gravel road girl

Archive for the category “Books I love!”

To a Thawing Wind

flowers in snow

My mother has gifted me with so many things. Most of the material things are or will soon be forgotten. Although the two large, old crockery bowls that came from her mother to her to me will always be treasured reminders. But the intangible gifts to my spirit and soul sweeten my life daily

So it was today when I stepped out the door early. Spring tapped me lightly on the shoulder as it whispered by in a thawing wind.

A thawing wind. . .

Yes, that’s what it is. Just barely spring but still mostly winter. But still. . .a thawing wind.

My mother gave me a love, a joy, an amazement in words and the way they transform from page to thought to emotion and, sometimes, to action. And she was insistent, even in my teenage cynicism, to make me pause and listen to this poem or that nugget of truth or the beauty of a line of Shakespeare. So it is now that she can send me the line, “O hushed October morning mild. . .” and I know exactly what she means. Or she might suggest that “perhaps today would be a good day to read ‘Ditch Burning.'” Or, in the telling of her encounter with a snake, she states, “It was ‘zero at the bone.'” I would smile and nod knowing well that feeling.

Today, then, when I came back inside and refilled my coffee cup, I went in search of one of my copies of Robert Frost. I like my Poetry for Young People, Robert Frost version with its beautiful watercolors by Henri Sorensen. I knew exactly the poem for this day. And then, of course, I settled in with Seth, my youngest, by my side. Though he’s entered teen-dom, he’s tolerant and even appreciative of the poetic forays he’s forced to travel with me.

And so, with a contented sigh. . .

TO A THAWING WIND by Robert Frost

Come with rain, O loud Southwester!

Bring the singer, bring the nester;

Give the buried flower a dream;

Make the settled snowbank steam;

Find the brown beneath the white;

But what’re you do tonight,

Bathe my window, make it flow,

Melt it as the ice will go;

Melt the glass and leave the sticks

Like a hermit’s crucifix;

Burst into my narrow stall;

Swing the picture on the wall;

Run the rattling pages o’er;

Scatter poems on the floor;

Turn the poet out of door.

Thanks, Mom. . .


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

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