I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story?
Here is another Good Story.
Hello. I’m Anna Maddox, Hamilton’s daughter. Hamilton Maddox is the main character in Judy Kelly’s new novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom. It will be out in a few months. Please get it and read about me.
My father grew up in Stevensville, Maryland. I love that place and am always so anxious to visit my grandparents who still live there. As you know from reading The Attractiveness of Wisdom, I love history and Stevensville has many antique shops that include so many items from the past. Sometimes, when I visited an antique shop, I would pick up an item and imagine myself there. I often wondered what it was like living during earlier times, especially being a woman. My dad told me I wouldn’t like it because I like to think for myself and come up with my own solutions. In earlier times, many women were “directed” by their husbands.
I guess I am lucky. My father showed me how to be strong and think for myself. He decided I would have my own thoughts and make my own decisions, if he could help it. So, he guided me, showed me how to be goal oriented, protected me and showed me that some choices would lead me away from my goals. My mother was ill when I was growing up and wasn’t able to talk to me about makeup and show me how to put it on; or talk to me about clothes and what to wear. After watching some of the girls in my classes in middle school and even high school, I thought being a woman meant making yourself attractive for boys and later men. My father didn’t do that with me, instead, he showed me how to read, evaluate, and think.
I didn’t really know I was different until I reached high school. That’s when I saw the other girls knew how to flirt with the boys and I didn’t. Other girls had dates and I didn’t. I didn’t realize it, but I became angry with my mother for being sick and with my father for reasons I didn’t know or understand then. One evening, when I yelled at my father, I asked him if he thought I was pretty. I had begun to think that the reason he didn’t show me how to use make up was because he didn’t think I was pretty enough, and the mascara, or eyeliner, or lipstick wouldn’t enhance my looks in any way. I don’t think I will ever forget that day. He took me by the arm, and we went into the bathroom. He faced me toward the mirror and asked me what I saw. Before I answered he said, “I see the most beautiful young lady I have ever seen with beautiful blue eyes the color of the sky that say when she’s happy or sad or when things are funny to her. I see a young lady whose smile is so deep and warm and filled with love. I see a young lady whose personality always draws people to her and makes people feel loved and comfortable and safe in her care. That’s what I see every time I look at you.” My father’s comments brought tears to my eyes and he pulled me into his strong arms, and I knew my father told me his truth. After that, I tried not to argue with him anymore.
It has occurred to me that fathers love their daughters and see it as their job to teach their daughters what to do. When will it be that women won’t need to have their fathers tell them that they are okay because society will be so that it will be “okay” for everyone? But for now, fathers must teach their daughters certain things so they can make their way in a man’s world. Sometimes that training can be difficult, but for me, I feel good that my father thought I would be someone to do something important in this world, and because he valued me so much, he readied me for the opportunities and challenges that would lead me there. This is the man who is the main character in Judy’s story, The Attractiveness of Wisdom.
Be sure to look at the pictures of the antique shops in Stevensville (below). Do you see the saddle, also in the picture above? Can you believe that? And what about the bike? Judy has been a long-distance bicyclist for many years, and a lover of plants and flowers. I’ll bet you she would love to have that bike where she could grow some of her plants. Sadly, many of the shops had to close due to covid-19. But you can get your copy of The Attractiveness of Wisdom when the novel comes out. Please do. I would love to hear from you.