Dungeon Dredging

booksOooofff. I’m almost afraid to say this but I am almost sorta just about verging on making the teensiest, tinsiest little bit of difference down in the Landfill Dungeon. The shelf unit that got moved out into the middle of my dingy old “studio” after Hurricane Ike partially soaked the carpet down there is now back against the wall where it belongs. I’m not ready to take a picture yet. As I have said before, I am not planning on going anywhere soon, er, except for work tomorrow, kzoo on Sunday, and the moominbeach next weekend, but I am not gonna leave a mess behind that the beach urchins have to throw into a dumpster in the driveway. Like what is happening at Joan and Chris’s house next door, may they rest in peace (or more probably party on the other side).

As painful as it is to pick through 50-something years worth of collections and make decisions about what to keep (or not), sometimes you actually find some little treasures in amongst all that trash. Mouse’s Train Ride was the beach urchin Lizard Breath’s first book. At least the first book that we could actually “read” to her. It doesn’t actually have words, just pictures, so you have to make up your own story. The Commander sent it to her when she was about seven or eight months old, right around this time of year. No special occasion involved. That esteemed woman just thought her first grandchild needed a book! Lizard and I opened the package and immediately sat down in what became the Reading Chair to read Mouse’s Train Ride and the little lizard was so excited that she practically hyperventilated every time I turned a page.

Of course, good old KW went overboard and bought all kinds of books (and other junk) and some of them are keepers, like the ones shown here. Others? Well, I can’t keep ’em all… It *is* fun to drag the old kid Christmas books out during those holidays, etc. Anyway, we spent many, many hours reading books in the Reading Chair. I remember reading one of those “parenting” articles in the newspaper about the time Lizard was in kindergarten. It exhorted me to read to my kindergartner a half hour every day. Really? Is it really okay if I only read a half hour? You mean I don’t have to read 2-3 hours like my kindergartner wants me to? It was a relief when she became an independent reader, although I continued to read to her and her sister until about the time middle school happened. I enjoyed it and so did they.

The reading chair? You don’t have to look closely to see how shredded it is. A couple years ago I was all hot to put the reading chair in the trash. We have too much old, crappy furniture around here and the reading chair is in the way. All it does anymore is serve as a place for me to dump my work laptop when I get home. I dunno. I tried to get rid of it but I can’t do it, at least not yet.

Optional: Best or favo-rite baby or kid books that you remember or your kids remember?

12 Responses to “Dungeon Dredging”

  1. Pooh Says:

    Well, of course, I never could dream of putting A. A. Milne’s books out in the trash. “Paddle to the Sea”, and its sibling books, “Minn of the Mississippi” and “Ivory Seabird” are also favorites. “How Many Trucks Could a Tow Truck Tow?” was the best board book in our household, although it came a little later than the ones you have pictured. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” was another great one.

    We’ve kept quite a few of the books, although I gave away two boxes of books this year on Martin Luther King’s birthday to a group that was collecting childrens books for kids who don’t have the chances to read books at home that our kids enjoyed. I really liked it when the school would have Book Swaps. It gave the kids a chance to trade in books that were a little young for them, for someone else’s good books. Keep the books circulating!

    Ask me in a few weeks, when I’m up in Dave’s room, dredging, and I’ll tell you some more childhood favorites.

  2. Kathy Farnell Says:

    I like the “Sneeches”.

  3. Margaret Says:

    It’s hard to get rid of old stuff that has lots of memories attached to it. I loved Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel.

  4. Jay Says:

    For myself as a child – there was “Dr. Goat”. slightly older I loved the “Chronicles of Narnia.” The first book Rey read was “Ice Cream Soup”. Ashlan liked the Roald Dahl books if I remember correctly. And we had sooo many dinosaur books. Graem Base’s “Animalia” was so well loved we bought a second copy because the first was in such rough shape. But when Graem Base visited Seattle it was the well worn copy we took for his autograph.

  5. Jay Says:

    And – we still have hundreds of children’s books around the house and in use. And the parents often bring over more to share (we don’t have room for the ones we have ourselves). I will have to ask Carl how many books he reads on an average day.

  6. jane Says:

    Blueberries for Sal was alwasy a fav along with many others.

  7. kayak woman Says:

    Wow! We’ve read so many of those books. Blueberries for Sal absolutely millions of times. The Narnia books (all of them) and then videos (“map of Narnia! map of Narnia!”). Roald Dahl — even the octos were reading the BFG one summer. Winnie the Pooh, Dr. Seuss, Mike Mulligan, although we more often read a “sister” book The Little House, by the same author. I never knew about Dr. Goat until Jay posted about him once on raincharm.wordpress.com.

  8. mouse Says:

    Maybe, if I manage to finish some other things, I could reupholster the reading chair?

  9. Dog Mom Says:

    Lessee… I still imagine weather reports that start “Cloudy with a…” to end with “Chance of Meatballs”! Then there’s “Sheep in a Jeep” and it’s sequels (“Sheep in a Shop”, etc.). Of course, the previously mentioned “Blueberries for Sal” (and its sequel), “Make Way for Ducklings”, and on and on.

    I remember snuggling with Val when she was maybe a month old, reading “board books” to her; as soon as she could have some control over her arms/hands (what, maybe 2 or 3 months?), she was batting the pages over as we read these books! Same story with Nook!

    OH! And the tapes! Remember Raffi??? And “Tickly Toddle”?? Oh, there’s some stories behind THOSE!

  10. Pooh Says:

    I forgot to put “Blueberries for Sal” on the list. Once, when the kids were younger, we were picking commercial blueberries at a farm in Southeast Missouri. I was reminding Dan and Dave about “Blueberries for Sal”. The wife was picking berries on the other side of the row, and she gasped, “Bears! I thought the deer and the birds were bad!” We also have a book called “Up North at the Cabin” with very evocative water color illustrations and text.

  11. grandmothertrucker Says:

    What happened to all the old books from HL? Little House on the Prairie, James and the Giant Peach, That Was Then, This Is Now, The Outsiders… Mary Poppins!!!!

  12. grandmothertrucker Says:

    I wanna jump into a chalk drawing……