My current bedtime reading is ‘Leaving Home’ (1987) by Garrison Keillor, who wisely said “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted. We know that as we remember some gift given to us long ago. Suddenly it’s 1951, I’m nine years old, in the bow of a green wooden rowboat, rocking on Lake Wobegon. It’s five o’clock in the morning, dark; I’m shivering; mist comes up off the water, the smell of lake and weeds and Uncle Al’s coffee as he puts a worm on my hook and whispers what to do when the big one bites. I lower my worm slowly into the dark water and brace my feet against the bow and wait for the immense fish to strike.
Thousands of gifts, continually returning to us. Uncle Al thought he was taking his nephew fishing, but
he made a permanent work of art in my head, a dark morning in the mist, the coffee, the boat rocking, whispering, shivering, waiting for the big one. Still waiting. Still shivering.”
(Excerpt from Keillor’s Lake Wobegon short story ‘Easter’.)
I didn’t listen to all the “News From Lake Wobegon‘ broadcasts, so many of the stories in this book are new to me. (It has taken me a very long time to pull this book off my shelf!) I even thought I must have already read it……..The mix of fictional places and events is peppered with actual names that are familiar to me. Keillor’s mix of humor, nostalgia and subtle commentary in the Lake Wobegon stories bring me back ‘Home’.