All throughout the winter, what I miss the most is the comfort of our curtains blowing in the breeze. The graceful dance of the curtains is one of my favorite things. No matter where I have lived, from childhood to now, curtains have celebrated the movement of life. Today, for the first time since October, windows are open and curtains are moving. Ahhhhhh.
I am ever so grateful for the several Chapter & Verse Book Clubs around the country who have been meeting to discuss children’s and teen books since 2008! (good heavens) We meet monthly and we always have a good discussion, especially when some of us like the books more than others. We’ve learned a lot over the years and we’ve laughed a lot, too. I love each and every one of you! Anyone is welcome to join us. Start a group in your area—we’ll help.
Dear friends brought these tulips to our home for a Game Night last Friday. Our weather has been a tad rainy and gloomy, so dark inside the house that we’ve had lights on during the day. But these TULIPS! They’ve been sharing a light of their own. The metaphor is not lost on me. I am grateful for light from unexpected sources.
We need an intervention. This morning on KARE-11 Sunrise, co-host Kris Laudien once again spoke of his disregard for books and reading. The discussion was about distracted driving and people who read books while they’re behind the wheel. Our disconnected host said, “I didn’t think people even read books any more.” Oh, Mr. Laudien, this does not do good things for you nor does it reinforce positive support for reading, one of the basic fundamentals to success in life. There are so many people in important places showing that they read, reading to children, speaking up in support of reading … and I am grateful for those people. How do we turn this guy around?
I have had three Carl Larsson prints hanging in my home since I first lived on my own. I love his intricate line, his colors, but most of all his subjects: home, family, and everyday life. The book Carl Larsson’s Home was first published in the 1890s and there are still versions of it in print! He had a rough childhood, but he persevered, creating a lovely home life for their children with his wife, artist and interior decorator Karin Bergöö. His art helps me recognize when I am content.
It will be Maud Hart Lovelace’s birthday on April 25th, next Thursday. I started reading her books in grade school. As I grew older, so did her characters Betsy, Tacy, Tib, and the Gang. As an only child who moved to new homes frequently, I cherished her stories of family and friends. I didn’t realize Deep Valley was really a city in my state (Mankato) or that her characters were modeled on real people–not until I was much older. I have read everything she published and much of what other people have written about her. My favorite book is Emily of Deep Valley, a book about immigrants, compassion, and friendship. Which book is your favorite? You haven’t read her books? Children will want to start with the younger books; adults will want to begin with the high school books. No matter your age–you have a treat in store.
Several years ago, we stopped using our dishwasher. It is not a popular decision when we have morning-after dishes to do for a potluck party for twelve. But the rest of the time, I find it meditative. My hands in warm water, memories of the people who shared our table, thoughts of delicious food, reflections on life, and clean dishes! I am grateful for the opportunity to commune with an integral part of our lives.
Two years ago I asked 30 poets to record one of their poems for Bookology‘s Poetry Mosaic feature. It was an undertaking … with fabulous results. I am grateful to all of the poets who contributed to this project. We’ll do it again. I have loved poetry since my second grade teacher read poems aloud each day and challenged us to write our own poetry. I hope you find joy in reading and writing poems. Listen to the Poetry Mosaic contributors to spark your day.
I am my mother’s daughter. She loved gadgets and I follow in her wake. You may have surmised by now that I will search relentlessly for just the right tool to make cleaning and maintenance easier. We have a vaulted ceiling and several nooks and crannies that are impossible to reach, even with a ladder and a dust mop. My checklist: 1) it should use our washable flannel-fingered dust cloths (an earlier post), 2) it should reach at least six feet, 3) it should have no plastic parts. Finally, I found the closest thing I could. I am grateful that we will at long last have dust-free (and arachnid-free) corners and ceilings that can be cleaned easily and regularly. This Swiffer duster has a six-foot reach. It easily accommodates those reusable flannel dusters. The expanding pole is aluminum, but It does have a plastic handle and a plastic swivel mechanism. How to justify buying plastic? Well, if we refrain from using the duster for sword play practice, it should last for the rest of our lives. We won’t put this plastic back into the waste stream. Not a perfect solution, but very close.
At the first dance for my seventh grade class, we were all jittering with nerves. As the boys lined up on one side of the cafeteria and the girls lined up on the other, I hoped that my crush would ask me to dance. The boys were pointedly horsing around, appearing to be nonchalant, ignoring the girls. The music played and the dance floor was empty. Then, my crush asked a girl to dance, and another, and another … and me. I could tell that he was terrified. He held his body stiffly and there was no chatter. When he went back to the group of guys, they elbowed him and rubbed the short hair on his head, and teased him loudly. Who did he think he was? He was showing them up. And yet, that afternoon, I understood that bravery comes in many forms and kindness is a quality I admire greatly. I am grateful for people who step away from the pack to do what they believe is right.