|gallon river rock, cup white, quarter cup purple|
|gallon white, half-cup each of purple and river rock|
Guess which is my favorite?
White really is my go-to gallon color, but I know a lot of you prefer kraft. Isn't it great we can all have what we want when it comes to color?
stamps: Hero Arts (sentiment), SU (border, Summer Silhouettes), PTI (leaves)
paper: PTI white, SU river rock
accessories: label punch, oval punch, dimensionals, rhinestones, half pearls,
Dixie and seralewis were the only readers who knew about surcees...or at least the only ones who commented about what they knew. Seralewis knew of a shop in North Carolina called Surcee that sells small gifts, and Dixie knew someone in North Carolina who referred to pet treats as surcees. I decided to google the term, and while google isn't yielding a peer-review etymological analysis of the word, I found lots of discussion of usage of the word in Charleston, South Carolina, and North Carolina as well. It's used consistently to refer to small gifts given for no particular reason. This explanation of its origins was perhaps the clearest:
"Surcee is a word, used in the South [United States], that is believed to have its origins in the Scotch and Irish who settled in the region. The Scottish word for "surprise" is pronounced much like 'surcee' and could be a phonetic form passed down from generation to generation. Another possible origin for the word is from the Irish term 'sussie' which means to care." Source
I checked my Oxford English Dictionary, and apparently the word hasn't appeared in print (at least before my edition was published). It also isn't in my giant Random House dictionary.
My mom's family settled in North Carolina several centuries ago (perhaps as early as the late 1600s), and they were, indeed, Scottish and Irish, as were many of the early settlers of the area. So instead of being a diminutive of "surprise," as many of us supposed, I think we can safely conclude (unless further evidence is brought before the Court of Language) that surcee is an oral remnant of the Scottish or Irish language influence, and my grandmother's use of the term arose from the rich tradition of generous and kind family and community.
As a language lover, I'm gratified with such an explanation. But even more so, I'm reminded of the importance of small things like surcees. Mother Teresa (neither Scot nor Irish) said, "We cannot all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love." My grandmother's family was not wealthy, but they did whatever small things they could with great love, and those small things were important enough that they preserved a word for them.
What a wonderful legacy!
[If you're curious about my grandmother, you can read the memorial I wrote for her that was read at her funeral. Perhaps she will inspire those of you drowning in the minutiae of motherhood to see things a bit differently. She did that for me.]