I've never met Ralph, except online. He came to Manila a month ago, but I didn't get to meet him then. Yet when he sent my husband a box of books and videos, one book was especially for me:
My first reaction was, "Now why would I want to read about life in an Iowa farm during the depression?" I mean, everything about it seems so far removed from my life and experiences—Iowa, a farm, the depression in the 1930s… And it was even more confusing because stuck on the book was this note:
Okay, now my thought became "What has all of this to do with blogging?"
Then I read the blurb at the back of the book:
- I tell of a time, a place, and a way of life long gone but still indelible in my memory. For many years I have had the urge to describe that treasure trove, lest it vanish forever. So, partly in response to the basic human instinct to share feelings and experiences, and partly for the sheer joy and excitement of it all, I report on my early life. It was quite a romp…
So begins Mildred Kalish's story of growing up on her grandparents' Iowa farm during the depths of the Great Depression. This, however, is not a tale of suffering but the story of a childhood that "built character, fed the intellect, and stirred the imagination."
Filled with stories of a family that gave its members a remarkable legacy of kinship, kindness, and remembered pleasures, and brimming with recipes and how-tos for everything from catching and skinning a rabbit to preparing homemade skin and hair beautifiers, apple cream pie, and the world's best head cheese, Little Heathens portrays a world of hard work tempered by simple rewards—and shows how the right stuff can make even the bleakest of times seem like "quite a romp."
Now, I understand. And for someone I have never met, Ralph seems to understand me better than many people I interact with on a daily basis.
Thank you, Ralph.