Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sowing seeds

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson

My bloggy bud Robin at All Things Heart and Home always has me thinking about "living my legacy." She has done an entire series on this topic that is so worth your time reading. Just look under her "All Things" button in her left sidebar and scroll down to "legacy." She very eloquently suggests that each one of us is living our legacy each day and can be guided in our choices about how we want to be remembered.

Have you thought about it before? How do YOU want to be remembered? Robin has been making me think. Part of what I enjoyed the most about my Dad's 80th birthday party, was how many reminders there were of my own childhood. Everywhere I turned was a memory of another time period in my life.

One of the people I was excited to visit with was a church friend of my mother's in the picture below. Three things come to my mind when I think of Shirley. Russian tea, fudge bars and Little House on the Prairie books. I don't know if she knew at the time how much I was paying attention to her when she'd come to my mother's for tea. I sensed her motherly wisdom in raising a family of 4 and loved how her baking and friendship rubbed off on my own mother. I also recall the day she gave me my first Little House on the Prairie chapter book to read. I was in 4th grade and just learning how to read with stamina. She told me I could do it, a chapter at a time, and she knew I'd love the story.

I recall crawling into bed at 8 most nights and having my mother yell for me to shut off the lights at 9:30 and I wouldn't want to. A whole new world was opening for me and I couldn't wait to fly through the pages. I couldn't help but relate to this girl. Laura would talk about Pa chopping wood for the fire as I'd go throw another log on our own woodburning stove. In a weird way, I felt like I was making a new friend every time I picked up a book. And now reading is that faithful companion I carry with me still today.

But Shirley's legacy doesn't end with just me. My brother Lee shared with me that his daughter Madison, has turned into a book lover as well. He said he goes in search of her sometimes in the house and finds her sprawled across her bed, reading, and can't help but think of all the times he watched me do the same when we were young.

Madison has recently discovered Judy Blume, and that in itself speaks volumes to me. I know a whole new world is opening to her as well. So when Madison came for my father's birthday, I gave her a few books. I gave her a "tame" version of a Judy Blume, and her first Little House on the Prairie book, with a promise for the rest of the series if she continues to enjoy them. And I told her I was passing onto her what someone had once passed on to me. Its a bit of my legacy and I am all too thrilled to start encouraging that same love in a seed already planted in the next generation of book lovers.

So how about you? A Robin always asks... are you living your legacy each day? What seeds of yours will get planted and flourish?


  1. A love for reading is a wonderful legacy to pass on! My oldest, Destiny, has recently discovered a love for reading and often disappears into her room with a book. She goes into this "zone" and doesn't even answer when I call her name. Makes me smile because I'm just like that when I read. The house could fall in on me and I wouldn't even notice!

  2. What a great legacy to pass on to a young one...the love of books and a whole world! Sometimes, we're not aware of the little things that inspire us...those little gifts of wisdom given to others. I'm not sure what my legacy is or what I may have given to my children or others. Isn't that the joy? Watching and giving little pieces.
    Happy weekend, Vicky!

  3. Vicky: That's a legacy I, too, have passed on to my children - and I can see now that they treasure it as much as I did.

    This is a lovely post that reminds us to think more consciously about the legacy we are living and passing on. It is happening every day - we need to be aware and make the most of our opportunities.

  4. I grew up reading Little House books. They are so pure and innocent. They totally inspired me in my play as a child. We would play Little House almost every day in the summer outside. We made things out of grass and twigs and built a tree house ourselves! I was always pa, which is weird, but we always would start with the opening theme from the TV show and we would sing it. Carrie would fall at the end who was played by my sister....ANYWAY my sister bought the series for my daughter and I have been reading On the Banks of Plum Creek at night to her. She loves it and I still do too! What a simpler time. To share that with our children is wonderful!

  5. Ms. Shirley sounds like a wonderful lady...and I'm so happy that she instilled in you a love of reading...and that you have done the same. As the expression goes: There are just too many books and so little time. That is very true. Thank you for a lovely blog. May our legacies be ones that we are proud to call ours.
    Smiles and hugs to you, Vicky.

  6. How lovely to trace your love of reading to one person and one book. I didn't discover those books until I had kids but now we've read and reread them and love them SO MUCH. (My sister gave me, "On The Banks of Plum Creek" when she was in jr. high but I never read it. She wrote in it and it's the SINGLE example I have today of her handwriting. VERY special after I "discovered" the series and knew what it was she wanted me to get out of it.)

    I think I fell in love with "Little Women" when I was nine and that started my happy reading obsession.

    I love your family stories and am also grateful for the people who blessed me and saw me when I was little. Where would I be without them? And they probably have no idea. I'm SO glad you honored this dear lady on your blog. And thanks, Vicky, for ALL your loving support.

  7. Hello, Vicky!!! I like the way she says it, "Living your Legacy." What a wonderful way to express it...We always called it the end-of-life perspective...but this is so much catchier!!!

    It is wonderful the way reading has become a part of your life and legacy!! I love wonderful the way they are weaving their way through your family!!!

    Thanks for reminding me to think about my legacy every day!!! It is so important!!! I am thankful for the legacy that so many have left me. I pray I can do the same. You have inspired me! Love to you and yours, my friend!!! ~Janine XO

  8. Kaleena, what does Destiny like to read? I'm always looking for suggestions if you have any :) Isn't it a good feeling knowing she loves something that can carry her all the way through life!

    Alicia, I think what you said is so true, we don't always know which things someone will remember us for, and sometimes they are such seemingly small things. I wonder what your kids would say?

    Bonnie, yes, that's the point exactly. "Consciously" living :) Well said. So glad to hear another generation of readers is hopefully passing that legacy on yet again.

    Heather, I so want to read it again too :) What a special time to spend with you daughter. So cute how you used to "play" Little House. Pa, I love it!

    Jackie, So true,I am never at a loss for finding something to read :) I just need to keep working on my own two :)

  9. Shirley just tried to leave a comment and it didn't work, so I thought I'd copy her words to me here. She wrote:

    "I read it & made a comment about it but not sure if I did it right or if you got it. Thank you for your kind words .I had no idea that triggered your love for reading Most of my family enjoy reading, especially Clara. Her nose is in a book most of the time...You did a great job in shareing & I thank you."

  10. Hello! I am Shigune Matsui! I have a new blog at please follow and leave a comment if you like!

  11. I hope that each time I do story time at the library I am passing on a passion for learning and reading.
    The craft took a while to assemble. It would be way too long for a group of preschoolers to do by themselves but with a few steps done by an adult it didn't take long to do. I have a group of about 10-12 preschoolers.

  12. What a beautiful legacy for children to embrace and share! I always hope that my kids will share my love for reading and my thirst for information. I think that it would be terrific if they wanted to be lifelong learners like me. I always tell them that human beings need to grow and push themselves into new learning challenges and opportunities.

  13. I love reading and I remember falling in love with Judy Blume!
    I feel that I plant seeds everyday with the children that I work with! It is always a blessing to run into a child that I worked with years ago and hear about their success. Especially, when they sometimes mention that I helped in some way!

  14. You are such a sweetie...
    A love for reading is so powerful! Those of us who have it, I've noticed, are usually passionate about it. I think passing that on is such a precious gift. My Gramma taught me to read with her poetry books,(which I now have) I remember thrilling with the lyrical rhythm as she pointed to and read each word.
    I've been fascinated with words ever since.
    Once more Vicky, I'm marveling at the connection I feel with you. You're a precious friend to me.

  15. It's nice to see how one persons legacy can transfer into someone else's. If Shirley had not been such a wonderful influence to you and your love for books then things may have been a little different. Now you're setting that wonderful example for your niece. Having a great role model makes all the difference in the kind of legacy we will live. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family.

  16. Gosh, I've never really thought about it this way, but I will have to put some thought into it now.

    I love that you passed on the book, it's a really special moment.


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