Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Last night

Since I'm not one for idle hands, reading has never been my strong suit. Page turning, while usually enjoyable and inspiring, is unfortunately not as tempting to me as the knitting. But every now and then I exhaust my 'making' options or energy and pick up a book instead. Last night was just one of these nights so I started reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

I'm probably way behind the curve on this one. The back mentions a Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize and heralds it at the most "American of American Classics." I'm sure you've probably read it.

I don't know too much about this time period, the thirties, except that I sometimes consider the idea of wearing a cotton house dress. I also would like to think that I posses the spirit, strength resourcefulness of a woman of the Great Depression.

It occurs to me now, that my grandparents and their siblings were born out of this time period and so it'll be very interesting to read an account of it. My great Aunt Wilma, the oldest of her sisters, took care of me whenever my mom needed a baby sitter. She didn't have a car and walked every where. She always did the dishes and had a habit of moving things on the table and then moving them again three seconds later back to where they had just been. I always thought it strange that she would maybe use a tissue more than once, or fill up the tub with only an inch of water. If I was staying over at her house, she would save that one inch of my cold bathwater and just add a little more hot for herself. I always just took these as personality quirks, but now I'm beginning to imagine more and more, a different story.

Because she was the oldest, she probably grew up with the most awareness of the Great Depression and most likely had to take care of all her younger siblings. She must have learned at a young age, these little saving methods that became ingrained regardless of the actual need for them. I wish I could sit and talk to her about it now.

I'm excited about this book. In the first paragraph he describes the fields before the dust storms:
"The last rains lifted the corn quickly..." and "The weeds grew darker green to protect themselves..."

How beautiful are those images? I can't wait to read more.

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