Today is the feast day of Frithuswith, the patron saint of Oxford and of Oxford University. She is credited with establishing a religious site later incorporated into Christ Church in Oxford. Frithuswith (650-727) was the first abbess of this Oxford double monastery. I had never heard of her either. You can read more about her here. Great name, though, right?
It is also the birthday of Sir Thomas Browne (1605 – 1682) about whom I know next to nothing.
However, Herman Melville was a great fan and called him a “crack’d Archangel.” Virginia Woolf said, “Few people love the writings of Sir Thomas Browne, but those that do are the salt of the earth.” And Jorge Luis Borges said, “Sir Thomas Browne — I love him. I translated him into 17th century Spanish and it worked very well.” So I guess I better start reading some Thomas Browne.
I didn’t do much this weekend. I continued to read Death in Holy Orders by P.D. James, which I tried to read years ago. I am enjoying it this time around. I finally gave up on Jack by Marilynne Robinson. Apropos of that disappointment, I had an email exchange with one of my institute’s facilitators, a retired professor, who is also a big Robinson fan and has taught her other books. It went like this:
ME: Are you reading Jack by M. Robinson? I have to say I am disappointed. I guess my expectations were too high.
Prof: I am VERY disappointed with “Jack”. I’m not sure I can bring myself to teach it. I’m considering alternatives.
ME: I’m not sure I can bring myself to FINISH it!
Prof: AGREED! ALAS!
Academic ALL CAPS!
The OM and I celebrated our aforementioned anniversary with a drive to Defiance, MO and a visit to the Sugar Creek Winery. It was very pleasant and the wine wasn’t bad.
Unfortunately, it was rather nippy temperature-wise and I had not worn appropriate gear, so we didn’t spend a leisurely afternoon like last Sunday. We are still learning the ropes of how these winery visits work.
You will recall that Defiance is where frontiersman Daniel Boone ended his long career, arriving around 1800 at the age of 65 with his wife and several of his children. Nathan Boone, his youngest son, built the home which one can visit today. Daniel Boone passed away in this home on Sept. 26, 1820 (200 years ago!) For Missouri, that is a very old house.
I have visited the home, once as a child and once with my own children, but not in at least 25 years and certainly not since 2016, when the Historic Daniel Boone Home and surrounding property in Defiance was given to the people of St. Charles County by Lindenwood University. The nearly 300 acre site includes The Historic Daniel Boone Home, adjoining Village historic site, and surrounding property. We will have to check it out soon.
I also watched Signs (2002)–a favorite of mine. It is a good movie to watch in the Halloween season because it is scary, but it is also a great movie about lost faith and miracles. Swing away, Merrill.
*Sir Thomas Browne