Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Today's Wonder of the World is...Maps!

At my house, we LOVE maps.
My dear husband's love for maps began shortly after he was weaned.
Actually I'm just guessing about that. I wasn't there at the time.
But I'll tell you a little story about the first map I ever bought... Hey! Don't you roll your eyes! This story has true love and suspense and maps!
Are you paying attention?
On Christmas Eve of 1985, my senior year in college, I gave Todd one of these for Christmas.

Flickr photo by jbcurio
No! Not a Charles Atlas having his 77th birthday.
This one.

Flickr photo by eccentrophile
No, not an atlas moth. Though he probably would have liked one.

Flickr photo by David in Miyazaki
No, not a map butterfly either.
How did you guys get me on this crazy insect tangent? That'll teach me to listen to you!

I'm talking about this kind of atlas!

Flickr photo by GunnarFreyr
Yes! The book kind.
Back to the story...
To be precise, I gave Todd a National Geographic World Atlas, and he gave me an engagement ring. He was so thrilled with his new atlas, I'm not sure if he even heard me say yes!
Ramseys are a little map crazy.

Twenty two years later, I've become accustomed to the madness. In fact, I've learned to like maps myself. Though I don't squirrel them away in the coat closet, so that they avalanche on any unsuspecting person opening the door.
(A certain someone in my house does that.)

Here's my laundry room, with an old French classroom map of the US that I found at a flea market during our years in Clermont Ferrand.

That's not the best picture because my laundry room is so tiny.
By the way, see the bean-eyed puppet Sam made of himself when he was five? I've kept that up for four years because I can't let it go. It makes me too happy. And it reminds me what he looks like without hair in his eyes.

But back to maps, let me sit up on the dryer and let you have a better look at the map.

There we go.
I love the colors and the French names for everything. I've lived here in South Carolina for 15 years and I had no idea I lived near les Alleghanys.
That map has been through a lot. If you click on it, you'll see big pieces of clear tape holding it together. Can you believe that my French movers rolled it up and wrapped it with duct tape? Mon Dieu!
Eight weeks later when we unpacked every thing, I carefully peeled it off, and nursed it back to health.

At my house, we love maps so much we might just eat out of them.

Photo by bombus.etsy.com
You can too, if you buy one from www.bombus.etsy.com, HERE.

Or I might wear it on a necklace around my neck!

Photo by itsallabouttheprint.etsy.com
Cute, huh? It's made from a map and an old scrabble tile!
It's from www.itsallabouttheprint.etsy.com, HERE.

I also love maps that children make. Like this one, made by a class of 7 year olds in Scotland.

Flickr photo by Glazgow
How can you be anything but happy looking at a map like that?

When you were little, did you and your friends ever pretend to read each other's palms?

Flickr photo by MsKiKi
Some people say palms are sort of like life maps.

Or treasure maps!

Flickr photo by Jonty Wareing
But why stop at just palms?
How about an all body map?

Flickr photo by hey-gem
Of moles!
Apparently some people think that moles have meanings, and can be lucky or unlucky.
And how handy...the same person who reads your moles can remove any unlucky ones for you! Woo hoo! Read more about it HERE.
It's September 16. Do you know where your moles are?

That reminds me... You never answered me: Do you know the way to San Jose?
If she had a map, Dionne Warwick could tell you!

Have a wonder-full Tuesday, everyone!
Love, Becky


Pocket Full of Prettys said...

Cute map story. My husband loves maps too, and he love geography! He can tell you ever road in Texas, where it goes & how many miles of it there is, he knows all the counties etc. My son is almost as bad as he is. Give them a map or a book about history & you've given them a gold mine. Hugs***Renea

Suzie said...

I wonder with all this GPS stuff will our kids ever use a map. It would be a shame if map reading was a dead art

Barb said...

Hi Becky,

I love maps, especially old ones. The map in the laundry room would have me spending lots of time in there-not necessarily a good thing-hehe.

Keep that precious puppet right where it is. I have some things around that the kids made when they were little and they make me smile every time I look at them.

The music made me smile too- she's the best!


a Tonggu Momma said...

We have maps hanging all over our home, especially of places we've lived. But the big question is - does your husband look at maps when he's lost?

LW said...

Keep your maps; someday they will be very collectable …
Everyone goes to Mapquest or has one those talking “take right” things
in their cars..
I feel the days of the glove compartment maps are long gone ….

LOVe the French USA map ...


Rosemary said...

Hi Rebecca!!
Love the map post today. I love old antique maps.
You have a great Tuesday too!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I loved yesterday's miniatures--that little sock monkey is too twee! The maps--I'm a sucker for maps. I always bring them home after a trip and hope to one day frame each as a testament to our travels. Lines and dots--so exciting! So much promise!

Jamie said...

I don't have a fascination with maps although I found some vintage ones at an antique store because they make neat wall hangings. :)

"Do you know the way to San Jose" always reminds me of "My Best Friend's Wedding".

TattingChic said...

Becky, you are the ONLY person I know who can make maps sound interesting. THAT, my dear friend, is a compliment in the highest form. :)

Fete et Fleur said...

I love the Etsy shoppe you posted. It's wonderful! I have to confess . . . there is something alluring about a good atlas.


Rebecca Ramsey said...

Renea, sounds like your hubby and son could be my hubby and middle child. They live for the History Channel.

Suzie, I agree. I've only ridden with one once and even with its polite voice it drove me crazy... "make a legal u-turn."

Barb, that's why I put the map in there! With all the sports the boys play, we always have mountains of laundry to do. I try to trick myself into staying in there by hanging fun stuff to look at!

Tonggu momma, good question! And NO, of course he doesn't actually USE the map while driving. Just to plan the trip. He'd rather drive by the direction of the sun or the stars. This drives me bonkers.

Louise, I think you're right. They'll use maps for the same purpose others I know use them--to hold napkins for all that fast food!

Hey Rosemary. The antique ones are the best!

Green girl, great idea. When we lived in France we hung a map of the country in our kitchen and highlighted all the roads we had taken whenever we returned from a trip. I really should frame that thing.

Jamie, would you believe that I've never seen that movie? Disgraceful, I know. Now I've got another reason to see it!

Tatting chic, aw shucks. Thanks!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hi Nancy, didn't see you there! Glad to introduce you to more etsy places to browse. How I love etsy!

lotusloq said...

I love the US map in French! That's priceless! I was wondering if the French have a special love affair with La Floride since it's name is so much bigger and darker than even Texas. Hmmm!

I have a Cheeses of France map that I got when I was over there. It's fun.

One of my favorite French words is mappemonde. I love saying it and hearing it.

I got your book over the weekend and am really enjoying it. I feel like I know you now. So many of your experiences remind me of my own when I was there. Like the somewhat chubby lady that I called "tres forte" thinking she was so strong only to discover that I had called her very fat. I was mortified!

May Vanderbilt said...

Suzie, I agree! I worry about the same thing!

Ever since I got an iPhone (with a Where button that will show you on a map where you are) and a GPS nav system for my car, I've been worrying about maps disappearing forever.

I think someday my children won't even know how to read them. It will be a lost skill, like...darning socks and washing clothes with a washing board.

JaxPop said...

I love maps. Have a US atlas, a world atlas, lots of waterway charts (that I'm not good at reading, but pretend to understand them), have a GPS system on the boat (that I haven't gotten the hang of) ... but I have a question. When Todd gets lost... does he drive faster? Deb claims that the more lost I become, the faster I drive. I guess it's like that old Steve Goodman song - "I've Got The I Don't Know Where I'm Goin' But I'm Goin' - Nowhere In A Hurry Blues" I'm showing my age.

Debbie Egizio said...

I just love maps! That map bowl is the best!

Susan Sandmore said...

I love maps, too. My favorite one is also a speaker. I don't know why. Someone thought it would be cool to invent the Speaker Map and I have perhaps the world's only model. "Patent Pending," it says.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am especially fond of antique maps and globes. They wouldn't serve me well as actual guides, but they are so handsome.

And gee, I do love that Atlas Moth!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Lotusloq, I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Thanks for letting me know. And that is a fun word to say!

Hey May, I took orienteering in college (there was a PE requirement and it was one of the choices.) It was a strange class to take--running through the woods with a compass with a bunch of ROTC guys, but it was also the first time I actually had to use a map. I was glad I knew how to read one a few years later when I graduated and moved to a new city. Most kids today just want to plug in coordinates and let a machine do the orienteering for them. Kids today! (I'll go take my dentures out now and sit in my rocking chair and remember the days when I had to walk through a foot of snow to school. ha ha.)

Hey Jaxpop! No, surprisingly Todd doesn't drive faster when he's lost. The man always drives around the speed limit, no matter how hard I crack the whip! It's funny, he's a real risk taker in some things--had his pilot's license when we dated, loves adventure sports, etc. but he has no need for speed.

Hi Debbie, isn't it pretty? It's making me look at all these maps around my house and wonder if Todd would notice if I just sneaked one out to cut up. I've got modge podge in my closet that is calling my name!

Susan, you have a map that speaks? That talks to you? Why that's cooler than GPS!

Pamela, when I saw that picture of the Atlas moth, I couldn't believe it. There are tons of pics on flickr of them. Amazingly huge!

Gina2424 said...

Well, what an enjoyable post! I think it was written just for me, example: 1. your exhibit A has towns where I have loved ones: Easley (last name Alter) and Greenville (Kohn). 2. I have a charm just like your Paris. Mine is Myrtle Beach. 3. I just had two moles removed yesteray. And I didn't even find out what they mean! What to do?!

CC said...

I've always loved maps too. And Globes in particular.

I loved your engagement story! So cute and funny and endearing!

And yes, I DO know the way to San Jose. As long as you are talking about SJ in California...

vicki archer said...

What a great post - my husband is map mad too!

jenniferw said...

Those moths are amazing! I never saw a map moth before. I love maps too, and my son especially adores them. We like to look at them together.

I'll trade you George Clooney for Johnny Depp, Becky!

Not that I have George ... I assume you met him when he was filming Leatherheads up in your neck of the woods awhile back .... ??

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Hi Gina, you have upstate SC connections so close to me! I used to go through Easley all the time, on my way to Clemson (and there's a fabric store I used to frequent.) I'm trying to remember if I know any Kohns in Greenville. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

CC, I don't think I've ever been to San Jose. But the pictures I've seen are gorgeous!

Hey Vicky, any map storage solutions?

Oh Jennifer, if only I had been so lucky. George did play basketball in my church gym, however, on his breaks, and video was taken by my good friend Mittie. You'll see his handsome face if you search the archives of my blog. (I have a special section just devoted to George!)

Randy and Linda said...

Have always loved maps of any kind. When I was into shortwave world radio station listening(middle school), I became even more interested in where all the countries were located on a globe.
My favorite software for planning trips and using GPS in the car is DeLorme Street Atlas and Topo. It is so powerful, so can search by phone#, and no internet connection needed because it's all loaded onto your hard-drive. They do offer a hand-held unit, but I like to use the whole laptop for GPS in the car. You don't have to download anything when you arrive in a city because it's already there on the hard-drive - almost everything you could think of, including the names of every creek, pond, school, church, cemetary, business, hotels, restaurants, etc.. If you can tolerate using a laptop in your car with a small GPS transceiver on your dash, this is incredible!