Doris Burn memories
Monday, November 9 2020
I thought I'd have a better experience with caffeine today after returning to it following a two-day absence. But it just felt like a normal Monday, and otherwise the day was very similar to the others we've been having in this string of unseasonably warm November days, perfect ones for defeating a despot, an Ill Douchey if you will. I didn't gather any firewood, though I took a break from my computer this afternoon to stage some more wood from that downed non-skeletonized chestnut oak from yesterday, moving it into a pile nearer the house so I can process it more easily without running into conflict with not-always-friendly absentee landlords. I also did some processing of a small amount of the wood piled up in front of the woodshed, which has been languishing there for months. Since most of that wood isn't dry enough for immediate use, I've begun piling it in a separate pile near the woodshed, unprotected from the elements. Perhaps I'll put a tarp over it at some point.
The use of the word "lupper" to describe the meal Gretchen and I had on Saturday had me looking through my old kids' books, not all of which are here. Some Google searches had tipped me off that the one that taught me that word was entitled The Summerfolk by Doris Burn, which I remember as off-kilter and a bit creepy, right up to and including that word "lupper." The art (consisting of black and white pen drawings) was also memorable and amazing. It turns out The Summerfolk is not here in this house, but Andrew Henry's Meadow and We Were Tired of Living in a House are (the latter was only illustrated by Burn). Looking through these books, seeing some drawings I hadn't seen since I was less than ten years old, brought back some strong memories. A feel like a lot of my interest in tinkering and building odd structures has origins in those books, where kids routinely escape their parents and build villages to suit themselves. These books are now out of print, and a copy of The Summerfolk costs more than $90 on Amazon.com. Doris Burn was an almost perfect contemporary with my father, having been born and died in the same years as him. Like my father, she delighted in living primitively, going so far as to draw her pen illustrations by candlelight.
pages from Andrew Henry's Meadow
pages from We Were Tired of Living in a House
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