We are halfway through the week and halfway through September! I guess it is true, the older you get, the faster time passes. This realization hit me hard this week when my daughter-in-law sent photos of my grandson Eli’s newly redecorated bedroom. He turned ten this past spring, so it was time for an update. This reminder of his growing up prods me to want to slow time down. I want to be able to savor this feisty, inquisitive ten-year old, but experience tells me it will feel like the blink of an eye and he will be taking driver’s training!
If like me you are a long-distance grandparent, you may want to try my Facetime Reading Project. I choose a book to read incrementally over Facetime or Zoom, then go about preparing corresponding snack bags for each reading time. Keeping in mind the preferences of the audience, each day is a different treat. There is an individual bag for each grandchild to open.
Last month I read Mañanaland by Pam Munoz Ryan with my grandsons. It was declared a success by all. But as with most endeavors, you can find ways to improve. Books that appeal to one age, may not work as well for another. This week I’ve been reading with three of my granddaughters, considering their age differences and attention spans. With that thought in mind, almost four-year old Elizabeth and I have been reading Junie B. Jones is a Party Animal by Barbara Park. Olivia and Emily have indulged me and listened to me read them a childhood favorite of mine, Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. We begin with them opening the snack bag of the day. Theoretically they munch their snack while I read aloud. If they have had half as much fun as I have, it has been a glowing, glittery success.
My recent post on the 19th Amendment led fellow blogger, Betty Chambers, to bring the book, Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts to my attention. I quickly requested it from the library and found it to be a totally satisfying read. Written as fiction but based closely on the truth, it tells the story of Maud (Gage) Baum and Frank Baum, author The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Maud Gage was the daughter of suffragist, Matilda Joslyn Gage. Having previously lived in Ithaca, NY, I particularly enjoyed the early part of the book describing life as the daughter of a suffragist in upstate New York and going off to Cornell University in 1880. Maud and Frank married in 1882 and set about building a life together. Sadly, Frank died in 1919, leaving Maud a widow. In 1939, when Hollywood was developing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into a movie, Maud, age seventy-eight, was determined to see that the film remain true to her husband’s vision. It is a fascinating story and I thank Betty for bringing it to my attention.
Betty writes the blog, Chambers on the Road. She and her husband are both retired and plan to spend much of their retirement traveling, primarily in their 23FBKS Micro Lite travel trailer. While her blog does include some great RVing tips, it is so much more. Her recent post, Retirement (or Life) Checkup, reminded me of the importance of reflection, checking in to see whether I’m doing the things I truly want to do at this point in life and not just getting caught up in my “to-do” lists. I’m trying to be guided by the wise words her friend found on the wrapper of a piece of Dove chocolate, “Be the sculptor of your dreams.”
It was never one of my dreams to live through a pandemic, nor probably one of yours. I recently read on someone’s Instagram post that they are feeling impatiently patient. They know the right thing to do is be patient, wear a mask, social distance, and wash their hands, but some days the impatience wins out and they just want to pout. I get it. There are days when the funk wins. But not today. Today when Mr. Smith arrives home, I will pour him a glass of wine, we will talk a bit about our dreams, and we will celebrate Wine Wednesday.
C’est la vie.