Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich

I enjoy this author for the simplicity of her stories and her characters' commentaries on life in general. Here is one of my favorite passages from this title, which I finished today. My favorite memory is the same.

From A Lantern in Her Hand  by Bess Streeter Aldrich

“What memories do you have Grandma?”
“I have many…my little girlhood days when Chicago was a village…the three weeks’ journey from Illinois to Iowa…the fun in the Big Woods behind my sister Janet’s house. I can shut my eyes and smell the dampness and the Mayflowers there. The old log school and then the new white one with the green shutters…my wedding…the trip from Iowa to Nebraska…There are many memories. But I’ll tell you the one I like to think of best of all. It is evening time here in the old house and the supper is cooking and the table is set for the whole family. It hurts a mother, Laura, when the plates begin to be taken away one by one. First there are seven and then six and then five…and on down to a single plate. So I like to think of the table set for the whole family at supper time. The robins are singing in the cottonwoods and the late afternoon sun is shining across the floor. Will, your grandfather is coming in to supper…and the children are all playing out in the yard. I can hear their voices and happy laughter. There isn’t much to that memory is there? Out of a lifetime of experiences you would hardly expect that to be the one I would choose as the happiest, would you? But it is. The supper cooking…the table set for the whole family…the afternoon sun across the floor…the robins singing in the cottonwoods…the children’s merry voices…Will coming in…eventide.”


  1. Oh, I like that. It reminds me to appreciate the little things, like children's laughter coming in the windows.

  2. Have you read the novel, The Stone Angel by Margaret Mitchell....lovely as well