At lunch the other day my partner teacher told me about the frustrating process of trying to get his visa so that he can go home to Canada for the summer. At the end of the story, I sagely replied, “Well, it’s like what Pa says: ‘All’s well that ends well.'”
Later that same day, I told my students: “Diagram the following sentence: ‘Laura and Carrie walked across the street to the new school building.'”
I stopped at Sonic for a cherry limeade, and I think I frightened my carhop when I greeted her and paid for my drink with a huge grin on my face that seemed a little extreme for a Styrofoam cup of Sprite and cherry syrup. But I could not compose myself, because Almanzo had just come to pick up Laura from school in his new cutter!
At dinner one night, Stephen asked me what was new, and I almost replied, “The wild grapes are finally growing around Lakes Henry and Thompson!” Then I stopped myself, and started again: “Skip and Barnum are finally gentle enough to drive through town!” No, wait, that wouldn’t do either.
During prayer time at Bible study, I checked myself just in time to avoid asking for the hail to hold off for a few more weeks so that Manly’s oats could ripen and that he would make enough money from the crop to pay off the house.
So if you’ve had a conversation with me in the past few weeks, or if you’re my Facebook friend, you might have noticed I’ve had a bit of a one-track mind lately. (If we spoke and I didn’t mention Little House, you witnessed a supreme act of self-awareness and self-censorship). Yes, I’ve been lost in a book. I LOVE it when this happens! I’ve enjoyed several of my recent reads (check out the Books tab if you haven’t lately). But it’s even better when a story moves beyond merely entertaining me, and it sucks me into its pages completely. When this happens, all but the most urgent work falls by the wayside as I steal every free moment to return to my book. My mind is so full of the characters and story that I get confused as to which world is real. It always catches me by surprise; one day I’m just enjoying my good book, the next day I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve thought about anything else.
This doesn’t happen often, and it’s probably a good thing. I really don’t want always to walk around with my head in the clouds like Anne of Green Gables (“I’d prefer it if you called me Cordelia,”), becoming silly to everyone around me. Certainly Ma would not approve of my neglecting to sweep my kitchen floor because I wanted to read a book; after all, she swept her floor every day, even when it was made of dirt!
So it is with some reluctance that I’ve placed The First Four Years back on the bookshelf in Abby’s room (waiting anxiously for her to be ready to enjoy it!). I’m still indulging myself by looking up the Ingallses on Wikipedia and reading through Laura’s newspaper columns in Little House in the Ozarks. But it’s not the same, and so I’m slowly returning to earth.
But summer is the season for good books, and I’m looking forward to continuing on through my stack of t0-reads. Who knows what world I’ll fall into next?