the statute books in England and Wales until 1967.
Francois Maximilian Misson, a French traveller and writer, recorded the method used in England in the early 18th century:The way of punishing scolding women is pleasant enough.(ED NOTE spoken like a true man )

They fasten an armchair to the end of two beams twelve or fifteen feet long, and parallel to each other, so that these two pieces of wood with their two ends embrace the chair, which hangs between them by a sort of axle, by which means it plays freely, and always remains in the natural horizontal position in which a chair should be, that a person may sit conveniently in it, whether you raise it or let it down. They set up a post on the bank of a pond or river, and over this post they lay, almost in equilibrio, the two pieces of wood, at one end of which the chair hangs just over the water. They place the woman in this chair and so plunge her into the water as often as the sentence directs, in order to cool her immoderate heat.

Jenny Pipes came back from her ducking still “scolding” and her claim to fame of telling it like it was has outlasted the magistrate. http://www.jennypipes.org.uk/

“the idea of ducking was to curb the tongue of the offender; the ducking to continue until the culprit either gives up or was exhausted”

Of course where there is a pond there is also pond scum and “ducking the scold” does disrupt that “gathering and rising to the top” if only for a little while. I have noticed the pond scum usually multiplies!

I have seen the “cucking stool” happening (metaphorically speaking) locally so many times and THAT Lorain is one of the problems and the why the view we have is of this (rehabbed????) “cottage
March 2017

and the duckers can’t say they weren’t scolded for 4 years from that first demolition appeals board.
June 2013

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/dye-abolical-goose-gander-inspection-process-pt-2-lorain/


To those who have been ducked, and lived to walk away and tell the tale _ you will be missed by those that got wet with you

-to those that have returned to the bank of the pond to join the crowd – it is understandable-

-to those that keep trying -may it only be your feet getting wet…..

for those of you still “piping up’ like Jenny Piper and facing the wrath of the duckers and the chair I will have a towel waiting for you and a different sort of chair in front of the TV!

March 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

March 3rd -Clutter- Chris Ritchey

chrisart collage

It is snowing – probably more snow falling in the last 24 hours than we have had all winter. I knew the 65 degree February days were just teasing us into a false sense of spring. The wind and snow have blinded the view from the den, my eyes can only see the trees and garden, dancing white swirls blocking the ugliness of reality for just a brief while. I honestly don’t know where the hours days weeks and months have gone since you died -they seem to have disappeared or not been lived. I am constantly surprised when seeing the date or year number.

After you died I spent the days “preparing” – I cleaned out closets, threw away things that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone but me. I prepared the house and my life for my death. You see, I really believed I would not be able to live with this gutting grief and yes physical pain. I was sure I would join you before 6 months was out. That didn’t happen, I am still here on yet another March the 3rd along with an aching coldness that will not pass even in summer…….

The closets have acquired more “stuff”, the house- which I had decluttered became even more cluttered when Nana came to live and I had to put 6 rooms of her “stuff” into this house. Life and clutter carried on to the point there will be more to deal with in this house than before.
chrgarbres
Then with all the talk of “government” and “immigration” the wondering hit me-

just what did I do with my citizenship papers , passport etc


I knew I had put them safe somewhere . The strange thing about having a brain in pieces parts , divided up, one part living in 2009- the part that functions independently of my consciousness – the sleeping brain, that doesn’t -that bleeds over into mornings so another part has to decide

is that a memory , did that happen or was that the part of my brain trying to sort through the clutter?

the regular daily functions, we all experience, gets lost somewhere along with the happiness part – which sometimes does make an appearance. In all this brain clutter I couldn’t remember , for the life of me , where these very important papers ended up. The problem was neither could your father, we are both on “automatic pilot brain function” most of the time.

As we searched the probable places , I purchased a fire proof lock box for these items, your nana’s important papers and dad’s. Your dad informing me we had two lock boxes in the basement , which he couldn’t find . I had visions of us running from the upstairs to the basement and den in an emergency trying to find lock boxes and Nana’s important stuff, dads “stuff” and mine, No! I had to gather all this “stuff” together for my sake and whomever was eventually going to have to sort through them .

Finally we did find the papers and files. I started to go through them and realized I was sorting my life– my birth certificate, baptismal, marriage certificate, passport, citizenship papers ,social security, mortgage papers, Nikki’s birth certificate and then your birth certificate, baptismal, social security card, graduation … your life papers came to the top of the pile . My brain overloaded- stopped holding back the walls dividing memories, grief, happiness, laughter reality and memories, anger ,pain, loss of hope- the good and the bad and yes the ugly- lessons learned , lessons unlearned all spilling out of the “hoarding” in my mind.
memories ring
I never realized how hard this “preparation” would be – it seemed so simple to transfer those items and yet I should have known, been prepared. Nana came down with her “life ” to be added to the box and I could see she also had been on a journey as she sorted through –

“Oh! Loraine don’t ask me to do that again, that was a very difficult afternoon- it was so hard as the memories wouldn’t stop coming …………….

I love you Chris and I wish I could touch your face, hear your voice, and forget the clutter that is now me………

Artwork Chris Ritchey

Artwork-HARD Chris Ritchey

March 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm 8 comments


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