July Remembrance: Schwan’s and Lucy Maude Montgomery

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The big yellow Schwan’s truck screeches to a rolling stop, reversing.  Easing his way, dust motes shifting, sun-glare, he backs, gravel crunching under rubber. “I saw all these kids and I knew you needed ice cream,” he grins, a glint flashing from his eye, pen pulled from his uniform pocket.  Grimy, expectant faces look from his to mine, marbles forgotten in the circle, some jingling in pockets. “I guess we’ll take a box of these little ice cream cup thingys.” I reluctantly say, pressured, silently admiring his strategy. And so begins the summer calendar, fortnight chunks, kid-measured by the sound of this man’s truck.  Little, concentric bits of confetti’d summer, if you will.

Not unlike my children, I measure the calendar this way, but by a different delicacy, “Oh, yeah, I read Persuasion that month, had kind of an Austen-sort of feeling, needed a second chance on life.”  Or, “I read all of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence during that season, and then climbed out of my dark, depressed hole.” Come to think of it, my debut as a mother centered on vague memories of upheaval and L.M.Montgomery. Brand-spanking, newly married, I lowered my rotund, unemployed self onto our couch, baby kicking. My first home, its 750 square feet, a few spindly, half-dead plants, $50 of photo frames, even had its own laundry in the bathroom. I loved every inch of that place. Joining my friends, Marilla, Matthew, Anne, Diana, and Gilbert, we traveled to a small island in Canada. I sipped and drank, the beautiful prose, bordering on poetry, Montgomery poured out, Kleenex and chocolates never far away. It’s no wonder I gained 50 pounds that pregnancy. Last page closed, I knew I’d never forget this summer love. A romance birthed in the magic of Prince Edward Island, the humanity of these people, and the hope found in a vivacious red-headed orphan.  Not long after, July humidity hazy, bloody, crying, vernix- covered, she came, my womb-emptied at 7:13 A.M. I remember the time so vividly because it matched her weight perfectly. My very own little Anne with an E, of course. Montgomery knew what I needed that particular summer; those robust, warm, spicy, delicious morsels, summer now forever reminding me of her. Jane of Lantern Hill, The Blue Castle, and recently, Emily of New Moon, might as well be flavors of my favorite ice creams, so sweetly and satisfyingly have they fed me.

Dear Summer, Schwan’s, and Lucy Maude, you are very welcome here. Well, maybe not the Schwan’s guy, my wallet and waist-line doth protest. Time measured in ice cream and literature are wonderful things.

~

 

 

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 12

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Continuing our reading…

 

Chapter 12

I just loved so much when Marilla finds out about the flowers on Anne’s hat.

“Marilla was not to be drawn from the safe concrete into dubious paths of the abstract.” p.84 🙂

Marilla wishes Anne would behave like “other little girls and not make yourself ridiculous”.  I love Anne’s originality, don’t try to reform her in everything, Marilla! Of course, Anne’s a little rough around the edges and learns and grows with Marilla’s guidance. I think the biggest thing for me to think on as a mother is how Anne’s sweet, imaginative spirit actually really softens and benefits Marilla. Oh that I may humble myself and become like a child!

Anne is so terrified and excited about meeting her potential bosom friend, Diana Barry.

I love this part, where she is answering Mrs. Barry’s inquiry,

“I am well in body although considerable rumpled up in spirit, thank you, ma’am,” said Anne gravely. Then aside to Marilla in an audible whisper, “There wasn’t anything startling in that, was there, Marilla?” p. 86

Mrs. Barry, there is no such thing as reading too much! Well, ok, I guess it’s good for Diana to go out into the garden for a break with Anne.

The Barry’s garden…wow! “The Barry garden was a bowery wilderness of flowers which would have delighted Anne’s heart at any time less fraught with destiny. It was encircled by huge old willows and tall firs, beneath which flourished flowers that loved the shade. Prim, right-angled paths, neatly bordered with clamshells, intersected it like moist red ribbons and in the beds between old-fashioned flowers ran riot. There were rosy bleeding-hearts and great splendid crimson peonies; white, fragrant narcissi and thorny, sweet Scotch roses; pink and blue and white columbines and lilac-tinted Bouncing Bets; clumps of southernwood and ribbon grass and mint; purple Adam-and-Eve, daffodils, and masses of sweet clover white and its delicate, fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its fiery lances over prim white musk-flowers; a garden it was where sunshine lingered and bees hummed, and winds, beguiled into loitering, purred and rustled.” p. 87 (that last line, my emphasis – swoon!)

This is how I imagine the garden!

Jessie Wilcox Smith -Cottage Garden Illustration

Jessie Wilcox Smith

I chuckled and Diana’s shock over Anne asking her to swear to be her friend for ever and ever!

“There really is another (kind of swearing). Oh it isn’t wicked at all. It’s just means vowing and promising solemnly.” p.87

I love that Anne wanted to do the vow over running water, but in lieu of that, she just imagines the path is running water. Sigh, what would we do without imagination? Not make any vows, I guess.

I love “as long as the sun and moon shall endure.”

“Well, did you find Diana a kindred spirt?” asked Marilla as they went up through the garden of Green Gables. “Oh,yes,” sighed Anne, blissfully unconscious of any sarcasm on Marilla’s part. p. 88

The place names! I love them, Lucy! You are just SO good at them. Dyrad’s Bubble. Orchard Slope. Green Gables.

Matthew brings Anne chocolates much to Marilla’s chagrin, but she wants to save some for Diana.

I love this last bit,

“Dear me, it’s only three weeks since she came, and it seems as if she’d been here always. I can’t imagine the place without her. Now, don’t be looking I-told-you-so, Matthew. That’s bad enough in a woman, but it isn’t to be endured in a man. I’m perfectly willing to own up that I’m glad I consented to keep the child and that I’m getting fond of her, but don’t you rub it in, Matthew Cuthbert.” p. 89

~

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 11

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Continuing our reading…

“Well, how do you like them?” said Marilla. 🙂 … “I’ll imagine that I like them.” said Anne soberly. p. 78

I loved this chapter about Anne’s new dresses made by Marilla and her first experience at church. I noticed a lot of beautiful words in this chapter, of course, L.M. Montgomery always uses lots of flowery words. That’s why I love her so much. I don’t think modern literature can even come close to this kind of language anymore, maybe due to time constraints and readers not really talking this way or reading these types of books. I suppose in some ways, it comes down to a matter of taste. I absolutely love Montgomery’s effusive style. Here are some of the words and phrases I loved from Chapter 11:

snuffy – serviceable – sateen – pampering vanity – frills – furbelows – skimpy wincey things  -so much gratefuller – puffed sleeves – thrill – disconsolately – fidget – irreproachably – arrayed – skimpiness – contrived – a golden frenzy of wind-stirred buttercups and a glory of wild roses – promptly – liberally – garlanded – a heavy wreath – daunted – lonesome – splendid – queer – horrid – rebukingly – melancholy – tragical – snappy

Quotes: “But I’d rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself, ” persisted Anne mournfully. p.79

“I said a little prayer myself, though. There was a long row of white birches hanging over the lake and the sunshine fell down through them, ‘way, ‘way down, deep into the water. Oh, Marilla, it was like a beautiful dream! It gave me a thrill and I just said, ‘Thank you for it,God,’ two or three times.” p.81

Marilla felt helplessly that all this should be sternly reproved, but she was hampered by the undeniable fact that some of the things Anne had said, especially about the minister’s sermons and Mr.Bell’s prayers, were what she herself had really thought deep down in her heart for years, but had never given expression to. It almost seemed to her that those secret, unuttered, critical thoughts had suddenly take visible and accusing shape and form in the person of this outspoken morsel of neglected humanity. p. 83

~

 

 

 

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 10

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Anne is stubbornly refusing to apologize for The Incident with Rachel Lynde and Matthew slinks up to Anne’s room and encourages her to just smooth it over because Marilla is an awful stubborn woman. 🙂

I think it’s so funny how Marilla is worried about how happy Anne is acting.

“This was no meek penitent such as it behooved her to take into the presence of the offended Mrs. Lynde.” pg 73

In some ways, Anne’s apology is sneaky and a bit manipulative. I never looked at it that way before, maybe it’s the mother coming out in me. I actually felt a bit of sympathy and compassion for Mrs. Lynde, as she is simple and straight-forward. She shows kindness to Anne in sending her out to the garden and giving her some of her June lilies.

I love this part as Marilla and Anne are walking home.

“Anne said no more until they turned into their own lane. A little gypsy wind came down it to meet them, laden with the spicy perfume of young dew-wet ferns. Far up in the shadows a cheerful light gleamed out through the trees from the kitchen at Green Gables. Anne suddenly came close to Marilla and slipped her hand into the older woman’s hard palm.”

and this:

“Something warm and pleasant welled up in Marilla’s heart at the touch of that thin little hand in her own – a throb of the maternity she had missed, perhaps. Its very unaccustomedness and sweetness disturbed her. ”

pg 76

Anne:

“But I’m going to imagine that I’m the wind that is blowing up there in those tree tops. When I get tired of the trees I’ll imagine I’m gently waving down here in the ferns – and then I’ll fly over to Mrs. Lynde’s garden and set the flowers dancing – and then I’ll go with one great swoop over the clover field – and then I’ll blow over the Lake of Shining Waters and ripple it all up into little sparkling waves. Oh, there’s so much scope for the imagination in a wind! So I’ll not talk any more just now, Marilla.”

“Thanks be to goodness for that, ” breathed Marilla in devout relief. 🙂

 

~

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 9

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Reading on…

This chapter was so humorous and in some ways enlightening. Anne meets Marilla’s dear friend Rachel Lynde for the first time and unfortunately, it doesn’t go well.  I wonder if Rachel was so rude because of the way children were viewed in those days? Maybe like they are to be seen and not heard? Today, we are SO ultra-sensitive about what we say to children, almost TOO sensitive, in some ways. A few things that jumped out to me was that Rachel had raised 10 children! I didn’t remember that tidbit. I also noticed a growth and softening in Marilla, even towards Rachel, and it seems to me it is from Anne’s influence. Maybe it’s because of love. Marilla’s heart gradually growing three sizes bigger from just being around Anne’s cheerful, optimistic disposition. Anne is so frightfully emotional and I feel a bit of Marilla’s exasperation about how in the world to deal with emotions in children and those around us. It’s easy to want react emotionally back instead of responding rationally and calmly. I thinking particularly of my young adult children.

Anything you liked about this chapter?

~

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 8

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Continuing our reading…

There are a few parts in this chapter that I just love. I’m noticing over and over again, that Marilla needed Anne much more than Anne needed her! Anne just brings so much life and beauty into Marilla’s life.

Marilla’s stern, hard-nosed Calvinism in the face of Anne’s questioning, open, dreamy state is such an interesting contrast. I just adore this moment.

She found Anne standing motionless before a picture hanging on the wall between two windows, with her hands clasped behind her, her face uplifted, and her eyes astar with dreams. The white and green light strained through apple trees and clustering vines outside fell over the rapt little figure with a half-unearthly radiance.

“Anne, whatever are you thinking of?” demanded Marilla sharply.

Anne came back to earth with a start.

“That,” she said, pointing to the picture-a rather vivid chromo entitled, “Christ Blessing Little Children”-“and I was just imagining I was one of them- that I was the little girl in the blue dress, standing off by herself in the corner as if she didn’t belong to anybody, like me. She looks lonely and sad, don’t you think? I guess she hadn’t any father or mother of her own. But she wanted to be blessed, too, so she just crept shyly up on the outside of the crowd, hoping nobody would notice her-except Him. I’m sure I know just how she felt. Her heart must have beat and her hands must have got cold, like mind did when I asked you if I could stay. She was afraid He mightn’t notice her. But it’s likely He did, don’t you think: I’ve been trying to imagine it all out – her edging a little nearer all the time until she was quite close to Him; and then He would look at her and put His hand on her hair and oh, such a thrill of joy as would run over her! But I wish the artist hadn’t painted Him so sorrowful looking. All His pictures are like that, if you’ve noticed. But I don’t believe He could really have looked so sad or the children would have been afraid of Him.” 

pg 55-56 ❤

Marilla calls these observations irreverent!!!! Anne is astonished because she really felt moved spiritually by this art. In the same vein, Marilla demands her learn the Lord’s Prayer because she is next to “heathen” and Anne looks on it lovingly as poetry! Oh my, it just makes me think how too often I despise the open, fresh way my children look at things, instead demanding some dogmatic adherence to what I think. In reality, the faith and relationship between Anne and the Lord here seems miles ahead of Marilla, in my humble opinion.

Any thoughts on this chapter? There are many other beautiful passages in here. Sigh. 🙂

 

~

Anne of Green Gables: Chapters 6 & 7

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Continuing our reading…

Mrs. Spencer is so distressed about the “mistake” that has been made, with the Cuthbert’s receiving a girl instead of a boy. She recalls Mrs. Blewett is looking for help with her large family. Marilla does not care for what she knows of Mrs. Blewett and compassion wells up in her towards Anne. She asks for more time to decide with Matthew on whether or not Anne will stay.

“During Marilla’s speech a sunrise had been dawning on Anne’s face. First the look of despair faded out; then came a faint flush of hope; her eyes grew deep and bright as morning stars. The child was quite transfigured; and, a moment late, when Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Blewett went out in quest of a recipe the latter and come to borrow she sprang up and flew across the room to Marilla.” pg 46

I love how Marilla really agrees with or finds humor in the things Anne says, yet always tries to do the “proper” thing by correcting her.

I loved this line: “Matthew’s shy face was a glow of delight.” pg 47 He and Marilla come to the conclusion to give Anne a try.

In Chapter 7, we find Marilla shocked and appalled at Anne’s rather slip shod view of God and prayer. I love when Anne says that she forgot to pray because she was, “so harrowed up in my mind.” pg 49

“You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair, ” said Anne reproachfully. “People who haven’t red hair don’t know what trouble is. Mrs. Thomas told me that GOd made my hair red on purpose, and I’ve never cared about Him since. And anyhow I’d always be too tired at night to bother saying prayers. People who have to look after twins can’t be expected to say their prayers. Now, do you honestly think they can?” pg 50 🙂

I love this bit…

“If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great bit field all alone or into the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up in the sky-up-up-up-into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer. Well, I’m ready. What am I to say?” pg 51

Anything that you are loving about these chapters?

~

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 5

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Continuing with our reading…

“I’ve made up my mind to enjoy this drive. It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you must make it up firmly.” pg 37

I love this line by Anne as her and Marilla are headed to straighten out the mistake of her not being the boy that they requested. If I took that line to heart in many of my real life situations, I know things would be more peaceful. I added this to my commonplace journal although it should go into a fortitude list of quotes.

Anne asks Marilla about her knowing anyone who’s red hair changes as they grew older. Marilla dashes her hopes. 🙂

This is one of my favorite bits and I say it to my husband all the time, in which he rolls his eyes at me. 😉

“Well, that is another hope gone. My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. That’s a sentence I read in a book once, and I say it over to comfort myself whenever I’m disappointed in anything.” pg 37

I absolutely love naming things and places. Anne and I share that sentiment. Love this part as Anne tries to explain the importance of names to Marilla.

“Well, I don’t know,” Anne looked thoughtful. “I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” pg 38

This cracked me up!

“I like babies in moderation, but twins three times in succession is too much.” pg 40

Love this…

“Don’t you just love poetry that gives a crinkly feeling up and down your back?” pg 40-41

Anne’s sweet spirit is starting to thaw Marilla…

“Pity was suddenly stirring in her heart for the child. What a starved, unloved life she had had – a life of drudgery and poverty and neglect; for Marilla was shrewd enough to read between the lines of Anne’s history and divine the truth. No wonder she had been so delighted at the prospect of a real home. It was a pity she had to be sent back. What if she, Marilla, should indulge Matthew’s unaccountable whim and let her stay? He was set on it; and the child seemed a nice, teachable little thing.”

“The shore road was ‘woodsy and wild and lonesome.’ On the right hand, scrub first, their spirits quite unbroken by long years of tussle with the gulf winds, grew thickly. On the left were the steep red sandstone cliffs, so near the track in places that a mare of less steadiness that the sorrel might have tried the nerves of the people behind her. Down at the base of the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with pebbles as with oceans jewels; beyond lay the sea, shimmering and blue, and over it soared the gulls, their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.” pg42

Sigh. 🙂

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 4

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Continuing our reading…

Anne awakes to a mixture of “delightful thrill” and “horrible remembrance” because she is NOT to stay at Green Gables because she is NOT a boy. pg 30

Montgomery’s shines here…

“Below the garden a green field lush with clover sloped down to the hollow where the brook ran and scores of white birches grew, upspringing airily out of an undergrowth suggestive of delightful possibilities in ferns and mosses and woodsy things generally. Beyond it was a hill, green and feathery with spruce and fir; there was a gap in it where the gray gable end of the little house she had seen from the other side of the Lake of Shining Waters was visible.” pg 31

“Anne’s beauty-loving eyes lingered on it all, taking everything greedily in; she had looked on so many unlovely places in her life, poor child; but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.” pg 31

I love this thought. How our souls, in their own way, need feeding. They can be starved in a sense. Something as simple as a flower in a vase or a beautiful sunset can feed that inner need. I believe that in some small way beauty points us unconsciously to our Lord Jesus.

The anthropomorphism of nature is so charming and contributes to a sense of delight and mystery. Brooks laughing and trees dancing…Montgomery is so good at drawing us into the feeling of nature.

Anne’s optimism is just so refreshing and contagious!

“Isn’t it a splendid thing that there are mornings?” pg 32

“But I’m glad it’s not rainy today because it’s easier to be cheerful and bear up under affliction on a sunshiny day. I feel that I have a good deal to bear up under. It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”  pg 33

I love that…”bear up under affliction”! 🙂 Again, I love how reading has helped her put things into perspective here. Her life hasn’t been easy, but reading heroic deeds has helped her cope in some ways, and given her courage.

Poor Marilla is confused and befuddled by Anne.

“…she had an uncomfortable feeling that while this odd child’s body might be there at the table her spirit was far away in some remote airy cloudland, borne aloft on the wings of imagination. Who would want such a child about the place?” pg 33

Anne on wanting to go outdoors and explore…

“If I can’t stay here there is no use in my loving Green Gables. And if I go out there and get acquainted with all those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook, I’ll not be able to help loving it. It’s hard enough now, so I won’t make it any harder. I want to go out so much – everything seems to be calling to me, ‘Anne, Anne, come out to us. Anne, Anne we want a playmate’- but it’s better not. There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there? and it’s so hard to keep from loving things, isn’t it? That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here. I thought I’d have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me. But that brief dream  is over. I am resigned to my fate now, so I don’t think I’ll go out for fear I’ll get unresigned again.” pg 34

A cynical look at this might believe Anne is slightly manipulative, but knowing how Montgomery portrayed her character, I believe her to be totally sincere. I know she is impulsive and rash, yet her outbursts of emotion and love for beauty feel genuine to me. I really think that in some ways, her stark life made her all the more aware of and appreciative of beauty in its simplest forms. It makes me wonder that in my comfortable lifestyle and lavish American outlook, how many simple things of beauty I miss because I’m not purposefully looking for beauty or have too much STUFF or I’m just ungrateful in a small way. I also hope that I can keep wonder alive for myself and my children, where we want to be “acquainted” with nature and appreciate it. I feel this ties a little bit into media use. Too much media dulls our appreciation of nature, because who can complete with its drug-like effects? Anyway, 😉 I’m going off on a tangent here as I think on Anne’s comments in this chapter.

What stood out to you? 🙂

~

 

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 3

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Continuing our reading…

Poor Marilla. She is probably still nervously reeling from Rachel’s Job-friend-like 😉 advice, and now she has to deal with a GIRL.

Anne’s outbursts are funny, but man, she really is such a cheerful child for having had very little love in her life. Her imagination and the beautiful ideas that she has read in books have helped keep the hope alive, a little bit at least, I think.

I love this part…

“Oh, this is the most tragical thing that ever happened to me!”

Something like a reluctant smile, rather rusty from long disuse, mellowed Marilla’s grim expression.

pg 24

What’s your name?

The child hesitated for a moment.

“Will you please call me Cordelia?” she said eagerly.

Call you Cordelia! Is that your name?”

“No-o-o, it’s not exactly my name, but I would love to be called Cordelia. It’s such a perfectly elegant name.”

“I don’t know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia isn’t your name, what is it?”

pg 24

This whole part is just so funny and sweet. Marilla’s bewilderment, Anne’s anguish…so many little things. I find myself in the “depths of despair” quite often myself, in fact, my husband sometimes will ask me if I’m wallowing in them. He knows me so well. Ha. 🙂

I love the description of the room from Anne’s point of view…I laughed out loud specifically at this…

“…with a fat, red velvet pincushion hard enough to turn the point of the most adventurous pin. ”

pg 27

I love how Montgomery is showing us Anne’s frame of mind through her perception of the room. Such beautiful writing!

I love Matthew’s heart here…

“I suppose – we could hardly be expected to keep her.”

“I should say not. What good would she be to us?”

“We might be some good to her,” said Matthew suddenly and unexpectedly. ❤

pg 28-29

And upstairs, in the east gable, a lonely, heart-hungry, friendless child cried herself to sleep. pg 29

Aww. Sweet, yet sad chapter.

~

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 2

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Continuing our reading…

Now we come to dear Matthew and Anne. The very illustration on the front of my beat-up paperback is such a sweet part of this chapter. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, however.

Montgomery shares some of her lovely nature-aware writing here…

“It was a pretty road, running along between snug farmsteads, with now and again a bit of balsamy fir wood to drive through or a hollow where wild plums hung out their filmy bloom. The air was sweet with the breath of many apple orchards and the meadows sloped away in the distance to horizon mists of pearl and purple; while

The little birds sang as if it were

The one day of summer in all the year.” pg 9

I adore “farmstead” and “balsamy”.

I find Matthew’s shyness  around women to be endearing and slightly humorous. Perhaps having Marilla for a sister and how long has Rachel Lynde been his neighbor I wonder, may not have helped his shyness? He dare not have any opinion or maybe never could get a word in edgewise.  Remember even a disorderly stream straightens at the sight of Mrs. Rachel!

And now we are introduced to our Dear Friend of the Ages…

“A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, that looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.” pg 11

I love this…

“…our discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-child of whom shy Matthew Cuthbert was so ludicrously afraid.” pg 11

I hope I can be a discerning observer with people, especially children. Even just a good observer, not even extraordinary. 😉 Caring about each person as unique and special.

Oh, Anne, you and your cheery tree!

“It’s so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn’t it? They were good, you know – the asylum people. But there is so little scope for the imagination in an asylum – only just in the other orphans.” pg 12

I love how Anne immediately sees a friend in Matthew and really starts sharing pretty deep thoughts and feelings. She is so open. She tries to see good in people…I love this,

“A merchant in Hopeton last winter donated three hundred yards of wincey to the asylum. Some people said it was because he couldn’t sell it, but I’d rather believe that it was out of the kindness of his heart, wouldn’t you?” pg 14

I love how she calls the Island the “bloomiest place”. Sigh.

And after Matthew telling he doesn’t know what makes the roads red,

“Well, that is one of the things to find out sometime. Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive – it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?” pg 15

That above quote reminds me of the British educator Charlotte Mason’s quote, “Not what we have learned, but what we are waiting to know is the delectable part of knowledge.” School Education, pg 273

Scope for the imagination. ❤

“…people laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” pg 15

“Yes, it’s red,” she said resignedly. “Now you see why I can’t be perfectly 🙂 happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don’t mind the other things so much – the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, ‘Now my hair is a glorious raven black, black as the raven’s wing.’ But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my life long sorrow.” 🙂 pg 16

Oh my! There are so many good lines and parts in this chapter! How she asks Matthew if he would rather be “divinely beautiful” or “dazzinglingly clever”. pg 17

How she is struck deeply by the beauty of the Avenue and insists on renaming it “the White Way of Delight”. pg 18

Barry’s Pond + Anne = The Lake of Shining Waters.

“Isn’t it splendid there are so many things to like in this world?” pg 20

She catches her first glimpse of Green Gables, Matthew growing a bit uneasy about the coming storm.

” Listen to the trees talking in their sleep ,” she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. “What nice dreams they must have!” pg 22

What  lovely trip home to Green Gables! What did you enjoy about this chapter?

~

Anne of Green Gables : Chapter 1

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I’ve always loved L.M. Montgomery’s beautiful nature descriptions and rich, deep characters. I forgot how humorous these books are for some reason. I don’t think humor comes through quite as strongly in some of Montgomery’s other titles. Maybe I just haven’t read enough of them or paid close enough attention! I was so glad to see how many of you sounded interested in this project , I think we all are truly kindred spirits.

Chapter 1 opens with our dear Mrs. Rachel Lynde…I chuckled at this…

“…for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum..” pg 1

I was so charmed how Lucy Maude introduces us to Mrs. Lynde by way of small, side comments alluding to her being into everyone’s business while keeping quite on top of her own.

I think words such as “betokened” need to have a resurgence in our English language. Really. They are GORGEOUS.

Upon seeing Matthew Cuthbert driving by in a SUIT and COLLAR no less , Mrs. Rachel, “…ponder as she might, could make nothing of it and her afternoon’s enjoyment was spoiled.” pg 3 🙂

I absolutely love the Naming of places and things through Montgomery’s writings. Swoon. And swoon again. Lynde’s Hollow. Green Gables. Bright River.

As Mrs. Lynde reaches Green Gables all in a dither, I love this about  Marilla, “Here sat Marilla Cuthbert, when she sat at all, always slightly distrustful of sunshine, which seemed to her too dancing and irresponsible a thing for a world which was meant to be taken seriously; and here she sat now, knitting, and the table behind her was laid for supper.” pg 4

This made me think a bit of how opposite really Marilla is of Anne. We know, of course, what happens in this story, but one has to ponder if Marilla really needed Anne in a sense MORE than Anne needed her.

Mrs. Lynde’s shock and surprise is so funny and what’s the most funny thing about it is that she is so appalled the Marilla dare make a decision like this without informing or asking HER first.  After Mrs. Lynde blasts Marilla with scary stories on orphans…this cracked me up…”This Job’s comforting seemed neither to offend nor alarm Marilla. She knitted steadily on.” pg 7

One has to overlook a few old-fashioned, NOT “politically correct” references in this chapter and focus really on the two characters that we are being introduced to…Rachel and Marilla. Opposite really, but they say opposites attract…and I was just thinking about how in some ways the friendship of these older ladies is just as kindred as the later one of Anne and Diana.

What jumped out to you?

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