I recently re-read Anne of Green Gables to my children and enjoyed it in a whole new way. It's so fun to pick up an old favorite and find it has whole new meaning for you as you've matured in understanding since the last reading. I was surprised to find that this was one of those types of books. L.M. Montgomery had more depth of understanding than I realized.
So here's a few of my favorite quotes:
"It's always wrong to do anything you can't tell the minister's wife. It's as good as an extra conscience to have a minister's wife for your friend."
"Oh, Marilla, my heart was just set on going to that concert. I never was to a concert in my life, and when the other girls talk about them in school I feel so out of it. You didn't know just how I felt about it, but you see Matthew did. Matthew understands me, and it's so nice to be understood, Marilla."
"You know there are some people, like Matthew and Mrs. Allan that you can love right off without any trouble. And there are others, like Mrs. Lynde, that you have to try very hard to love. You know you ought to love them because they know so much and are such active workers in the church, but you have to keep reminding yourself of it all the time or else you forget."
"'Mrs. Allan said we ought always to try to influence other people for good. She talked so nice about everything. I never knew before that religion was such a cheerful thing. I always thought it was kind of melancholy, but Mrs. Allan's isn't, and I'd like to be a Christian if I could be one like her. I wouldn't want to be one like Mr. Superintendent Bell.'
'It's very naughty of you to speak so about Mr. Bell,' said Marilla severely. 'Mr. Bell is a real good man.'
'Oh, of course he's good,' agreed Anne, 'but he doesn't seem to get any comfort out of it. If I could be good I'd dance and sing all day because I was glad of it. I suppose Mrs. Allan is too old to dance and sing and of course it wouldn't be dignified in a minister's wife. But I can just feel she's glad she's a Christian and that she'd be one even if she could get to heaven without it.'"
"It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable."
October 17th marked a special day, the day that my father-in-law turned 92.
To celebrate that event, he wanted to take his family to the coast for a special trip.
We rented a house in the Bayshore Community of Waldport, and six of us drove over last week. We had a fun time eating, shopping, fishing and spending time together as a family.
One evening we grilled steaks and had a red velvet birthday cake. A real birthday party, with the ocean view outside the windows!
Dad and Mom with their sons, and they also have a daughter that wasn't able to join us. A special family that I have always been so thankful to be a part of.
On our way to the coast and back we visited extended family members. Here is Dad greeting his brother-in-law, Dad at 92 and Art at 95. It's rather difficult to get together these days, so this was a special visit.
Art and his wife Miriam, although this photo was rather dark. Their daughter Patti was there also, and it's always a treat to see her. We also visited my mother-in-law's sister Elna, her daughter Melody and Melody's daughter Sarah along with Sarah's two daughters, which makes a total of 4 generations. One more stop enabled us to visit cousin Edith in McMinnville which again was a true delight. She is also 95.
I think the highlight of the trip for the guys was a commercial fishing trip from Depoe Bay.
It was a real treat that Dad was able to go and enjoy the fishing with his boys. They each caught their limit of rock fish, although I think they were a bit disappointed there was no ling cod to be had for them that day. It brought back the memory of the day Julie caught a nice ling cod at this same dock though.
A good catch, wouldn't you say Samuel??
We had the fish filleted at the dock, for $1 a fish, and we all stood and watched fascinated as they did it so deftly and swiftly.
I think this would be a good job for our grandson Samuel, as he already does a great job filleting at age 14. Maybe someday it would help him through college?
The boys each limited out, and the captain added a few as well, so we each brought home some nice fillets for the freezer.
a boy named Larry Shelton. I must have been twelve or thirteen years old at the time, and
we were visiting my Aunt and Uncle’s farm for the summer. The ‘farm’ was a
small acreage with a cow, some sheep, a few geese and chickens, a black lab named Pooch, a creek and a hill in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. My father towed our small travel trailer to the farm, so that my Mom and brother and I could spend
the summer. My Dad returned home to Seattle to work, leaving us to pick strawberries, red and black raspberries, marion
berries and boysenberries, and finally green beans in the fields close by with my aunt and cousins.
in June, July and August, my cousins Bill & Beckie along with my brother and I ate a hurried
breakfast of cold cereal with fresh cow’s milk poured on, around the kitchen table
in the wee dark hours. Then we would file outside and climb sleepily into the
back of the old blue pick-up. My Aunt drove, with my Mom sitting beside her,
and the four of us kids sat on the side rails in the back. We would follow the highway for
10-12 miles to the Shelton farm, where their two boys Larry and his older
brother Butch would climb in and join us. Then the truck would head for the
fields around Salem, where we would work that day. Mostly we rode in silence as
the sky began to lighten to a pre-dawn gray, and then finally to a chill dawn that
would begin to break above the treetops. We all wore old jeans and sweatshirts
to ward off that early chill blowing past us in the back of the truck.
Shelton was a couple of months older than I was, and secretly I thought he was a cute boy.
He was pretty quiet and never said much. During the days, it became a goal of
mine to tease him just to coax a smile out of him. I would tell stories and
jokes to try to get a grin, or throw berries and/or beans through the bushes at
him, which of course was strictly forbidden by my aunt and mom. I would
sometimes sit by him at lunch and offer him my choicest morsels, all to no
effect and certainly with no smiles.
When my aunt
would call a halt to our picking day around 2pm, due to the heat and humidity,
we would gather our buckets and cartons of produce to take to the man who
weighed out our hard work at the edge of the field. It never amounted to as
much as it felt like it should, but it was good to feel the cash in our hands
at the end of each day. Then we collected our stuff, trudged to the parked
truck and climbed back in. This time we were hot, sticky, dirty and sweaty…our
sweatshirts and jeans long cast aside for the coolness of shorts and t-shirts.
The sun beat down on us mercilessly in the back of the truck, but this time we
chattered happily because we knew we were headed for Thomas ‘Crick’ (as
pronounced by the locals in the know!)
My aunt knew
of a secret swimming hole on a friend’s property, and she would turn off the highway
on our way home and follow a dirt road through the fields to a gate. One of us
kids would hop out and open the gate, then carefully close and latch it after
the truck drove through, hop back in and we would bump on down the road a bit
further to the swimming hole in Thomas Crick. When we got there the girls
headed into the trees on the left to change into swim suits and the boys into
the trees on the right. Thomas Creek was naturally dammed up at that spot,
forming a really large pond, deep in the middle. It was ringed around with big
flat boulders, half in the water and half out, perfect for running and jumping
into the cool, clear water. The whole pond was surrounded by trees and it
seemed there wasn’t anyone around for miles and we could whoop it up and holler
and yell all we wanted, and blow off steam from working hard all day. The water
was deliciously cold and cooled our hot bodies gloriously. One tree leaned out
over the pond, and a sturdy rope hung from one of its branches. We took turns
swinging out over the water and then letting go with a splash. The boys loved
to hunt crawdads under the rocks at the shallow edges, and then chase us girls
with the crawdads and their pincher's. It was shady and cool, and a great way to
end the hot afternoons before heading back to the house for supper.
afternoon on the way to the swimming hole turn off, I got an idea. My cousin
Bill had a special soft picking’ hat that he wore jammed down on his head, from
the time he got up until he went to back to bed. As we were rolling down the
highway that day, towards Thomas Crick, I got my brilliant idea. Without
stopping to think it through, I reached over and snatched Bill’s hat off his
head, and threw it off the truck onto the road rolling away behind us. Bill
stood up, his face beet red, screaming furiously at me and at his mom to stop
the truck. I was not only rewarded with finally a smile from Larry Shelton, but
with loud laughter as well, as all us kids roared with laughter at Bill’s
antics. My aunt never heard him and kept on driving down the road. As soon as
we reached the turn off, Bill hopped off the back and ran up to her window,
pounding on it until she stopped. He yelled out his problem, but she told him
it was too far to go back. He refused to climb in with us again, so she finally
drove off leaving him running along the dirt track, after the truck, in the
dust. He was the one who got to open and then latch the gate that day. I was
sorry about it later, as I saw how much the hat meant to him and he was mad at me for a
long time, but now it’s a funny family memory we all laugh at.
on that summer, I think about the people and the good times we shared as we worked and played. We
learned to work for pay and had so much innocent fun. I also remember
the day, forty+ years ago now, when I heard the news that Larry Shelton had been
killed in Vietnam, fighting as a soldier for his country. I think about the
years that I’ve lived since then, the minutes, days, weeks and months that he has
missed. That his life was predestined to be so short is a mystery. It brings me warmth
and pleasure now, to have made him laugh on that sunny day in the back of the pickup, and to know he had fun on
those hot afternoons at Thomas ‘Crick’, before the too-soon approaching
darkness and stillness of death.
Here are a few peeks around the house, from Julie's eyes. She is enjoying a new camera and took a few photos home with her from Bend to enjoy. This was the bedroom she stayed in and the pretty view of dawn from the window. Aren't the first moments of a new day precious?
This is the other side of our guest bedroom. It includes my granny's dresser with mirror removed, the insurance man's g-grandmother's trunk and some linens that were in the trunk, and a framed drawing done by his Grandma Brown.
The path from the deck into the garden...
Our deck table and chairs and our spiral staircase (a great favorite with all the kids) from our upstairs bedroom to the deck and the hot tub.
The entry way, still decorated for summer at that point,
and lots of seashells on the living room mantel. They provide endless fascination for all of us.
The 'tea' room, where we all enjoyed tea while Julie was here.
God has so richly blessed me with a wonderful place to live life and enjoy and glorify God. I was lucky enough to be the only daughter of a woman who was adopted by her aunt and was her only heir. We have lots of antiques, and God made me to love them! I love being surrounded by family history and beauty, and to share it with others.
Thank goodness for the quiet days of the year. What would we do with the soreness of life, if not for those quiet days of repose and reflection that bring healing and peace? Days that reset our gaze and rest our souls.
Each season has it's own quiet days.
Winter days, after holiday seasons are past. Quiet days sewing or reading by the fire. Making a pot of hearty soup or looking out the window at a frosty, snow-bound world.
Spring days of strolling in an orchard, down paths of apple blossoms, or alongside a snow-melt creek watching wildflowers nodding.
Summer days, reclining lazily on a hot day with a glass of iced tea and a good book. Making shapes in the clouds overhead or watching hummingbirds.
Autumn days of watching smoke curl and weave it's way to the sky. Watching leaves turn color or watching them twirl in the breeze as they fall.
These days of rest and quiet all blend into our busy year, aiming us for hope.