My Library Shelf — H

What should we get the girl for Christmas?

She likes to read. And she’s almost ten. I’ll see what they have in the bookstore.

My parents chose well that year.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

I read the story many times in the next few years. And dreamed of Alpine meadows, goat herds, and steep mountain paths. It was the sort of story where I put myself into the heroine’s place. Then colored it with my own imagination.

Yes, I saw the movie. Two different ones, I think. They would be broadcast on slow Sunday afternoons. But I preferred the book.

A few years ago, I re-visited this childhood favorite. And enjoyed it. I sincerely recommend it for any girl on your gift list. (Even those without some Swiss ancestry.)

Check your local bookstore or library for this classic tale.


Relaxation Technique

Are you tense? Angry? Frustrated that others are not doing their jobs as you feel they should?

You should relax. Rid your body of overt amounts of tension.

Many techniques exist. And some have made fortunes for the authors and teachers. Massage is frequently recommended — but it requires a second person.

Meditation and prayer appear near the top of any list.

And then my favorite – rumored to be able to soothe a savage beast — music.

Sculpture of boy charming frog and bird with his flute.

I’m not sure of flutes. But our milk cows swayed to the music on the radio.



My Library Shelf — G

The movie was good.  The book was better.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Oh, the hero. Strong. Handsome. A little bit dangerous.

The heroine. Self-centered. Impulsive. More than a little determined.

With the American Civil War as a centerpiece, this story has come to define certain aspects of life in the South.

Are they accurate? This is fiction.

Are they interesting? Absolutely.

Probable? In varying degrees.

If you are one of the rare people who is not familiar with this story — I recommend reading the book first. Give your imagination free rein with the lush descriptions before you see the Hollywood interpretation.

Your local library should have this.



Keep Off the Ice!

Our city had a stretch of cold weather this winter — longer and harder than recent years. It was tempting to walk on a pond. And dangerous.

Warm days have visited since. Ice no longer clings to the shore of the still water. So the temptation for humans is less. And other creatures — well, geese are designed to swim so they should be fine.

The photo today is of another creature. One which I seldom think of in relation to ice and ponds and lakes and such. Yes, I know they are there. And when I do stop to think — I know they go deep, to where the water is liquid and food available.

Can you find them in this photo?

Goldfish under ice.


My Library Shelf — F

Today’s book has the honor of being the first autographed book I purchased.

The author was not present that day. He’d been to the store recently and I was fortunate enough to pick up the last copy in stock.

Flight of the Enola Gay by Paul W. Tibbets

If you have an interest in World War II and the beginning of the Atomic Age, this is a must-read.

As an autobiography, this book necessarily focuses on the background, training, and experiences of one man. The fact that this military pilot was selected to fly the first atomic bomb makes it unique.

You may need to go hunting for this one. I’d suggest you start at the library and then check the used bookstores or the gift shops of museums with flying or military themes.


An Invitation

It’s an annual St. Louis event. Unlike many who have lived her over a decade, I’ve only recently discovered it. And managed to attend two of the last three years.

Residents of the American Midwest understand that winter can get a little dreary. Cloudy days appear plentiful. Temperatures drop. Streets and sidewalks vary from day to day – dry, slushy, ice, or impassable.

So if you live in the St. Louis area, and could use a dose of warm, fragrant, and pretty — come admire the blooms at the Orchid Show.

This lovely pair lives in the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. The annual orchid show is held in a separate building — showcasing many colors and varieties. A welcome break from winter.



My Library Shelf – E

My mother didn’t understand why my brother wanted to take me to this movie.

This was a few years before I read the book. And I didn’t know much about what we would see. But — it’s hard to turn down a chance to go to the movies when a young teen.

Exodus by Leon Uris

I read the book a year or so after the event above. Like many good books — I learned a lot. Some of it delved into topics never discussed around the dinner table. Like many people, my parents didn’t often talk about recent history except for their own personal participation. (And the occasion and company had to be right for some of that.)

While the movie is good — I own a copy and have watched it multiple times — I recommend the book to obtain depth and background. For it is the characters past (and our own) which shape personalities and guide decisions – both positive and negative.

A modern classic

Careful – you might learn something.


Childhood Keepsake

Once upon a time… not all children’s toys were electronic – or even plastic.

Yes, my child. There was a time when plastic was new. And expensive.

My child size tea set was make of the same material as an adult one – breakable china. We learned to handle things with care. Oh, yes. Accidents happened.

And then we learned to sweep up the pieces.

Many pleasant hours passed while I served my dolls, friends, and myself from this set. It’s incomplete — the cups suffered in the previous mentioned accidents.