Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ruminating on Stobs and Seasoning Sheets

Well, I made 26 posts last month, so although I didn't complete NaBloPoMo, at least I posted more than I have in previous months this year, and a few of the posts were even halfway decent!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day! After several days in a row of cold temps and rain, 50+° and sunshine was very welcome. I even hung some laundry out. Any time I can keep from using a dryer, I will do it! I may have written about this before, but once I was drying some sheets out on the line, and I said to Thomas, "My sheets are probably almost totally dry. I'm going to bring them in to season them." And I kind of shocked myself, because I couldn't remember having used that term before. But Mom used to say it a lot. She'd have something that she had mostly dried outside, then she'd bring it in and "season" it in the dryer or (in the wintertime, especially) in front of the fire. 

I looked at Thomas with a shocked expression on my face and said, "Did I just say 'season'? Where did that come from?" I was just surprised to hear it come out of my mouth, because it wasn't something I normally would say, and I didn't have any conscious thought of using the word. And Thomas said, "Yes, you did, and surprisingly I know what you mean!"

I find that more and more often a word or phrase from my childhood will pop out of my mouth before I can stop it. For example, not too long ago I cautioned Eler Beth to "watch out for that stob" when we were walking through some woods. She said, "What's a stob?!"

Did you ever run around barefoot when you were a kid and step on a stob? Well I did, and I can still recall the pain. Stubbing your toe on one was just about as bad as cutting your foot. And if it cut your foot, it would almost invariably be on the soft arch or under or between your toes; wherever it would be the most painful while it healed. 

I was thinking about the word "stob" today, so I decided to see where it originated. I found conflicting information. One source says it is from a Gaelic word, and it would make sense that my Scottish and Irish parents would have used the word. Another source says it comes from a Middle English word meaning stump. I'll have to do more digging. Anyway, regardless of the origin, in my little world it's a broken off or cut off stump of a small tree, bush, or thick weed, even, that sticks up out of the ground just enough to either stub your toe on it or step on it and cut your foot.

Okay, so I've started off December with a post, and I'll try to post several times this month, even if I don't post every day.


Donna said...

Since I have shunned shoes all my life, I have stepped on many a stob. Even within the past year. I, too, hang clothes on the line to dry whenever possible, although now that I'm babysitting, I tend to use the dryer a little more.

Paula said...

I know what you mean Lori. Many time words from my Mama's mouth pop out of mine without me even thinking about it. We too used stob but not as much as some others. I still remember my son-in-law saying why don't you say roast when I say parching peanuts.


I never heard of a stob before. Interesting indeed.

RETA said...

Been there, done that! ha! Now I know what to call that thing that hurt my foot! ha! Delightful post - thanks. Yes, I too have come up with some words & phrases from my childhood - things I haven't thought about for years!