When I was a very young child, my granny sent me a leather bookmark through the mail. It had a rugged Native American chiseled into it and the words, “Books are Silent Friends.” She knew I loved to read and that love has lasted a lifetime. How long has it been since you or your older loved-one picked up a really great book?
I’m like a lot of older people, I still love to hold a hardbound book in my hands and read about interesting people and places. I also adore gardening books. I was hooked the first time I saw an edition of Tasha Tudor’s gardens. Looking at her gorgeous garden made me almost drool. The photos are spread across two pages and they are breathtaking. I also love looking through Martha Stewart’s first garden book. What she did with her homestead is truly amazing. Of course, I’m sure she had lots of help. Unlike Tasha, who was still milking her own goats and making her own bread and manure tea when her book was published.
True pioneer women books are one of my passions. I can read about all that those rugged women went through and not have to run to the outhouse when I need a bathroom break. My favorite is called Pioneer Women by Joanna L Stratton. After Ms. Stratton’s great-grandmother passed away she went through her attic and found hundreds of letters written by pioneer women across the Midwest.
Lilla Day Monroe was a lawyer and a publisher who had planned to use the letters for a book. Instead it was her great-granddaughter who took up the work while attending Harvard College. This book can take you to the prairie and you will know what it’s like to live in a house made of sod. They had to hang a sheet on the ceiling above their tables so they could eat without a dusting of dirt. The only heat they had came from buffalo chips. That book makes me think about my own grannies who were also pioneers in Indian Territory. One can only imagine what their early lives were like.
My granny was right. Books are silent friends and those friends can take you on adventures you could never imagine. I think summer is the perfect time, or winter or even fall to nestle down with a really good book and take a vacation you could never afford. What about spring? Oh, I still live in the country and spring is way too busy for a book!
I have book shelves in nearly every room in my house. The one in the kitchen is for my cookbooks, like Pioneer Woman Cooks and Betty Crocker. I have two in the den, two in my office and two floor to ceiling bookcases my daddy built me in my bedroom. I also have one in the living room with books that appeal to my grandkids. There are books on garden birds, one on how to draw, another on dinosaurs — well you get the picture. I’d much rather have them read or at least look at the pictures in books than watch television or play on a gadget.
You’d be surprised how your older love one will enjoy a big coffee table book with gorgeous pictures. Everyone loves to see pretty photos of faraway and not-so-faraway places. Books can connect people in a unique way. The love of books knits us together forever. I’m so glad my mama spent hours reading to me when I was little and my granny encouraged me to read. It’s brought me so much pleasure. Now where did I put my copy of A Walk in the Woods? I love that book!