In Honor of President’s Day

Apparently we’re getting a whole winter’s worth of weather in this one week.  It’s particularly bitter tonight.  Steve and I are taking shifts feeding the fire so that the pipes won’t freeze.

Photos from last year.  Goodness they’ve changed!  A glimpse at American history at our house.  Are you familiar with George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation?  It’s a handbook of maxims to guide a gentleman in proper conduct, a translation of which was copied by Washington when he was 14.

A sampling:

  • Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.
  • Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.
  • Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.
  • Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.
  • Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiors.

My kids would do well to apply that last one to their relations with one another.  At some point we started compiling our own rules of conduct taken from the life experiences of our community and more suited to our lifestyle.  It’s been a long running joke and we add to it from time to time.  Great pearls, such as:

  • Place not the lamb upon the futon, for if you do, she’s sure to pee.
  • Partake not of the scum produced by boiling sap.
  • Heed thy neighbor’s wisdom and urinate not upon electric fences for if you do, more than your companions shall be shocked.
  • Kick not at the mink whilst naked, lest you attract an audience.*

George Washington would be horrified, but I like to think that Teddy a least would have appreciated the stache.

*Let’s just say that there was a situation involving a friend on a rural farm, a violent middle of the night chicken attack and house guests that were forgotten in the heat of the moment.  On the up side, she did mange to pull her boots on as she ran out the door.


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