As a kid, I wanted to grow up and live on a farm. We lived in a New Hampshire village and spent a few summers driving west and camping from Wyoming to southern New Mexico. National Forest camping was cheap in those days — a dollar or two per night — and we cooked over the Coleman stove and slept in tents. My parents were frugal. They didn’t rent motel rooms, hardly ever bought a cup of coffee, and generally operated on the rule of don’t spend (a learned lifeskill I remain grateful for). My father bent that rule in a Boulder, CO, bookstore when the reading material we’d packed in our green Jeep needed an infusion.
The summer I was ten or so I read Huck Finn and Norma Fox Mazer’s I, Trissy over and over. In retrospect, the books were a good pair for a kid.
Last night just after dark, I walked out to the herb patch for a handful of mint to brew tea. After a long day of high heat and the evening’s dew, the world smelled sweet, alive. I had mowed the lawn in the late afternoon, and I breathed in freshly cut grass.
What was it I had wanted when I dreamed of living on a farm? To be outside as much as possible, to put my hands in the dirt, and to see where the sky meet the horizon. Three things I achieved in one Friday, if little else.
That adolescent me, the girl who was, as I remember her, insecure, unsure, dreaming, yearning, longing, that girl who was hard on herself, who was cowardly and brave, who was confused and determined-that girl who was me-still exists. I call on her when I write. I am the me of today-the person who has become a woman, a mother, a writer. Yet I am the me of all those other days as well. I believe in the reality of that past.— Norma Fox Mazer
5 thoughts on “Norma Fox Mazer & Mark Twain.”
If only our government would learn the rules of your parents! There used to be a commercial with the slogan: We make money the old-fashioned way, we EARN it.” Right, first you earn it, then you think carefully about how you spend it….old fashioned ideas in an era of financialization that ensures a never-ending stream of debt-slaves and people with investments they don’t understand.
I totally agree with avoiding debt. This does not, I’ll note, appear to be the current American way….
Huck Finn I know and love. I, Trissy, I will look out for. Thank you.
I read a lot of Norma Mazer as a kid. In those decades, I was a great fan.
Though I’m from the Philippines, I have watched Huck Finn animation and know of Mark Twain. 😉