Horton Hatches the Egg

Have you ever been asked this question? “If you were stranded on a desert island and could only choose one book to have with you, what would it be?”

I see no islands in my future for uninterrupted reading bliss. But that question did come my way, so to speak. My biggest fan (sweet David) asked me to blog about my favorite books. Great idea. Stories decorate the journey of real-life adventures like treasured milestones along the way.

Over the next several posts, I’ll parade stories that sit permanently in my bookcase (or on my Kindle). A few made appearances in previous posts. Some form my earliest memories (we’ll start there), some gave me a character to buddy up to. Others simply tickle the funny bone. Many paint sweeping sagas of another place and time.

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Today we start with the great philosopher Dr. Seuss and the classic Horton Hatches the Egg (Random House, 1940). By the way, reading as a kid reminds me of this quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, “You’ve Got Mail”:

…When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. -Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly

Horton the elephant moved into our home wrapped as a Christmas gift from our next-door neighbors, the Bakers. Soon he became a bedtime favorite. You see, God saw fit to give me parents who love reading and passed that love on to me, beginning with bedtime stories read by my dad when I was little.

No doubt Daddy tired some of my reaching for the same book for the umpteenth time. But he never complained. We opened the book to discover again the loyal elephant who promised to hatch an egg for a lazy, absent bird-mom. Snow, captivity, voyages, a traveling circus…nothing deterred him. We read his motto out loud together throughout the story: “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”

I took for granted, at the time, this funny yet profound story, as well as the precious time spent reading as a family. But I now treasure those memories and the book that sits on my all-time favorite list.

Question for you: What’s one of your favorite early-childhood stories?

Related Links:

Dr. Seuss Wiki – Horton Hatches the Egg

“You’ve Got Mail” Scene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Pause

It’s a Grab Bag Monday! I have a loose tradition to re-post this each January. 

Which is your favorite month of the year? Of course, January is everyone’s best-loved month, right?

Okay, probably not.

Years ago January was last on my list. Back then I didn’t like cold weather, and January just seemed like a bleak, blustery, colorless month that had to be endured. I wondered if a person could get in on the bears’ hibernation deal.

What changed? Maybe it was when I got married in a January wedding. Suddenly there was a permanent bright spot on the calendar that time every year. Also around that time I launched into my transition from a hot-weather loving/cold-weather shunning girl into quite the opposite.

Whatever the reason, I now like the first month of the year. While not my absolute favorite, it does have its charms. Yes, after Christmas and New Year’s, life resumes with the hustle and bustle of daily routines. …But overall, there seems to be a quiet simplicity that hushes the land. A brisk stillness that can be seen in bare tree branches and blankets of snow. It’s as if nature has paused for a moment.

It’s a welcome chance for me to pause as well, reminiscing with a smile about the holidays, being grateful for countless blessings, and feeling hopeful about the time ahead. Maybe that’s also why I’m drinking hot chocolate more often–it’s a chance to warm up and take a moment to stop and just think…often a rarity in our busy days.

What about you? Is there anything you like about January? What’s your favorite month?

Dancing with the Unseen Partner

Does your neighborhood have a lot of trees?

photo by ECP

photo by ECP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trees cover our part of town. Tall ones, short ones, and in between. I love it. From where I write green fills my view of our backyard.

Birds chatter and chirp. When there’s a breeze, they sing while grasping the swaying limbs where they perch.

It’s those breezes that capture my gaze today.

Well, not the wind itself. Can’t see that, of course.

It’s the leaves. And those branches that wave to each other with grace, like neighbors calling to neighbors over the backyard fence.

My imagination takes over, and I’m almost convinced that the leaves and branches move themselves. But my common sense knows better.

…And I’m back to the breeze. Without that, the trees have no movement. No dance. It’s what brings them to life and makes them graceful.

The dancing trees give visual testimony to the invisible wind.

So it is with our God. Without Him, we stand solitary and motionless. We exist, but there’s no dance.

Yet when we give Him our life, He breathes His Holy Spirit over us and into us. We move. We sway. We reach out to others who’ve joined the dance.

We’re full of grace, and the world sees the evidence of the invisible God.

 

 

 

Time Travel: Adjusting to life after WASP

February, 1946. Seventy years ago this month.

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Post-war life settles into a steadier rhythm. Couple marry and forge a new life. Newborn babies greet the world. Veterans have returned, and America marches–scars and all–into a peaceful future.

But what about the WASP? How did each of them adjust?

Newsletters by and for WASP, archived by Texas Woman’s University, give us a glimpse. See the full newsletter here.

Pages are filled with snippets of highlights that hit the major points. Ann had a baby boy, Julia and her husband have settled in Chicago.

An impressive number kept flying with aviation-related careers–flight instructors, work at aviation companies. One WASP did double-duty as a WAVE.

But each page of the newsletter is soaked in longing for the skies. The WASP missed their adventures, if this publication is any indication.

One WASP had trouble letting go. “All you do is live in the past,” her admiring but concerned younger brother said. Her solution after that wake-up call? In a nutshell: keep busy, keep flying, and keep remembering to be grateful for the experiences she was fortunate to have.

Sounds like a good way to adjust to today’s life, too…keep busy, keep up our talents, and remember to be grateful.