Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Newspaper column

January was a very eventful month and I apologize for having to be closed much of it. We tend to take our health for granted most of the time and actually do very little to really take care of it and appreciate it. My husband is recovering very well from a serious incident that started Christmas Eve. As we look back at the last month we are very grateful for his recovery. So my message is that we really do need to treat our bodies with respect and take good care of what we have.

One of my best memories of my mother is of her reading to my brother and I when we were small children. We were allowed to buy a book each month which she read to us. Remember all the Golden Books like The Bobbsey Twins, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka and many more?
One of my favorites when I was able to read myself was a book by Marguerite Henry.

Misty of Chincoteague
Marguerite Henry

This book was written in 1947 and was inspired by a real Chincoteague pony named Misty. Chincoteague is a small island off the coast of Virginia and the book tells the story of the Beebe children, Paul and Maureen and their efforts to raise a filly born to the wild ponies. Each year the herd is pushed across the water at low tide from the Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. There the fire department pens the horses, trims hooves and sell a few of the herd in order to maintain the size. The children from the Beebe ranch save their money and buy a mare Phantom, and her filly foal. They work hard to gentle the mare but the next year the stallion from the Island coaxes her back to the wild, but Misty the filly stays with the family. Much of the story and additional books that followed are based on true horses and events. They still do the horse penning and it draws thousands of visitors to the island and there is a Beebe Ranch, where there is a museum. Misty and her daughter Stormy reside at the ranch in their taxidermically preserved figures.
I found the research on the author and the islands to be quite interesting. You can Google the island name and learn more.

The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck

One of my goals in the coming year is to read more of the old classics. Somehow I missed reading them back in the days when I should have. This is one that has been on my list. The Good Earth was written in 1932. A simple story written by a woman who grew up in China, the daughter of missionaries. In the story a poor peasant farmer, Wang Lung, who goes to the great house of Hwang to obtain a bride, O-lan, from the slaves. She is very plain but a good wife who gives him sons. They live thru famine and many hard years, but she works along side of him making great sacrifices to raise his children. Their time is the pre-revolutionary China in the 1920's. By accident they find themselves the recipients of riches beyond their dreams and Wang Lung knows that if he owns property they will never be poor again. He buys land from the house of Hwang, and as he prospers he buys more until he owns this rich house for his family. You can see the different attitudes between one generation and the next. The story is very rich in irony yet told in a simple fashion that has made it a true classic masterpiece.

1 comment:

  1. Just ran up on you today, bouncing from another site, and loved the memory of readig Misty...and all other horse books and the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and on and on and on. I wish you were closer, I would give you hundreds of books for your shop. I won't throw them out and so many people prefer ebooks. If you ever get to NC and have a truck just look me up.