The loss of a great American historian


Yesterday, American historian, David McCullough, passed away. Above is an inspirational video of McCullough talking about George Washington. Please take a few minutes and watch this video. It offers some perspective we can all use.

I’ve read several of McCullough’s books and pulled a few of my favorites from my bookshelves to snap a few photos for this blog post. He had a rare gift to take dry historical facts and turn them into a moving, very human story. Here’s 1776, which was about America’s founding:

Rather than waste a lot of time following the latest partisan political drama today, I looked at the news online a bit this morning, then went outside to work in my little container garden. I’ve been cleaning up and started planting some things for a Fall garden. I’m working on decluttering inside my home too.

Cleaning out the partisan politics clutter from taking up too much of my time is part of my decluttering efforts too.

I also collected more cosmos seeds this morning. I’ve seen several YouTube homesteaders talking about learning to save seeds and although seeds aren’t usually very expensive, with sky-high inflation, it sure doesn’t hurt to cut costs wherever you can. I heard mention of potential seed shortages too. I have been buying more seeds and intend to order more online very soon.

There are loads of videos and sites online that can walk you through the seed saving process for various types of plants. I recently bought two books on saving seeds. Books are really important in my life and it’s encouraging to see so many preppers and homesteaders online mention reading books as an important part of their efforts at becoming more self-reliant. Being open to learning new things and exploring new ideas can keep you moving forward in life. Here’s a link to a free 1887 book, The White House Cookbook, which has recipes and all sorts of interesting history of White House meals.

I have a fascinating book on America’s founding fathers’ gardening and yes, procuring seeds played a pivotal role in America’s early history:

The small decluttering efforts around my home take way more time than they should, due to my penchant to attach sentimental value to possessions and my hard-to-break belief in my hoarding grandmother’s view on stuff – “I paid good money for this and might need it later.” My mother ruthlessly decluttered our home on a regular basis. I’m working on letting go of more stuff that I don’t use and have not used in years. Yesterday, I filled up a box with some hardcover books, which are more difficult for me to part with than paperbacks. It felt good to fill up that box that’s going to my local Goodwill store.

McCullough’s books are keepers and I would not even think of getting rid of them. A few years ago, I read his, Brave Companions, which is a series of stories about fascinating people in history, most of whom I knew nothing about. This, so far, is my favorite David McCullough book.

That said about my favorite McCullough book, I started his, The Pioneers, and it’s excellent too. I need to finish reading this book soon.

Being a lifelong news junkie, it’s hard to turn off the blaring “breaking news” political soap opera, but I’m still working to kick the habit and spend more time doing things that will improve and enrich my life. Social media politics definitely doesn’t do that. Reading more about America’s early history helps me clear away so much of the clutter and noise in our media and politics today and I’m hoping it will keep me focused on a better path than racing down rabid, partisan political rabbit holes or getting distracted by constant online noise.

America lost a truly gifted historian and storyteller yesterday.

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Filed under American Character, American History, General Interest

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