Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mending, Sneezing and Childhood Heroines

My muscle pain is finally on the mend. But Wednesday morning, I awoke with a head cold (compliments of my darling little grandson whom I'd visited last Thursday). Thank goodness for containers of frozen soup, oranges, and daughters who drop off emergency tissues! One of the soups that I most enjoyed is Moroccan chicken soup: it's thick, rich and filling and has just enough heat to clear your stuffy nose. 

While resting, I began watching Anne with an E on Netflix. I've watched and loved many renditions of the  "Anne of Green Gables" books by Lucy Maud Mongomery. But besides the beautiful artwork and stunning scenery, this TV series has brought Anne into the 21st century with many of her stories having a modern twist and dealing with modern issues. (As well, the theme music is the Tragically Hip's Ahead by a Century, and a bittersweet reminder  of Canada's long lost treasure, Gord Downie.)

I was Anne's age when my family vacationed on PEI, visited the Anne of Green Gables sight and bought the 1st book. I immediately saw myself in Anne: not that I was an orphan, unloved and growing up in harsh circumstances; but rather that in a home full of criticism, I felt ugly, and I longed for any kind of tangible demonstration of my parents love.  Like Anne, I also felt a deep connection to nature, a fondness for big words, and a dramatic flare which was often ridiculed. Anne quickly became my heroine! I knew that we were kindred spirits! It was the 60's, and growing up as the eldest girl in my noisy family of 5 kids, there were expectations when it came to chores, help with child care, and, as mentioned, a lot of criticism from my Mom. Even though I know it wasn't true, at that age, I felt unloved and invisible. Anne's optimism, joy in simple things, and determination to make the best of life gave me a different perspective and a focus. 
Realistically, there are no parents who can meet all the needs of their children; my parents did the best they could with what they knew, just as I did the best I could with what I knew. We all made mistakes.

But sometimes, children can find enough of what is lacking in their lives in other places or in other people that it can make a huge difference. It makes me so sad to hear of what's happening in some parts of the U.S. with the banning of certain children's book. Never doubt the difference a good book can have on a child's life. It's my belief that Anne of Green Gables saved mine. And rewatching this rendition of my most beloved book has once again brought me comfort, joy and gratitude for my ability to look past the negative. It's also reminded me of all the good things my Mom instilled in me, one of them being a love of reading. 

In spite of what I felt as a 13 year old, and in reflection of 68 years on this earth, my life was not a graveyard of buried hopes. I have been most fortunate to have walked down many white ways of delight, sailed on many lakes of shining waters, and am delighted to have found many other kindred spirits. And I am eternally grateful for the reminder that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes yet

(She also reminds me to ignore the snow that's recently fallen!)

What childhood books have made a difference in your life? I'd love to hear. 


Babajeza said...

I hope you will feel better soon. I just happend to find Anne of Green Gables in the thrift store (easy reader). :-)

Tom said...

...grandchildren can be so generous. I hope that you will be feeling better soon.

Michelle said...

I read all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and reread them quite a bit. Thanks for linking up and be well!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Doris -- about a month ago, I participated in a blogathon honouring LM Montgomery and I too wrote about the impact her "Anne of Green Gables" book had on me as a girl! Your post today would have fit into the blogathon perfectly! Here's the link to my own post:

bahnwärterin said...

glad your muscles are on the mend!
the soup sounds and looks delicious!
actually i never had a childhood literary heroine because there were no such books - i delved myself into grown up books about anncient sagas from all over the world and the classics tolstoi, hugo, gorki, zola, etc. from my grandpa´s bookshelf - my parents lived without books beside of some only decorative pseudo-posh lexica....... you get the picture.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I too watched that series and loved it. She lived a life we can all admire. Hopefully you are now feeling better. Chicken soup always hits the spot ! Be well my friend !

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Enjoyed my first visit here muchly Sandy! I'm more than a decade older, but from just this one post, I know that we share more than a love of books. My grandmother gifted me a copy of Anne on my tenth birthday. Other than this one time, my brother and I always received a one-dollar bill from her -- on our BDs and for Christmas (even way back then a dollar was hard to get excited about). We did have parents and Santa Claus and friends -- I don't mean this to sound like we were orphans, but for reasons similar to your own, Anne's spirit spoke to me and I read all the books (the rest from the Library though ;>) I do wish that, once I was old enough to think about it, I had been able to ask my grandmother why this particular book obviously meant so much to her. Thanks for the reminder about the NF series.


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