It’s one of the perks of the job. For anyone who loves books, history, and learning, it’s pretty neat to lose yourself in fascinating research tomes and call it work. Much of my pleasure reading is nonfiction.
Research books on topics that fascinate me.
I love to learn.
And sometimes I’ll happen upon the most intriguing gems. All knowledge is a treasure. But some things stand out. That happened recently when I was reading a book on the history of cottages.
I was deep into the chapter on thatched roofs, enjoying all the tidbits such as thatch being an excellent non-conductor, keeping out heat in summer and cold in winter. Or that early thatched roofs were sometimes whitewashed to help avert the threat of fire.
But the gem I found was this…
Of course, I cannot say with 100% accuracy if this is true.
I mean to ask a Highland friend who can surely confirm or correct me.
In the book, the statement comes from a thatcher, aged sixty, whose father, grandfather, and the father before him, were all thatchers. So it’s not a stretch to think the man knew his thatch.
Assuming it’s true, there’s a marvelous wisdom in bright gold thatch being hidden away beneath years of gray, weather-worn surface thatching.
With the holidays upon us, many of us will have older family members at our tables. How often are these quiet souls left to sit in a chair by the fire, a blanket over their knees, largely ignored? Yet they possess a wealth of knowledge and richness of life lessons that would do us all such good if only we’d take the time to sit with them and encourage them to tell us their tales.
Or what about the tiny, inobtrusive restaurant tucked away in a strip shopping center? A place that might serve up the most amazing French cuisine? I know such a place and it’s fabulous. Much better than the super-hyped French restaurant close to where I live.
The place near me charges astronomical prices and the food is not near as good as the hole-in-the-wall place. The service is also much better in the tiny, out of the way restaurant.
Yet many people don’t even know it’s there.
Those who do visit the restaurant become loyal regulars.
They saw the gold beneath the gray.
Old friends are another example. We might know them forever, feeling as if they’re as comfortable as an old shoe. And that’s the beauty of this kind of ‘gold.’ It’s their very familiarity and acceptance of us, warts and all, that makes such friends so valuable.
I could go on, but as I said earlier this week, I’m just as busy as everyone else right now. And I’m really racing against deadlines. But isn’t that some deep thinking, all inspired by a single bit of info in a research book?
Finding such gems is just one reason I love research so much.
You never know where such a wee grain of info will lead you. And isn’t that beautiful?
Do you enjoy research? Find any neat little gems of your own lately?