Have you ever wondered how the expression “Happy as a clam” came about….I mean, really, how does anyone know they are happy? They make me happy when I eat New England clam chowder but I don’t think dying for my personal happy tastebuds is what happy clams are all about?
I discovered that the problem with the expression “Happy as a clam” is the fact that these four words are only half of the expression. It comes from the fuller version of the phrase, now rarely heard – ‘as happy as a clam at high water’. Hide tide is when clams are free from the attentions of predators; surely the happiest of times in the bivalve mollusc world. They can eat happily without fear of being eaten at high tide.
The more I thought about this expression and its origin the more I realized it is a great simile to modern society. After all, aren’t we at our happiest when we feel like we are riding on top of the waves at high tide and for a little while we can rest, gather our strength, and feel secure from hidden obstacles/enemies lurking in the murky waters of life?
I was ‘happy as a clam’ to see Stephanie and her beautiful daughter, Lauren, stop by yesterday afternoon with a bag of tomatoes they had picked from the fields on Wadmalaw island. She even brought some green ones to make “fried green tomatoes” if I so desired. Thank you Stephanie and Lauren for thinking of me….I had the most luscious tomato sandwich for supper last night.
Besides bringing me tomatoes they both came to my aid too. Remember the Mexican heather I had gotten and placed temporarily on the new iron-wrought planter. Since (supposedly) it is going to rain today…I thought it would be a good time to plant the heather. The problem was… I could not, for the life of me, get the plants out of the cannisters.
So while showing the girls around the garden I asked them if they would mind trying….and prayed they didn’t pull them out with no effort…that would have been embarrassing. They did struggle and it took both of them get the two plants out…but they were successful…great mom and daughter team! Thank you girls!!!
After they left I got them both planted….come on rain…rain!
I replaced the heather with containers of more purple and yellow…love the combination. It is so much fun changing out the flowers/containers every few days. Keeps it fresh for me.
One never knows when “6 degrees of separation” will pop up at the most extraordinary moments. *I have been completely caught up in the PBS mini-series on Sir Edmund Hillary…simply called Hillary…it comes on Sunday evenings at 6….there are six episodes and I have watched the first two. I am mesmerized…fantastic true story of this amazing New Zealander and his successful quest to be the first man to climb Mt. Everest.
He was also a devoted husband, father and philanthropist….he died in 2008 at the age of 88 (which is ironic he lived that long) since he had three near-death experiences during his adventure-some life.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of his passing and the people of Nepal and the Himalayas (for whom he helped build schools and set up towns) held a large memorial service for him.
In 1985 he accompanied Neil Armstrong in a small-engined plane over the Arctic Ocean and landed at the North Pole. Thus he became the first man to stand at both poles and reach the summit of Mt. Everest! Humble, giving, down-right shy….Hillary left a light that can still be seen and felt by millions.
It was while I was reading articles about Hillary (when news spread of his death) that a noteworthy quote of praise from fellow mountain climber and New Zealander, Graeme (Graham) Dingle, shot out at me.
I immediately pulled his biography and was blown away. He had gone on several mountain climbing expeditions with Hillary and still leads a quite similar noble life (as his friend Hillary)… giving back to others and starting a school for young people named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Wow…a famous mountain climber and philanthropist Dingle in New Zealand…who knew?
I talked with Tommy about my discovery….he got interested in pulling more articles but also sent me this link that I started at 8 yesterday morning and finished at 9. A good hour read on Sir Edmund Hillary with Dingle referenced in it several times. I will provide the link…but set aside some time for it if interested….a fascinating glimpse at a fascinating individual.
So until tomorrow….Thank you Father for daily surprises showing us how connected we all are and how unexpected friends bringing “maters” can put a smile on our faces!
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh