Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Beach Book

It's a week of early dismissals here, with school almost over.  I think we have a party every afternoon!

Yesterday, it was our Mother-Daughter Book Club meeting, which was held at a local beach.  And, yes, we did manage to discuss the book!  It was L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, which I had never read.  

And in truth, I didn't finish.  I started it late and the first several chapters were rather slow going.  It did pick up--with vignettes on Anne's life on PEI (Prince Edward Island.)  In fact, that vignette structure is very familiar from other "girl's" books such as the Little House series and even Little Women--the crisis at school, the crisis at the ball, the crisis at church, the crisis in the kitchen, etc etc etc.    Montgomery combines the lyrical and poetic imagination of her protagonist (the White Way of Delight, Dryad's Bubble, etc etc.) with a materialistic account of her surroundings--all those flowers, her "wincey" dress, various dress designs, the different types of tea sets, all the food (boiled pork and cabbage, raspberry cordial/currant wine) and richly drawn character studies.  I'm definitely enjoying it now and will finish it soon.

We did some activities, such as choose your own name like Anne wants to be called Cordelia.  I was "Meg" (from Little Women, also clearly feminine, which mine name isn't and it so bothered me as a child unable to find bookmarks or shoelaces or whatnot with my name and some pink, always rockets), Sis chose "Alex," and Bud was "Kevin."  (He was hanging around and so he got to choose a name, too.)  We designed the kind of dress Anne would like (with those puffed sleeves!) and tried to guess the nicknames she gave various land features.  And then the kids played a kind of red light/green light with one being Aunt Josephine.  

It wasn't PEI, but it was indeed a beautiful day at the beach.  The kids played in the shallows, finding hermit crabs and avoiding the razor-sharp clam shells.  I couldn't find any sea glass, just a bunch of rocks, no doubt from long-ago glaciers sweeping over the area and now coming down the rivers.  I also didn't find any arrowheads or the like (though I'm not sure I'd recognize stone tools on a beach) from the native inhabitants who used the site as fishing grounds, pre- and early-contact.  

I did find some nice stones and decided, last minute, to decorate one and leave it on the beach.  An Art Rock Drop . . . the kids and I have decided to leave several in various places this summer.  My first one, with just the Sharpies on hand, has the quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tonys sonnet.

The full text of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sonnet:
My wife's the reason anything gets done. She nudges me towards promise by degrees. She is a perfect symphony of one. Our son is her most beautiful reprise. We chase the melodies that seem to find us Until they're finished songs and start to play. When senseless acts of tragedy remind us That nothing here is promised, not one day This show is proof that history remembers. We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall, and light from dying embers Remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love; Cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa's symphony; Eliza tells her story. Now fill the world with music, love, and pride. 

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