Wednesday, July 22, 2009
yesterday i finished reading the whistling season by ivan doig. set in 1910, it is the story of a widower raising 3 young sons on a prairie farm. told first person by the 12-year old eldest son, it is full of humor, a bit of mystery and good old-fashioned family values. i found it to be a delightful read and actually laughed out loud a few times.
i love stories about life on the prairie. there's something about homesteading and survival against the odds that attracts me. of course i read laura ingalls wilder's little house on the prairie series as a child and willa cather's my antonia is an all-time favorite. i know in reality that it was a very rough way to live but my mind gets caught up in the romance of a large family living in a 4 room cabin, growing their own food and cooking over an iron spit in the fireplace.
another attraction to prairie life is the one room schoolhouse which is very close to my heart. my elementary school years were spent in a country school in dalton, indiana where two grades were taught in one classroom with one teacher. it was much bigger than one room, but still had a lot of the charm of those old prairie schools. as a first grader i was able to listen in on the 2nd grade lessons and vice versa. my brother was one grade behind me so every other year we shared the same classroom and the same teacher. our school had a huge playground where we played softball or kick ball during recess. i'm sure we had a small cafeteria but i have no memory of it or the food we ate there.
a few memories from my days at dalton school:
• in 2nd grade, jerrell dennis chased me down and sat on me until i promised to marry him
• i was in a little club that had rules about what color leotards we wore on what days of the week
• my 5th grade teacher, miss spoon, had been a missionary in africa before coming to dalton school
• our principal, mr. cain, let us take turns ringing the huge school bell at the end of recess
• i had my nose stuck in a book on the bus ride to and from school every day
if you're looking for a good book, please consider the whistling season. it has a fun twist at the end that will make you smile!
Posted by julie king at 6:47 PM