Goose-like Serenity in the Japanese Garden

The designers and builders of the Columbia Exposition of 1893 in Chicago had some disagreements along the way. Passionate mastermind of the fair, Daniel Burnham, worked closely with several architects to create a brilliant celebration of culture and invention. The chief landscape designer for the fair, Frederick Law Olmsted, had his own vision for the “Wooded Island” — he wanted to keep the area undeveloped. Others were of another mind and wanted to put something out there besides trees and flowers. Eventually they reached a compromise with the inclusion of a Japanese-styled garden.

One hundred and nineteen years have passed since the World Columbian Exposition, and the Japanese Garden is not quite the same as it was back then, but oh my gooseness, we found such peace and serenity there. Please come with us on a tour of the Osaka Garden!

There is a very good description of the history of the Japanese garden here, and also here’s an old photo from the fair.

The Japanese Hoo-den and tea house from the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1893. Mother Goose was not there…

It’s a quiet place in the midst of a big noisy city…

Waterfalls are an essential ingredient to a garden. Mother Goose dipped her rubbery feet in the cool, refreshing water.

Reflecting pools and rocks are also very calming.

A lovely and peaceful view. The young lady in blue was celebrating her QuinceaƱera with friends and photographers.

Mother Goose touches history! An original lantern from the 1893 Japanese Pavilion.

Mother Goose can only imagine the wonder on the faces of the people who visited this place so long ago. I was very surprised that they have renovated this area into such a serene place — this restoration is unique in our area, and Mother Goose will certainly return to meditate on the secrets of the universe.

We wandered through the rest of the island remarking on the great variety of birds and butterflies around us. Then we realized that we were actually in a delightful bird and butterfly refuge! Imagine our surprise and merriment!

A Monarch Butterfly.

A smallish butterfly.

Were we thrilled at the colony of birds living in this old snag of a furry tree? YES!

And then Mother Goose and Husband Goose went searching for an elusive statue… Please come back tomorrow for the next event in our White City adventure!

Montgomery, Alabama 1960. Part 1.

The family of Mother Goose traveled from northern Minnesota to Montgomery in the autumn of 1960 to visit my mother’s brother, Warren Mattson. He was a tall glass of water who easily acquired a hilariously rich southern accent and cowboy boots after he was transplanted there from Minnesota. He had a lot of attitude and a snotty Pomerian pup. Still, his family loved him enough to drive 1,300 miles for a visit.

Uncle Warnie and his cranky dog.

Uncle Warnie was a fine tour guide. They saw all the main attractions in the capital city of Alabama.

The Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama 1960

Today, the Capitol building looks about the same.

Not much has changed on the outside…

The State Department of Archives and History 1960

No doubt they’ve added some archives and history since 1960…

The First White House of the Confederacy, Montgomery, Alabama 1960

Some things change very little over time…

But thankfully, many things do.

I’m hoping you’ll return tomorrow when Mother Goose reveals a shocking picture from 1960 Montgomery. You don’t want to miss this bit of American history.

Mother Goose Did Not Say “Goodbye”

Captain Edward J. Smith

Her little fowl heart was pounding wildly as Mother Goose ran to Captain Smith’s quarters. She pounded on his door and cried out breathlessly, “Captain Smith! Captain Smith! There’s been a collision, and Titanic has hit an iceberg!” The captain, dressed only in his nightshirt, suddenly opened his door as Mother Goose fell in a feathery heap at his feet.

“What’s this, Mother Goose? What are you saying? What’s all this talk about a collision with an iceberg? Why, that’s simply absurd!” But as the Captain looked down the long corridor of his beautiful ship, he could see the beginnings of panic setting in amongst the passengers. People were running in all directions and shouting. They heard the sounds of breaking glass as the stewards attempted to provide all passengers with life preservers.

General pandemonium reigned supreme.

Captain Smith hurriedly threw on his officer’s jacket and ran to the pilot house to observe the disaster and direct his crew. He knew in his heart that this was going to be a tragedy of great proportion, and he silently prayed as he climbed the stairs.

Weeping, Mother Goose gathered her skirts and waddled down the passageway in search of her friends. Water was rising in the ship by the minute; icy cold Arctic water washed over her weary ankles and then rose to her bony knees. She slowly trudged the Grand Staircase, looking forlornly at the clock. It was midnight.

Midnight on the Titanic...

Finally she reached the upper deck of Titanic where the life boats were being filled with women and children. She saw Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Guggenheim and Molly Brown in one of the life boats. They fluttered their handkerchiefs to get her attention, but she only smiled sadly and continued waddling along. She must find Isidor and Ida.

People were rushing past her, jostling her. She was only a goose among many hysterical passengers. As she walked along, she felt as though it was all a very bad dream — she could hear the sounds of the band playing dance music somewhere, but how could that be? Mother Goose shook her head in disbelief to think that the beautiful Titanic was actually filling up with ocean water. How could it be?

They had said she was unsinkable. Yet Mother Goose remembered how they had shown her the blueprints of the ship when she toured the shipyards where Titanic was being welded together in Belfast. They had told her that the double thick hull was strong, and that if for some reason, three of the watertight compartments in the forward section of the hull were ripped open, Titanic would still float. But they had not considered what would happen if an iceberg punctured four of the compartments. Mother Goose knew and perhaps should have told them to think about that possibility. Being a goose, she knew that as the bulkheads filled with water, the upper levels of the ship would begin to take on water at a rapid pace. The great ship would fill exponentially as the bow sunk deeper and deeper under the surface of the ocean.

As an aquatic sort of bird, Mother Goose has a special understanding of how water rises and fills until it conquers.

Suddenly Mother Goose woke out of her misty reverie, and remembered there was much work to be done! Miraculously, her dazed eyes brightened, her spirit was refreshed, and her body was given new strength and energy to find her friends. Mother Goose got her second wind! “All is not lost,” she cried out loud. “There is still time. There’s always time to make a difference in the world.”

Ignoring the calls of the gentlemen for her to jump into a lifeboat, she dashed down the stairs to the cold, wet corridor leading to the First Class cabin of Ida and Isidor Straus. She turned left, she turned right and left again until she came to their cabin. The door was open and music drifted out of their room from the Edison phonograph, a sweet German waltz.

The stateroom of Mr. and Mrs. Straus

“Ida! Ida? Are you there?” Mother Goose ran from room to room. “Isidor? Where are you?” And then Mother Goose let out a cry of alarm for her friends were quietly lying in their bed, arms wrapped around each other, smiles on their peaceful faces. “Ida, come on, we must hurry! The ship is sinking! I can help you to the lifeboats, there’s still room for us. Isidor, come quickly! We’ll find a way for us all to be safe.”

“Dear Mother Goose,” said Ida. “Isidor and I must stay here. We’ve had a wonderful life, but we are very old and very tired. We’ve lived long together, and now we choose to die together. Please know that we love you, dear friend. Please save yourself before it is too late. You are still so young and have many stories to tell. You’ll survive this tragedy somehow, and you’ll get married and have babies and grand adventures. We love you, Mother Goose, but please understand….we cannot go with you.”

Mother Goose sobbed as she held her friends close and kissed them for the last time. “My dearest friends, I love you with the most tender affection. I will tell the world about your gentle hearts, your courage and your noble sacrifice. I have no doubt we’ll meet again on the other side of this life.” She did not say goodbye. As she backed out of the cabin, silent tears rolled down the feathery cheeks of Mother Goose, and she sadly smiled.

(Please come back tomorrow to find out how Mother Goose used her wits to escape from Titanic.)

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 79,315 honks to date

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March 2023