Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Do Love Me a Winter

The forecast put folks in their winter panic: Snow!  Snowmageddon!  Ice!  IceTurion!

We're in Kansas.  This weekend's forecast would not have caused a missed heartbeat in Michigan.  Or New England.  Or dear, sweet Madison, Wisconsin, where daughter & SIL Claire & Rich reside.  Last week, they took the -27ยบ with bravado!  That's not wind chill, no sirree: that's actual cold winter.

Our weekend has been cold, and snowy, and I have loved it.  Every time I have ventured out on my XC skis, it's been a joy to my day.  I have come in each time to exclaim that I would love it if I could XC ski every day of our winter.  And note - my skiing has been in a brome pasture, not groomed at all.  The balance and drift of the snow (and brome) has really played a part in balance and lack thereof, sore muscles, lower back complaints, and such.  But, oh!  What fun!!

And you know what?  I have embraced the silence of the snow.  The cardinals, the titmouses, the blue jays, bluebirds, and the sweet sparrows are all out there trying to feed and get moisture. That barred owl and I locked eyes for many a long minute.  I think we were playing Chicken on who would move first.  (He did, but I think it was caused by my sitting down in a snow drift to watch him.  I lost, in retrospect.)

What a wonderful weekend for me.

How about you?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

When I was a little kid, it was permissible, and maybe even expected amongst neighborhood mothers, that we young children should walk to the public library on each Saturday morning and collect a pile of books for the coming week.  I vaguely remember my mother taking us to the library before this "coming of age" allowance, where she would dutifully find books of interest for each and every one of her kids.


The "coming of age" walking allowance no doubt involved an older sibling (of which I had four), to shepherd us walking to the library, which I think was about one mile from our house, through the library, and back home from the library, arms full of books.  At some point, my mother would also dole out my 25¢ financial allowance.  That meant I was given time, money, and freedom to go from Point A (library) to Point B (dimestore) to pick out some candy.     


Tonight, on PBS' The Great American Read FB page, the question was posed:

"What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading?"

I thought of two from my young days.  They were both read to me, no doubt a non-reader at that point.  (So listen here, you all: read to those pipsqueaks.)  One, my mother often checked out of the library for me.  For some reason, it always appealed to me - no doubt my frog-egg, crawdad, turtle, tadpole, frog, fish, kitten, puppy days played a part in my love for this book:
Why I Built the Boogle House by Helen Palmer.  (Turns out, she was Theodore Suess' wife!)

The other beloved book I recall from my early childhood (Wait!  That's not right; I have TONS of early book memories.  So...hang on...)  As I was saying, another beloved memory was of my Aunt Edna and Aunt Rachel reading me their copy of a sweet, sweet story about a pup growing up with a family.  I don't know what resonated about this story, but I think it had to do with sitting in Rachel or Edna's lap, just sitting, just listening to their voices:

Those two books were fundamental in acquainting me with the written word. 

And you know what?  I have acquired both these books now, 50+ years later.  They meant a lot to me.   

Than, happily, came Hop on Pop!  Green Eggs and Ham!  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish! The Cat in the Hat!  (I have to interject here, that the Cat in the Hat was an awesome read, and they should have left it in written form.)

Think back to your first experiences with awesome stories.  I love my recollection of my mother reading Hurlbut's Story of the Bible to us five kids, whenever there was a Sunday snow day or if some of us were too sick to go to Sunday School.  Mom made sure she read to us. Her voice was as rich to us as hearing Paul Harvey's Bible stories at noon each Sunday.

That was fifty years ago.  Half a century.  Lots happen in half a century.  Think about that...

But, you know what?  I really think having a sweet child in my lap, with just an old book, any old book, reading to that sweet child, is pretty fine.  
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