Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall and Indian Summer

This all started when I was going to make a comment about the beautiful weather today. I wanted to say that it feels like Fall is really here but there is still Indian Summer to watch out for.
I stopped at that point and thought about these days of "Political Correctness" and not wanting to offend anyone, thought I would look up the phrase and its origin. While I have no Native American ancestors that I have found as yet, my first husband, the father of my children, always claimed that there was an Indian Princess in his direct line. I have not been able to find this in my search of his line. I know if he were still with us he would be as upset with me as his mother was when my daughter told her. When I told one of my sons about this discovery, or lack of discovery, he said that the Native American Heritage was so much a part of his father that he would be upset that I cannot find it. I know this is so true.
Well I have gone off on my side rant. I was talking a couple of weeks ago to this same son. I was telling him some family history and stories that I thought, as always that he already knew, but he said he had never knew. He started to laugh and said that I can take a conversation into so many directions. I never thought about how I do that and the vision of diagraming sentences in grade school suddenly came to me. Now that I have thought about that I blame my Irish/British Isles heritage,have you ever seen "Ducky" on "NCIS"?
End another side rant and now getting to what I found out about the origin of "Indian Summer". I found this on phrases.org.uk It is first recorded in "Letters from an American Farmer" in 1778. "It began to be used figuratively to refer to any late flowering following a period of decline" The official meaning is "an unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in the late Autumn" They give a few of the commonly repeated guesses as to why it is call Indian Summer. The one I like is "When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it bacame know as the Indian's Summer."