Anne of Green Gables is my Bosom Friend

I recently re-read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables.” I first read it when I was twelve, again at 14, then again at 16. I have watched the PBS movie many times since, but it had been twenty-two years since I had read it last. That is a lifetime ago! I have been struggling to find out who I am again after all my children are now in school full-time and there is no children to stay at home with me.

I thought I needed to get a formal education. You can read more about that here. ( However, I have realized you can learn so much from reading and I love this classic book.

A few facts about the book I did not know before, Maud wrote the book while she was looking after her sick grandmother in 1906. It was first published in 1908 by L,C. Page & Company. Maud had published many poems and short stories before but this was her first novel. Maud’s mother passed when she was young (like Anne’s) and her father moved several provinces away.  Maud was raised by her maternal grandparents who were very strict and did not have time to show any love or affection on a little girl.

Anne has always appealed to me because she is a dreamer. As a child, I also lived in my own dreamworld. I loved to pick up anything from toothbrushes, markers, or silverware and they suddenly had names, friends, family, and stories. I know that in fifth grade when I didn’t have any friends, my imaginative friends became very important to me.  As I read the book in sixth grade through all of my awkwardness as I was trying to figure out who I was, it was comforting to read about a character that was also always making mistakes but learning and growing as I was. I also struggled to find any good friends. I had a few acquaintances at school, but as I entered seventh grade, I became more  confident in myself and my ability to make friends.  Eventually, I found a “bosom” friend like Anne’s Diana in an amazing girl but that is a story for another time.

As a writer, I admired Montgomery’s writing style. Her descriptions are poetic and her characters are certainly memorable. From the first moment in the book we know who Rachel Lynde is. Montomgery writes

“not even a brook could urn past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum. She would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores if anything was odd or out of place.” 

It is descriptive, yet short. The reader knows Rachel Lynde is. I love the word “ferreting” Montgomery uses. I had to look it up. Ferreting is “to drive out of a lurking place as a ferret does the rabbit”  or “searching tenaciously for and find something.”

I love the imagery of Rachel Lynde as a ferret trying to dig up any information about the townspeople of Avonlea.  Montgomery says Lynde was “capable of managing her affairs and those of others.”

rachel lynde
Patricia Hamilton portrays Rachel Lynde in 1985 version of “Anne of Green Gables”

We see shy Matthew Cuthbert leave dressed in his best suit with the sorrel mare and buggy. Rachel says she “won’t get a minute’s peace until she knows” what Matthew is up to.  Already we wonder what is Matthew doing and where is he doing?

Rachel must know what is going on so she goes to see Marilla, Matthew’s sister.  As she walks down the lane to the Cuthbert’s place set back from the road Montgomery writes, “living in a house away from the road was not living at all for Rachel.”

There are so many wonderful descriptions and characters in “Anne of Green Gables.” I could go on and on, but I think tomorrow I will discuss Marilla and her character arch through the story.

So good-bye my kindred spirits until tomorrow when the sun, the moon, and the stars endure.



Midlife Crisis Leads Me Back to Classics


For the last fourteen years I have been a stay-at-home mom. There has always been someone here with me to look after, but in August, my youngest went to school full time. At first I loved the new freedom that came with my days. I went hiking on trails I had never explored, I went places the kids would never want to go with me, and I spent some time doing charity work. However, as the weeks went on, I started down a spiral that lead me to what I could only describe as a midlife crisis (I am not even forty yet)! I started to feel lonely. Things I liked to do didn’t make me happy anymore.

As snow fell on the mountains and the ground became more muddy, I didn’t want to hike anymore. I thought maybe now it was time to look to the future. “What am I going to do now that my kids are in school?” I thought I really needed to find a job. Doesn’t everyone who has kids in school all day have a job? I looked at part time jobs and applied for a few, but when the call came for an interview, I realized that it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.

Then I I thought maybe I needed to go back to school to get some additional training. The problem is I don’t really know what training I want and I don’t want to waste time and money. I thought about it for weeks and thought I really didn’t know who I was anymore.

I reached out a community on Facebook and many helpful people suggested I read a book written for teenagers to help them discover their mission in life. It is funny, but it is really helping me. I am on a new path in my life and it is nice to get back to my roots. One of the suggestions in this book is for teenagers to read classics, then to talk about them with someone, then to write about them. There is a list of 100 classic books to read.

I decided that I didn’t really need to go back to school to get an education. I had only ready about ten books on the list. The first book on the list in the suggestions for twelve-year old girls was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables.”  You can read my review and experience reading it again here.

I had read the book when I was twelve and loved it. I remember watching the PBS movie as a child with my mother and grandmother. We would watch eight hours to see the kiss between her and Gilbert Blythe at the end, but it was always worth it. Here is the list of novels I will be reading over the next year. Feel free to read along and discuss them with me. How many have you read?

Level One:

  1. ‘Little Women -Louisa May Alcott
  2. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
  3. The Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Baum
  4. Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe-C. S. Lewis
  5. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes– Edith Hamilton
  6. Little House in the Big Woods– Laura Ingalls Wilder
  7. The Phantom Tool Booth –Norton Juster
  8. Ender’s Game- Orson Scott Card

Level Two:

  1. Pollyanna-Eleanor H. Porter
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream–William Shakespeare
  3. All’s Well that End’s Well- William Shakespeare
  4. The Tempest- William Shakespeare
  5. Prince Caspian– C. S. Lewis
  6. Aesop’s Fables
  7. Tom Sawyer- Mark Twain
  8. Flatland- Edwin Abbott
  9. Saint Joan- Mark Twain
  10. Huckleberry Finn-Mark Twain
  11. Little House on the Prairie- Laura Ingalls Wilder
  12. Best Loved Poems of the American People– Hazel Felleman and Frank Allen
  13. Sonnets, William Shakespeare
  14. The Jungle Book- Rudyard Kipling
  15. The Real Thomas Jefferson- Andrew M. Allison
  16. Asimov on Numbers- Issac Asimov
  17. Love Languages- Gary Chapman
  18. The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny -by William Strauss and Neil Howe
  19. The Walking Drum, Louis L’Amour
  20. Say, Go, Be, Do- Tiffany Rhoades Earl
  21. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- Steven R. Covey
  22. The One Minute Manager-Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D and Spencer Johnson, M.D.
  23. The Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
  24. A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
  25. Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick

There is also a level three, level four, and level five by I think for now thirty seven books on a list is a good start! Happy Reading!

Writing My Personal History

A few years ago, I attended a family history class and the focus of the class was writing your own personal history. I received a list of questions to ask yourself each time you sit down to write. It is a good way to prompt memories and stimulate writing. I started writing my own history a few years ago, but of course, I became more enamored with others people’s stories and never finished it. I was stupid enough to delete the document! It is like my journal in fifth grade. I didn’t know what to do when I filled my notebook so I threw it away! I regret not having those experiences recorded by my


ten-year old self to give to my sons. They could have laughed at me, but also seen that their mother was young once too.

I plan to post questions here each week so you can follow along with me. Hopefully by the end of this year, I will have a good start again on my own personal history and you can too if you decide to follow along.

Here are the questions for this week:

  1. What is your full name? Where did you get your name from? What is the full name of your mother and father? Where and when were you born? Where was the first home you lived in? If you had older brothers and sisters what did they think of a new baby when you came into the family?
  2. Describe yourself as a baby. What was the color of your hair? Was is curly or straight? What was the color of your eyes? Your height? Do you remember anything about your “baby” items? Your crib, your room, a favorite blanket or toy. Tell some of the things you remember your mother and father telling you about yourself as a baby.  Did you share a room? Do you remember when you gave up drinking your bottle? etc.
  3. Where did you fit i your family? Were you the oldest, youngest, middle child? Did you have siblings? How well did you get along? How many brothers and sisters did you have?
  4. What were your childhood diseases, injuries, illnesses, operations, accidents etc?

I am going to have fun with these questions this week.  Talk to you soon!