Life in the country

I’ve given up — I’m wearing shorts to work.  Well, maybe they’re capri pants. Whatever they are, I’m sure they’re completely inappropriate, but it’s just too hot.

I’ve been reading. Last night I read, in its entirety, Adventures with Ari, written by the woman who writes this blog. It’s essentially the story of a woman who lives in Maine and adopts a puppy. It’s good, although she comes across as the sort of person who might be slightly annoying in person.  She and her husband have decided not to have children (for various reasons, both personal and ecological) and the dog sort of functions as a kid would — forcing them to learn to accomodate a creature who has absolutely no interest in schedules or time.  She seems like a very young person. It’s a good book, though. I really do want a dog.

I’ve also been reading Apples don’t just grow, which I read about on this blog. Actually, I love this book. It doesn’t say, but I think it takes place in the 20s or 30s. The author was living in Toronto with her husband and three sons when the husband dies. She moves back to an apple orchard run wild that is owned by her family in eastern Ontario (coincidentally, I think my grandmother’s family — or part of it — came from this area, and the fact that the author’s family was given this land as a Loyalist land grant in 1784 makes me quite suspicious about my grandmother’s family. Although some of them certainly just landed there from Scotland.)  They move into the family’s dilapidated house with no heat or electricity and try to make a living.  In a way it reminds me of My Side of the Mountain — people sent into the wilderness to make a living from what they can find. It’s great.

I don’t know if I’m planning a rural life, or if just reading about it is enough.

And I’ve received two message from the girls. From N, “Talking about how broke the UCs are in Macro” and from M, ” Who exactly is levi-straus? He seems to make jeans and also be involved in a variety of literary criticisms.”


So not a bad morning.


7 thoughts on “Life in the country

  1. My Side of the Mountain is one of my all time favorite books. I read it obsessively as a child and still reread it every now and again. I should look into this book. A little different but appealing to the same part of me, have you read Henry Beston’s The Outermost House?

  2. Oh! I need that book. The first Railway Children book, where they go to the dump and one of them finds a pink cup — I loved that book, too. And the Children Who Lived In a Barn, which I read a year or so ago — same sort of thing. (And the Levi-Strauss comment sort of made my morning.)

    Yes, there are two sort of similar sorts of books, I’m realizing. The “naturalist lives and observes in one place for a year” sort of book (also — Walden,, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek -although I’m not sure if those were one year or not, but the one year can be an important piece of this) and the “children on their own — either in the woods or not.”

    I like both of these types of books a lot, and they seem sort of similar to me. I wonder why — maybe it’s because in both cases you’re away from society, in a way. Hmmm.

  3. Thanks for linking to my blog. I’m glad you liked Apples Don’t Just Grow. I really enjoyed it. I’m impressed with your reading list for the year. I haven’t been ambitious at all. Too Close to the Falls, which I read back in January remains my favorite for the year. I also enjoyed your movie list. I’ll have to look for Kitchen Stories and The Band’s Visit. We recently watched Love Serenade (1996 Australia)and got a kick out of it.

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