I have always been in awe of my grandmother. She was a quiet, sophisticated woman who taught me so many things. She was an interesting woman who eloped with my grandfather in 1921. An avid artist, she would lecture me on the dry brush techniques of Andrew Wyeth and the beauty in Renoir’s paintings. She entertained with a flair, and we were always on our very best behavior when family dinners were hosted with parents, aunts, uncles, and nine other assorted siblings and cousins. She cooked lovely food that was simple and elegant. Her home was a place of refuge for me when I grew up. The early 19th century home in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, was one of my favorite places in the world to be.
My grandmother was a reader too. I often saw a book by her favorite living room chair and bedside table. Frequent books by her bedside often included many books by Hal Borland and Edwin Way Teale. It is my grandmother whom I can attribute my love of nature writing. And though she loved many writers, Hal Borland was one of her favorite authors. She strongly encouraged me to read his work.
I listened, after a fashion, reading Hal Borland’s Book of Days and An American Year, and loved reading the books in my adolescence. In my recent visit to The Liberty Bookshop in Avis, Pennsylvania, I snagged some Hal Borland books and rekindled my love of his writing, which has been dormant for years. In cursory research for this blog piece, I am reveling to learn that Borland was a prolific writer. Now I have books to revisit and many new books to discover.
What I am reading:
Essays of E.B. White
Peter Wohlleben’s The Secret Wisdom of Nature
What I’m listening to:
Kate Carlisle’s The Paper Caper
Jodi Taylor’s Just One Damned Thing After Another
Listening to again: Nathan Lowell’s The Wizard’s Butler