Tuesday, July 17, 2007
"It's raining," I said to the fine young gents as I opened the curtains to let in the morning.
"Mooooom," replied a sleepy six-year-old-gent, "It's July. It doesn't rain in July."
Things to Do On a Rainy Summer Day
Play in a Box.
Go for a hike.
Fine young gent, 6, is attending a day camp at Nearby Nature. They went hiking and pond-dipping in the rain.
Go to the library.
Color and put together puzzles.
Cook together. Bean soup is perfect for a damp summer day.
Listen to stories and music. Sandburg Out Loud this week. Wonderful. Fabulous. Outstanding. "If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic, you or your mother?" (From Carl Sandburg's poem "Arithmetic.") That line makes me laugh every time, and the rest of the poem is just as delightful. If you're a fan of Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, you'll thoroughly enjoy this CD. It's a combination of traditional folk songs, Sandburg's poetry, and several stories from the Rootabaga Stories collection, including two of my very favorites, "The White Horse Girl and the Blue Wind Boy," and "How the Potato Face Blind Man Enjoyed Himself on a Fine Spring Morning." If you've never read Sandburg's delightful Rootabaga Stories, you must. Turn off the computer and come back when you've finished. I'll wait here. Read them out loud, even if you have to read them to the cat. The language is glorious, nonsensical, a treat to roll off your tongue. To read Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories online, click here.
Read out loud.
Childcraft: Animal Friends and Adventures, Volume 4 (Field Enterprises). I found this book, pictured below, at the library book sale. For a dollar apiece, I came away with three of the volumes in this set, a set I spent hours poring over as a kid. At first I had to read with allergy eyedrops and a box of tissue handy, but it's gotten a lot better, and for a dollar each it's worth putting up with the musty smell that still hasn't quite come out.
I don't think we owned this set when I was young. Maybe the books were at my grandmother's house. I still remember some of the stories, especially the one in which a young boy kills a roseate spoonbill. I'd always wondered, "Where did I read that story?" As soon as I saw this volume on the sale table, I knew. The fine young gents are enjoying the stories of horses, bears, dogs, and other animals, as well as the second section about transportation. Most of the stories are excerpts from novels, like Caddie Woodlawn (Carol Ryrie Brink) and Justin Morgan Had a Horse (Margeurite Henry). I'm enjoying the different historical periods featured in each story, from pioneer days (and values) to stories that were contemporary when the books were first published in the 50's and 60's. This week we've been treated to stories of three brothers and their ride on the New York subway, a flight on the China Clipper, a trip on an ocean liner, and a steam boat ride on the river. The stories are well-written and engaging, certainly worth reading through the collection if you happen across them at the library or the library sale table.
Clean something. We cleaned the basement playroom, everything in its place. It was spotless. It didn't last long, because while cleaning they all re-discovered the toys they haven't seen for these past sunny weeks outdoors. After lunch, the fine young gents disappeared down the stairs and I didn't hear from them for almost an hour.
I read my book in peace. Bliss. Life is good.