I have had this post going around in my head for days. I guess in part I blame L.M. Montgomery. When I read her I always want to write and use big old fashioned words. I am about halfway through Anne of Windy Poplars. As I was reading today, I was reminded of how much I wanted to be like Anne. She went out of her way to be a servant, she saw the good always in self centered people and she was always positive. It is good to go back and read books, that are the fabric of my life. Without the influence of these books who knows where or who I would be.
Here are my Anne books. I had to work hard to save the money for these books. I made 5 dollars a week, cleaning house and washing dishes. Then I had to plead to get someone to take me to the book store. It took me an entire year to buy these. They weren't in paper back at the bookstore in the mall.
They are getting worn now. Old friends. Since I was 12 years old. I still wonder if I had six kids it because Anne did.(Anne of Ingleside)
I always wanted to be Jo. Still to this day, I want to ask Louisa May Alcott, (even though I loved Mr. Bhaer,) Why did she not marry Laurie? Even being as old as I am, I still think she would have been happier with Laurie. I never could like Amy. Even before the little hussy took her trip with Aunt March to Europe and came home married to Laurie. I think Marmee has the best daughter talk to Meg I have ever read. Always I have wanted to be as wise and giving as Marmee, kind and sweet as Beth. As beautiful as Meg and a good writer as Jo. I always wanted the kind of house that Jo has in Jo's Boys though. Filled to the brim with life.
Laddie and A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter came to me via my grandmother. She felt unloved in her girlhood. She often told me often not being loved by her mother as Eleanor was not loved by her mother, Mrs Comstock. She identified with that book. Reading it made me want to learn and to collect moths and take photographs. I wanted to roam the woods and find the beauty there. Laddie came later, but I still read it every year, because it is about Gene Stratton's family (loosely as I think how she wanted it to be). She was the last of twelve children, it is a lovely story. Who knows if I might have had 12 children had I read it sooner. ( Joking, sort of)
I must say something about Christy. After my Dad remarried, he got the bright idea to load us all in the back of a borrowed station wagon, and drive across country via Route 66. In the hot summer with a bunch of kids who didn't really like each other and were not really interested in being the Brady Bunch. We stopped at every shop, tee-pee, snake pit and we saw every two headed calf, and meteor. If it had a sign we stopped.
In one of those shops on the way home, I was roaming around and I came to a stand of paper back books. I saw one called Christy. I read the back and I was hooked. I don't remember much about the ride home, because I had been transported back in time to the Appalachians. To 1912 in rural Tennessee.
I was crushed by the heartbreaking story Christy heard from Alice Henderson. I still someday want to make the quilt that Fairlight Spencer saw outside her window in the night sky. That became part of me too, my life was never as hard as those women who lived in the Cove. When ever I dye wool, I wish I had a stand of indigo to make blue. I love the words of that book. The words continue to be music to my soul. I also loved Catherine Marshall very much.
I guess trying to whittle it down to books I love is trying to say which kid is your favorite. These are books that are deep inside and the words and thoughts that formed me. The wisdom from authors that God used to help that little girl who was struggling to make sense of a world, that didn't make sense. Anne, Jo, Elenor and Christy, overcame odds so great and hard. They rose above circumstances that they found themselves in and I know I loved them because they let their suffering be for good. It made them sweeter instead of bitter.
Books have played an important role in my life. They continue to do so. Thank you for coming along with my remembrances about my friends. I always have stacks of books sitting around. I always imagine as I walk by the little voices shouting, "read me, read me!"
Thanks for coming along,
|“And whether rich or poor, well or ill, happy or sad, books can be a refuge, they do not change with changing circumstance, they are the open highway to yesterday, today and tomorrow wherever you will to travel.”|
― Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Daybook