Today's title refers to the literal stone walls in my pictures, but also brings to mind the etymology of the term "stonewalled." Which possibly originates from General Thomas J. Jackson in 1861 who stood in battle like a "stone wall." Anyway, the origins of words and traditions is on my mind lately probably in part by a few days spent with my parents in which I would use a word and my mother would ask me if I knew where it came from (usually the response was vaguely) and the recent holiday of St. Patrick's during which I failed to enjoy a shamrock shake and learned from my Irish boyfriend that people on the island of Ireland don't actually pinch you for not wearing green. I don't find Thomas's accent hard to understand, but I am still pleasantly surprised sometimes learning about different cultural traditions and it makes me more aware of what is inherently American rather than universal. On the subject of traditions: at my junior high the girls received construction paper hearts on Valentines Day to pin to their clothes and they had to forfeit their heart to a boy if they spoke to him outside of class. All was fair in love and war, and on St. Patrick's Day the boys received construction paper four leaf clovers which they had a similarly tenuous ownership of. Did anyone else do that at their school?


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