“If you dear little girls would only learn what real beauty is, and not pinch and starve and bleach yourselves out so, you'd save an immense deal of time and money and pain. A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort of beauty for man or woman.” ― Louisa May Alcott, Eight Cousins
My absolute favorite thing to do as a child was read. As the oldest of twelve children life was always busy, but I'd often sneak away and hide under my bed or in the closet with a flashlight and a book. At one point I even remember intentionally trying to make my mom mad (soooo naughty of me!) so she would send me to my room just so I could spend more time reading. This quickly ended one afternoon when I said something that resulted in a "Go to your room!" from my mom who then told my sister Jennifer to take over the dishes I was washing. Jenny responded "That's not fair! She wants you to send her to her room so she can read!" From then on my "punishments" were changed to additional chores, usually mopping the wood floors...
Earlier today I took a break from chores and lesson planning and was looking through some of my old treasures - favorite books from my childhood - trying to choose a few to share with our oldest daughter this coming school year. Now that she is turning 10 this week I thought she might enjoy one of my old favorites, Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. It had been tucked away in my closet for safe keeping and I was so excited when I opened it and recalled that it had been given to me, by my Grandmother, 25 years ago on my 10th birthday, and had originally been given to my Grandma Jo Ann by her Aunt Viv on Christmas in 1940!
I think I have shared a little about my Grandma (my Dad's mom) in the past, but I can't seem to find the post... She passed away just two years later (in May of 1990, at the age of 61), within two months of being diagnosed with cancer (right after Easter that year), which was also right after being sentenced (on Good Friday by a "Catholic" judge) to three months in jail for sitting and praying the rosary in front of an abortion clinic with Operation Rescue. God had other plans for her... I loved her so much! How I miss her and wish she could meet her great-grandchildren. Last week, when I was watching the kids play Mass, I asked God to please let her have a little peek through the clouds - I could just picture her smiling!
Anyways, my copy of Eight Cousins is starting to fall apart, but I did order a new copy to give to our oldest daughter on Friday. I love that the Penguin Classics Paperback version shows Rose ice skating on the cover! It will tie in nicely to the "Caroline" themed birthday we are planning. :)