Posted tagged ‘Nancy Drew’

“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

January 20, 2017

The clock just struck one. I’m not even tired. I went up and down the TV dial and checked out Netflix, but I didn’t find anything I wanted to watch. I tried to read, but I just couldn’t settle down and pay attention. Gracie and Maddie had slept most of the night away, but Gracie just woke up, had a snack and a drink of water then climbed back on the couch to go back to sleep. In about two minutes she was snoring. I envy her.

The weather stayed lovely all day. It hit 43˚. Gracie and I did our errands. We went to the dump, and she got her nails cut at the vets then we took a ride. Gracie liked the window down.

When we got home, the alien took over my body again. The kitchen is gleaming. This sudden spurt of housecleaning has to end.

When I was a kid, I read all of the time. I visited the library just about every week in the summer and every couple of weeks in the winter. I can close my eyes and still picture the children’s side of the library. The librarian sat behind a round counter made of wood set in the middle of the room across from the door. The shelves filled with mysteries were against the wall behind her. The tables and chairs were all wooden. The chairs were spindlebacks though I didn’t know back then that’s what the style was called. Some of the chairs had arms. The tables were different lengths. I’d sit for a bit and look through books to decide which ones I wanted to read. When I was ready, I’d bring the books to the librarian who would stamp the lined sheet in the back with the due date.

I loved mysteries. My favorite detectives were Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. The library didn’t have those books, but I’d use my fifty cent allowance to buy the Trixie Belden books and just about every birthday and Christmas I’d be given new Nancy Drews. I loved that they were girls solving mysteries. Nancy drove a roadster. I had to look up what kind of a car a roadster was. Trixie was much younger, closer to my age. I always envied their sleuthing. I would have loved stumbling on a mystery.

Well, I finally settled on a Netflix film about conspiracies. Hitler and Eva were replaced by doubles who were shot. The two of them were then spirited out of the country. Now I’m going to find out what really happened to Nazi gold.  This program was a great choice. I’m getting sleepy from watching it.

“To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations — such is a pleasure beyond compare.”

September 11, 2015

The rain fell and kept falling. It rained all day and most of the night. The morning is dark and has that damp chill which sometimes follows rain. The day is uninviting. Everything is still wet. The breeze is enough to blow the branches on the oak trees, and once in a while I can hear the swishing sound leaves make. Other than that the day is quiet.

In school, on days like today, the room was especially quiet. It was as if the darkness had spread a pall on all of us. I remember the sounds of papers being passed up and down rows. I remember heads bent over worksheets and the sounds of our pencils scratching across the papers and up and down. The nun used to sit at her desk sometimes working, sometimes just staring, maybe even daydreaming. None of us even whispered. We didn’t want to disturb the day.

When I got home from school, I had to change out of my school clothes. Most times I’d wear my play clothes, but on days like today I’d put on my pajamas and lie in bed and read. That last one was my favorite. I would grab my latest book, my Nancy or my Trixie Belden, and get comfy under the covers. The lamp on my headboard was the only light and it shined directly on the page. It was wonderfully cozy.

There is still a lamp on my headboard, but it took me a while to find one. When I was a kid, the lamps were plastic and pink. Mine used to melt when I read under the covers. The one I have now is white and the plastic is covered by fabric. It has a Victorian look about it.

I keep a stack of books by my bed because I still love getting cozy under the covers. Most times I read myself to sleep.

“Home gives you something no other place can… your history. Home is where your history begins.”

February 24, 2014

Today is a good day. It’s cold and will get colder, but I don’t mine. I haven’t anywhere I need to go or anything I need to do. The ceiling stains were painted this morning, and I arranged for the whole ceiling to be done in the spring. The stacks of assorted stuff sitting in the living room until the stains were gone are now in their rightful spots in the den. After the spray painting, I had to dust or polish everything near where the stain was, but it didn’t take long, and it is so bright in here I think I need sunglasses. The toilet no longer needs a jiggle to stop running. I put the rock back, and it works perfectly. Peapod is coming this afternoon. It seems all is right with my world.

I was not the doll type of girl for very long, but I do remember a few from when I was really little. My favorite was a Ginny doll who had a wardrobe filled with clothes and a pink bed which was the same color as the wardrobe. I also had a tall stuffed doll wearing a dress who had elastics on her feet. You put the elastics around your shoes and danced with the doll. The last doll was small with yellow hair made from yarn and woven into pig tails. She wore a shirt and red overalls with patches. My mother, for some reason, had saved that last doll, and she gave it to me when I first moved into my house. She also gave me a small chair I had been given when I was three, yellow egg cups we always used which looked like chickens and my books, lots of books including The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew.

When I first moved into my house, I had a desk, a TV and a studio couch, and my mother added memories. She gave me connections to my childhood and made an empty house my home.

“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”

March 10, 2013

Did you hear that? It was a howl sounding like the scream of a wild animal out of control, but it was no animal. I am that screamer. It is all because today is cloudy. Oh, gee, a cloudy day?  I suppose, like a Pollyanna, I should find the sunny side. There is no snow. There it is, the only bright spot in the whole day.

Yesterday I did some errands, oiled some furniture, washed and dried a load of laundry and swept the kitchen floor. All of them were mindless activities meant to help the day pass quickly. I wanted today because the weather man had predicted sunny. He was wrong and should be tarred, feathered and driven out-of-town on a rail.

I spend a bit of yesterday reading and was reminded of when I was a kid lying in bed reading a book, usually one of the classics. Back then there was no special literature for kids, no books with special themes or social commentary or age appropriate suggestions. Many of the books I read my mother had read when she was young. It didn’t matter they were about long ago. I loved reading them for their adventures and for their characters.

Some of those classics have become enshrined in my memory. When I was ten, I read Little Women and couldn’t put it down. I wanted to be Jo. She had a mind of her own and fought convention, and I thought how brave she was. My mother read us Treasure Island, and I was enthralled with buccaneers, pirates and buried treasure, and I envied Jim Hawkins. The duplicity of Long John Silver just about broke my heart. The Wind in the Willows is now and will forever be one my favorite books. Black Beauty made me cry as did Heidi when they took her away from the grandfather. Nancy Drew is not a classic but had been around for years when I first found her. She is the reason I still love a good mystery. Add Trixie Belden to that list.

Kids today have so many choices and so many wonderful books to read, but I am a bit sorry that the classics gather dust. I understand it, but I am still a bit saddened. Jim Hawkins, Jo March and Heidi are in my memories, but I wish they were still alive.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

June 14, 2012

Yesterday it rained all day, and the rain left today cloudy, damp and generally miserable. It’s chilly at 60° and the dampness makes it feel even colder.  I’m wearing a sweatshirt and just closed the window I had opened earlier. No more flip-flops around the house-today it’s slippers.

The bear is gone. He was seen running around P-Town parking lots, and people were out trying to find him to take pictures so wildlife officials let it be known that they had chosen to relocate the bear so he could find himself a mate, and they wanted updates as to where he was. The bear was found, successfully tranquilized, tagged and taken to the western part of the state where we can all hope he is wooing some fair female black bear. Now we have another creature to watch. A Beluga whale, usually found in Arctic waters, has been spotted off Cape Cod. It is white which makes it an adult. The whale has been seen twice. P-Town is the summer vacation spot for right whales so maybe the Beluga read a brochure and decided to give the cape a try.

Rainy days make me want to be cozy reading a good book under an afghan. That started when I was a kid. I’d have to walk home from school in the rain, whether it was misty or torrential. I’d get soaked. My shoes got so wet that sometimes the water bubbled out the sides and my socks got so drenched I’d make footprints across the floor. My mother would grab my uniform skirt and hang it up to dry as I only had the one. That ugly western type tie we had to wear she wrapped in a towel to dry. The blouse went in the laundry. Even though it was afternoon, I’d put on my pajamas, the coziest clothes I had, as I knew I wouldn’t be going out to play and then I’d read away the afternoon. I think those were my favorite days. The darkness of my room lit only by the bed-lamp made me feel safe somehow, wrapped by my house as if it had arms. I’d be drawn into my book by familiar characters I had come to love like Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden. I never heard anyone in the rest of the house. It always seemed as if I were alone, never scared, just content.

I have one quick errand today then I’m going to change into cozy clothes, lie on the couch under an afghan and read. I can hardly wait!

” It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.”

January 9, 2012

Winter is dropping by for a quick visit today: it will only be in the high 30’s. When I went to get the papers earlier, there wasn’t even the smallest breeze so it felt warmer than 36°. The 40’s will be back tomorrow and for the rest of the week. No January thaw this year. We haven’t the need for one.

I never once wanted to be a pirate or a swashbuckler. I was part of the cowboy-cowgirl generation. I wanted to ride a horse and shoot standing up on the saddle like Annie Oakley used to do. She was a hero of mine. Annie was a sheriff, and nobody seemed to mind she was a woman. They never offered to come to her rescue. Annie didn’t need it. It wasn’t until I was older I realized that Annie Oakley was an anomaly because all the other sheriffs were lawmen.

Dale Evans was also a bit of a hero even though she wasn’t a shooter. She and Buttermilk rode the west together with Roy and Trigger. Dale on Buttermilk could jump fences and ride like the wind, and she had the best outfits with all that fringe hanging from the sleeves, and she wore those really fancy leather gloves. Annie wore more utilitarian clothes: a plain skirt, a blouse and usually a vest. She also wore a holster and a gun. After all, Annie Oakley did have bad guys to catch.

I went horseback riding a few times, and I fell off a few times. It was a long way to the ground. I liked the sound the leather saddle made, sort of a creaking sound as I rode on it, and I liked the view from the saddle where I envisioned tumbleweeds and cacti and chasing bandits who had robbed the stagecoach, but I never did get the hang of riding quickly. I was a slow rider better suited for the pony section where you ride in a circle. I figured I wasn’t destined to be the new Annie Oakley.

I also wanted to be Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden. Their towns had mysteries all the time, and they always solved them. My town had none. The local paper had a section about the police calls in town, and I got to read how so and so called because she had heard loud noises in her neighborhood or because someone’s dog was barking too long in the night. Big deal! We had no missing precious paintings or lurking strangers. We just had noisy dogs.

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”

May 10, 2011

This morning I had a library board meeting at 9. The alarm woke me up with enough time for a cup of coffee and most of one paper. Had I no crack of dawn meeting, I would have lounged around all day. It’s ugly out: cold, wet and windy. The Weather Channel has issued an advisory. This nor’easter will continue through tomorrow when it will produce high tides and large waves to batter the coastline. I did all my errands while I was out. I got more books at the library, my beach and dump stickers at the town hall, a few groceries and I voted in the local election. After I finish here, I will get right back into my cozies and spend the day reading and doing little else, except maybe a little nap in the afternoon and catching up on a program or two I had DVRed. The day isn’t meant for industry.

Even when I was a kid, I loved lying in bed and reading on a rainy day. I’d come home from school soaked by the walk. My shoes squished and bubbled, my hair was plastered to my head, my uniform skirt soaked and my hands freezing from carrying my book bag. I’d quickly change into my flannel pajamas, jump into bed, turn on the bed lamp, get cozy under the covers and read. It was like my own private world. Everyone else was downstairs watching TV so I had Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden all to myself. My mother would yell to me upstairs when it was dinner time, and I would reluctantly give up my world and join the rest of the family.

Rain and I have always been the best of friends. Summer rain is my favorite. It patters as it falls on the leaves and always seems gentler somehow than in all the other seasons. The sounds of rain on the roof and against the windows is like a song to me, one big on the brass and percussion instruments.

In my backyard I would put a cottage with a tin roof so I could be surrounded by the rain. It would have a daybed, a table and a comfy chair. That would be enough. It would be near perfect.