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Friday, March 27, 2009

This Completes Last Year

“If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.”
(106 BC - 43 BC)

Winter arrived.

As winter became ensconced making itself at home for the duration, I got the better of it as I rode my magic carpet to many lands and eras long ago and far away. Sometimes I read by candlelight when electrical service failed. I remembered the characters who peopled Jane Austin's novels and all their firesides and candles. I found that a candle on either side of a propped-up book served light which was quite sufficient. Cozy and warm, too.

Weeks floated by, pages turned, and ice melted, falling in magical showers.

Weather turned its cycles from this to that, then back to this again, then back to that. Books do not have to be defrosted and scraped of ice, and dug out of snow. Just go to the shelf and take down another one. Make another cup of tea. Gaze out at the squirrels' nests and stretch the eyes awhile.

I am so fortunate in that I have inherited the libraries of two people, plus all my own collection. A collective wealth of books. A treasure to be mined. Especially on winter days.

Regardless of the weather, I keep my sanity and am happy as long as I have my books, music, and flowers.

Here is my reading list for this winter.

(1901) Mary Johnston: Audrey

(1909) William J. Locke: Simon the Jester

(1911) Henry Sydnor Harrison: Queed

(1915) Gene Stratton-Porter: Michael O'Halloran

(1916) Emerson Hough: The Magnificent Adventure

(1924) Emilie Loring: Here Comes the Sun!

(1928) Peter B. Kyne: The Thunder God

(1943) Cleo Dawson: She Came to the Valley

(1950) Marie Campbell: A House With Stairs

(1986) Ernest K. Gann: Fate Is the Hunter

(2005) Markus Zusak: The Book Thief

(2006) Charles Colson: Loving God

(2007) Sheila Roberts: On Strike for Christmas

(2008) Jon and Kate Gosselin, and Beth Carson: Multiple Bles8ings


Victoria said...

It's such an idyllic image, you with your books and candles, and a winter storm raging outside.

farmlady said...

This is lovely Barbee. The photos are just wonderful and I love what you wrote about reading and Winter.

Very nice post.

Anonymous said...

Reading is another of my passions too Barbee. Looks like you had a great selection to choose from this winter.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. We made it through the winter! Happy spring!

Gunilla said...

What lovely photos you have taken it looks like here in Sweden. We have still a lot of snow.But I hope that spring will come soon.

Thank you for your comment.

Hace a nice day


JGH said...

It was nice to see your book list posted in order of publication. I'd love to know which ones were your favorites! Sounds like you have a bookworm's garden there.

Barbee' said...

Hello VICTORIA, that is my way of hibernating.

FARMLADY, welcome! So good to hear from you. Thank you for the positive feedback.

PERENNIALGARDENER, I feel very fortunate.

WORMANDFLOWERS, thank you, whew! yes, finally, spring is here.

GUNILLA, I have been to Sweden only two days, but the snow was already gone even though it was early March. I enjoyed my brief visit very much. Thank you for visiting my blog.

JGH, you are right, I have a bookworm's garden here. I will have to say that the book I did not want to end was: Queed. Fate Is the Hunter is biographical and it is riveting. However, I liked them all very much. In the previous list (Autumn's list), the book Angela's Ashes was the most difficult to read. It, too, is biographical. At one point, well into the book, I became bored with it and put it aside. Then a few weeks later, I thought grrr! I'm going to finish that and picked it up and started again at some point in the middle, then waded through it. I'm glad I did, but I must say, it is a wonder the child survived to manhood.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Barbee, the winter images are so beautiful. And a great choice of books too.
Thank you for stopping by my blog. Loved seeing/reading your comment.
Have a great Sunday.

Barbee' said...

Kanak, thank you! Huge climate contrast seen between our photos, yours and mine.

Titania said...

Hi Barbee, I thoroughly enjoyed your hibernation post with your precious books, candlelight, cups of tea and soft falling snow. I wish I had sometimes a time like this. My subtropical climate is always in my face, it tugs and never lets me rest!
I love to read authors long gone but their wisdom of words still linger with us. I completely agree with Cicero! Have you seen the film
"lost in Austen" (English) it was excellent, funny, different, I loved it. The monochrome pictures are beautiful they bring out the beauty and bleakness of the long winter days.

Sunita said...

Mmmm... a winter well-spent, Barbee! What a picture , of you closeted with your books and imagination :)
And what a lovely collection of books!

Barbee' said...

TITANIA, I have not seen "lost in Austen", but you have piqued my curiosity. I enjoyed reading your comment and visualizing how these photos contrast with yours in your subtropical climate. Interesting, isn't it. My monochromatic wintertime world, and your vibrant one. Even though your garden looks like paradise to your readers, I know as long as you are home, it is constant work. I know mine is. Much like housework; I only see what needs to be done.

SUNITA, Thank you. I doubt if I will get much reading done during the summertime. It will wait for autumn and be something to look forward to.

Dee said...

Reading is another of my passions too. We actually read as a family every night in front of the fireplace (cookies and tea are served). But I have to admit the winter in California is not looking as good as your pictures.

Balisha said...

What a beautiful post, Barbee. Reminds me of our friend Gladys Tabor. That's how she would have spent the winter...through it's changes in weather.Happy Spring!

Barbee' said...

Hello DEE, what a lovely family tradition! Your comment brings cozy mental images to me, regardless of the climate. I know some areas of California get quite cool at night.

BALISHA, Thank you so much! I was thinking of her yesterday -- remembering the time she and Jill made maple syrup indoors in the kitchen and the paint came off the ceiling and walls, and then they had to paint. That must have been within the first few years of their "country adventure", before they learned a lot about how to do things.