Have been reading an old book by Kate Douglas Wiggin….. No, not Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, but one that pulls part of the story from the fanciful and yet incredibly fun and wise story of Kingsley’s Water Babies. This book is called ‘Mother Carey’s Chickens.’ Mrs. Carey is recently widowed and she and her family gained the nicknames of Mother Carey and chickens from The Water Babies. After Father Carey (actual family name) dies, Mother Carey and her chickens move to embrace a different sort of life in a new neighborhood. The family grows and has a multitude of experiences, yet the mother is the one who must hold all together and be both mother and father to her children and help other good birds to find the way home. (another allusion to Water Babies) Much of this book is quotable and often the quotes are pulled from elsewhere. I particularly loved this one, ‘No whimpering, madam! You can’t have the joys of motherhood without some of its pangs. Think of your blessings and don’t be a coward!”
In another scene Mrs. Carey recalls a verse from somewhere, she knows not where, that also struck me as opportune for mom’s day. ‘You can glad your child or grieve it! You can trust it or deceive it; When all’s done, Beneath God’s sun, You can only love and leave it.’ (Not that I liked calling children ‘it’ so often, but it does rhyme better!!!)
Another character shared his philosophy with the readers, thusly. “The way I look at it,” he said, “this world’s all the world we’ll git till we git to the next one: an’ we might’s as well smile on it, ‘s frown! You git your piece o’ life an’ you make what you can of it; that’s the idee!”
In one of the last chapters of the book, Mother Carey shares a verse with her family that is taken up as a life motto by some of her chickens. And it is a good one. “And all the bars at which we fret, that seem to prison and control, are but the doors of daring set ajar before the soul.”
All in all, I’m glad I opted to pick up this particular story. It is old fashioned and may annoy modern readers, but for me, it was great fun. I’d prefer it in paper since mom’s kindle doesn’t appear to have a feature the ipad did. I highlighted and bookmarked selections, but in order to find them, I need to ‘turn’ pages to see where they are! On the ipad, there was a spot for ‘selections’ and it had highlights and notes and bookmarks. One of the most interesting bits for me was to actually see how this author’s writing complimented the time when it was written. Olive isn’t fond of men and wants to paint, Julia is a bit of a snob and learns to be kind, Gilly or Gilbert learns how going to college isn’t the most important thing for a male to do, Nancy writes and is the one everyone loves unselfishly as she loves others, and she finds possible romance, but the story ends before that romance is fulfilled.
I’m also reading Water Babies (May have mentioned that earlier) and it is fun noticing where the two books mesh.
Finishing the book about the family before and after mom’s day week was uplifting, entertaining, and a joy. I could relate to Mrs. Carey and the characters. Looking at the babies in this house (the new kits-bunnies) and the caterpillars I ordered, I can see how the one will eventually help feed us and the other will fly out into the world to share beauty it has no idea it holds. Each small promise can grow anywhere.
Meanwhile, I think I’ve finally figured out how to add photos to things. It is rather laborious for this gal, but we’ll see what happens when I finally get time to actually post this particular thought. It is time to get myself offline (the only way to effectively type. I can do it offline, but if I walk off and leave it for a bit, I get kicked off the document and need to go back online to get it! Plus, spell check isn’t as efficient offline.), make dinner, and hope my glucose goes down after the rash of cute little chocolate chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I made…and ate several of! Also think I need an updated mouse, this one seems to not want to work well with the old laptop or this chromebook.
While making dinner Little Bear was surprised to hear me say, ‘There’s too much thyme.‘ Of course, he heard ‘time‘ and that is something I rarely have too much of when making dinner and yes, it spilled into the meat.