Posted tagged ‘Trixie Belden’

“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.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

January 9, 2014

The days are getting warmer. By the weekend we should be in the high 40’s and even the low 50’s. That sounds like deck weather after the cold spell we’ve all endured. Gracie is bored because of that cold. She goes out to do her business or to take one run around the backyard. This morning she was staring and growling at some of her toys. She brought a couple to me, and I threw them down the hall hoping for a game of fetch. She just stood looking at me and whining. Luckily she is now asleep, snoring of course. I have nothing to do today. Yesterday I was out and about, but today I am staying home. My groceries are arriving later, I have a few books to read on my iPad and the house is clean. I suppose I could do laundry, but I won’t.

The Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale was the book I just finished. I liked it. The whole novel revolved around three young teens taking the ashes of their murdered friend to Hollywood where she always expected to go and become a star. The trip is on or around the Sabine River. Skunk, the legendary killer who cuts off the hands of his victims, is after them. I won’t give any more of the story in case you’re intrigued, but I refuse to be held responsible if you hate it. Tastes in books vary in as many ways as there are books. I had no expectations for this novel and how much I liked it surprised me. I had to read straight through. At the end I found out that Joe R. Lansdale has written and published hundreds of novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories, chapbooks, comic books, graphic novels, and collections. I also found out he wrote Bubba Ho-Tep which I didn’t read, but I did see and liked the movie made from it. IMDb had the best description of this film, “Elvis and JFK, both alive and in a nursing home, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.” Okay, that description is more than enough. I’m going to read more by this author. Amazon here I come!

Reading has always been a joy for me. Trips to the library were every week when I was a kid. I’d haul home the limit I could take and read them in a few days. I used to hide a light under the covers so I could read at night after I was expected to be asleep. I’d spend my entire 50 cents allowance on a new book which always caused my father to give me the putting money away for a rainy day lecture. I didn’t take heed. I knew I’d made the best investment with my money. I still have some of those books I bought. They are about Donna Parker and Trixie Belden, amateur teenage detectives. The pages are yellow and sort of fragile now, but every now and then I pick one up and read a page or two just for the memories.

“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.


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