Today's Wonder of the World is...the Passion of Carl and Lilian Sandburg!
Stop yawning, you!
We're talking PASSION here, people!
Passion that involves four of my favorite things: Romance, Books, Historic Homes, and...GOATS!
Yes, you read correctly!
I like goats almost as much as I like sheep.
And so did the Sandburgs.
Allow me to explain.
For my birthday, my sweet daughter came home from college (see Sleeping Beauty in her very own bed in yesterday's post) so we celebrated with a trip up to Flat Rock, North Carolina, to Carl Sandburg's home.
It's called Connemara, and it's a beautiful place.
We go there every few years, and I get inspired every time we stroll the grounds and tour their house.
Let me tell you about their passions!
PASSION ONE: Each other!
Carl and Lilian were completely devoted to each other and honored each other's passions as well. Carl's passion for writing was well known, but Lilian was famous internationally in her own right as a breeder of goats! In fact, they only moved to Connemara because she thought it'd be a better place for raising her herd.
Carl would work all night, until 5am, when when Lilian would rise to feed the goats. Every morning she would leave his breakfast/lunch on a tray for him outside his room, to eat when he got up around noon.
I'd love to live like that, if Todd would be Lilian and I could be Carl.
Sadly, Todd just doesn't love goats.
Here's Carl's downstairs office, complete with his cardboard box filing system.
Every night, the whole family would eat dinner together and then take a walk around the farm.
Here's the dining room where they ate.
There are tons of books in every room of the house. They moved in with over 14,000 books, and added plenty more in their twenty four years there.
PASSION TWO: Writing and books!
Carl won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, and another for the biography Abraham Lincoln. But did he display them? No!
He did, however, display a plaque given to him by the NAACP for his contributions to the civil rights movement, along with a plaque from the Girl Scouts.
You may know him best for this poem:
The fog comes on
little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and
city on silent
then moves on.
Don't you love that?
Here's his upstairs office, the one he used for his serious writing at night.
PASSION THREE: Historic Homes!
Connemara was built back in 1839, but Carl and Lilian didn't buy the place until 1945.
And no, I don't have triplet sons. Todd was getting a little fancy with his camera while Sarah and I took the house tour. I've toured it many times, but it never gets old.
Stepping into that house is like going back in time. Two years after Sandburg died, in 1969, Lilian and her daughters packed up a few suitcases each and left the house for the National Parks Service. Lilian's only condition was that it be kept exactly as she left it. There are calendars still on the wall, magazines on the coffee table, Sandburg's cigar butts still in the ashtrays. You can really get a sense of what their lives were like.
PASSION FOUR: Goats!
Lilian's goat Jenny held a world record for many years for producing over 2.5 gallons of milk per day! Whoa. That must have been quite a sight.
I almost feel sorry for her. (The goat, not Lilian.)
I can almost feel her pain.
We won't go into that.
And one last fun fact...
Stephen Spielberg supposedly modeled ET's face after a combination of Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, and Carl Sandburg!
I don't know...what do you think?
Enjoy the youtube video of his poem Chicago.
If you have family in the windy city, it will make you want to phone home!
And see you tomorrow for Tons O'Fun!