a sanguine disposition

In thinking of a word to explain the hopefulness I felt this morning, I thesaurus'd my way to sanguine.

I like the word "sanguine," not for the same reasons I have always liked the word frostbite--which sounds exhiliarating--but rather for the history of the word, it's old meanings. If I weren't a Farmer/librarian I think I would spend my days researching the family trees of words, their growth away from an original meaning, the movements towards independence and changed usability.

Dictionary.com describes sanguine in its adjective stage as:
1. cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident: a sanguine disposition; sanguine expectations.

2. reddish; ruddy: a sanguine complexion.

3. (in old physiology) having blood as the predominating humor and consequently being ruddy-faced, cheerful, etc.

4. bloody; sanguinary.

5. blood-red; red.

6. Heraldry . a reddish-purple tincture.


1275–1325; Middle English sanguyne a blood-red cloth < Old French sanguin < Latin sanguineus bloody, equivalent to sanguin-, stem of sanguis blood + -eus -eous

This morning I woke to a constant dripping of water, presumably snow melting from the roof. I woke hopeful that "the back of winter had finally been broken" (as one of the Farmers like to put it), that it was warm enough for the snow on roofs to be melting down, dripping and pooling, making it necessary to switch from winter boots to rain boots. I awoke enthusiastically anticipating the feeling of warm sun on my face, a day on which a sweatshirt and jeans would suffice. I could almost feel the squish and slide of my feet in oozing mud as I made my way to breakfast.

Yet looking out the window I was greeted with the gray which is New England February. The elated drippings of spring was really the doldrum rain slapping down upon a layer of snow, which had fallen in the night. I felt cold and sullen when I finally left the house, hungry and cognizant of having missed breakfast; a groggy, hungry bear emerging from its cave too early in the season, yet too late to again comfortably retire.

After seeing that, it was hard NOT to feel grumpy. What to do!? I needed coffee and food and to see Mummy Dearest, who always makes me feel better. And it worked: coffee, food and time at the General Store listening to folk music and chatting with Mummy Dearest put me right and in a good mood again.

I realized in my trampings about this morning that the sensation of feeling sanguine, cheerful, hopeful comes from the VERY not-knowingness of my current situation. I am definitely in a less "woah, is me," state than I was the other day, and am now trying really hard to just be A. hopeful and B. very thankful.

The insurance man came yesterday to inspect my cabin and take pictures, and now we are awaiting an estimate from the construction company to see how to next proceed. I am hopeful for something. I honestly don't know what the Farm/insurance will choose to do next, but I am choosing to anticipate something good will come this way. What else can I do?

Staying with B1 & B2 has been a blessing. They have absorbed me into their house and we are falling into each others' routines in the way roommates must. B1 and I were roommates before, when we were both lowly volunteers at the Farm, and out of all the people who I've lived with (I've had about 20 roommates in my life) B1 was definitely one of the easiest. B2 is proving to be that way too. I am getting used to feeling like their home is my home too; fortunately at the Farm we spend so much time with one another that I wind up feeling less like friends and more like family with people, which is helpful.

I am now anticipating a five day weekend, using up vacation days. I look forward to an empty house, as B1 & B2 head to PA for a long weekend. I see in my future lots of time in pajamas with books, movies and the cat.


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