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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Designing a Coat of Arms

Carolyn J. Rose

A few years before he died, I watched my father using a drill to shave away a sixteenth of an inch of plasterboard in a bathroom ceiling.

My father was a carpenter, so this wasn’t an act of born of ignorance. Rather it was an act of expedience. The exhaust fan almost fit. It was almost time for lunch. He was almost out of patience. Using the drill was quicker than going to the garage for a saw.
“If our family had a coat of arms,” I told him when the fan was in place, “it would have a picture of a man using a drill for a saw.”
“And a picture of a woman holding a drill behind her back while denying she’s done the same thing,” he shot back.

True. I had done that. Several times. I am, after all, my father’s daughter.

A few days ago I recalled that incident and started thinking about what would be on my coat of arms if I had one.
 I doodled a shield on a piece of scrap paper and traced the outline of the Catskill Mountains across it. I was born in those mountains, and they are ever in my mind.
I divided the shield into quadrants and, in the top right one, sketched a grove of white birches between a stone wall and a meandering stream.

In a second quadrant, I drew a camera and a television to symbolize my 25+ years in TV news.

In a third, I roughed out a stick figure holding a drill in honor of my father and to represent all the home repair projects I tackled—some successful and some downright disastrous.

Finally, I drew my husband, my dogs, and a pile of books. Then, in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, I added a sack of cheesy snacks.

I am, after all, still my father’s daughter. And we never met a cheesy snack we didn’t like.

If you had a coat of arms, what would you put on it?

2 comments:

  1. I'd divide mine into thirds. On third would have to be a microphone, signifying the great career scam, er, um, choice I made. The other third would be my lady, my friends and my little white dog and the final third would be a flickering fluorescent light symbolizing my attention span.

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  2. After being married for 21 years I've come to the conclusion that if my wife and mother-in-law had a coat of arms it would definitely have a vacuum cleaner in one of the quadrants.

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