gravel road girl

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Books:Read it again!

If you asked me to pick a favorite book, other than the Bible, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t do it. It’s like choosing a favorite flower–it depends on the time of the year. So, in the month of November, I always pull out these two favorite childrens books. Yeah, I know, my kiddos have pretty much outgrown these. But if I happen to just leave them lying around by the fire, they might, in an overwhelming rush of nostalgia, pick them up and read them anyway. And, like the Velveteen Rabbit, a book only needs a little love to be restored to someone’s memory.

My all-time favorite Thanksgiving book is Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. In it a gruff, old New England sailor named Mr. Whiskers gallantly retrieves his neighbor’s prized cranberry bread recipe from a charming (but thieving) house guest. That’s the very short version of a story which teaches children that appearances certainly aren’t what counts. The artwork is charming and Mr. Whiskers endears himself by being just uncouth enough to ruffle the proper feathers of Grandmother, his neighbor. And the bonus of this book is that the cranberry bread recipe in included. Now whether you like cranberry bread is  irrelevant. It is assumed that you must at least try this “recipe worth stealing.”

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas is a child-friendly rendering of the sad but true story of the providential hand of God in Squanto’s life. Stolen away from his Patuxet tribe on the eastern shores of North America, Squanto is to be sold into slavery in Spain. Instead he is rescued by Spanish monks and eventually makes his way to England.  After ten years away from his tribe, during which time he learns to speak English, he is finally returned to the shores of his homeland. Squanto’s tribe has been destroyed by disease, and he has no people to call his own. But the pilgrims  barely survived the harsh winter, and Squanto sees how desperately they need help in this new land. The amazing friendship of Squanto to those first early settlers clearly reveals God’s providence despite the suffering and loss that Squanto had to endure. It’s a well-written and illustrated book that applies historical fact to charming fiction. A lovely way to share God’s providence in establishing and directing our country.

So, look these up at your local library, or better yet, purchase them on Amazon so you can “read it again!”

~There is no friend as loyal as a book.    Ernest Hemingway

In Defense of Snow


~In Defense of Snow: The first in a series of many~

 Don’t hate me for this. I’m sure if some of you could throw ‘virtual rotten tomatoes,’ you would. But I’m looking forward to tomorrow; I’m actually excited! Yes, tomorrow when the temps are suppose to plunge into the 20’s. Oooooo, a chill (of excitement) runs through me. It’s weather! We haven’t had any ‘weather’ to speak of since last March. Oh sure, a few cold, blustery days in the spring—mostly during track meets—but then it’s just been hot, hotter, and hottest. I can only remember one rousing, batten-down-the-hatches thunderstorm, and I happened to ride that one out in a ladies restroom at a flea market—but that’s for another blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer time—in its appropriate season. But if I wanted summer in November, I’d move to Texas. C’mon! This is Iowa, people! As the true but tired adage goes–if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it’ll change.  Not true this year. And, I’m sorry, but it’s just had me all off-kilter. There was no hunkering down to wait out a blizzard this year. There was no sweet, slow melting of snow creating miniature rivers down the lane. There was no smell of damp, musky, warming earth this spring. There were no summer evenings standing on the porch staring off to the west watching spider legs of lightning creep toward us. Granted, we had a glorious fall. God’s gift to us for enduring three months in a sauna, I think. But it’s time. It’s time for some good, Iowa weather. I want to hear the windows rattle. I want to peer out at weighted, gray clouds each daring the other to drop the first flake. I want to have a really good reason to warm my hands around a hot coffee cup, turn my feet toward the fire, and stare out the window—snow.

 ~This won’t be the last you will hear from me on the subject of snow. But for now, I think you should know that Seth and I have been praying for “lots of snow” since sometime in August. His additional prayer is that his brothers and sister will be home a lot and that they can have lots of snowball fights. I thought you should know what you’re up against.


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