Missionary Tales

31 Days of Vintage E-Books

Missionary Tales

Vintage e-books

Many and varied are those who have worked to spread the Gospel around the world, and their stories can still inspire us today.  Many of these names are well-known today, many are not.  But the work they did will last for eternity.

These works are valuable not only for their rich spiritual food, but also for the geographical and cultural information they contain.  Missionaries were often explorers as well, going into new and dangerous places and keeping records of the cultural practices they observed.

Book of Missionary Heroes,
by Basil Matthews

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Pioneers and Founders,
by Charlotte Yonge

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Things as They Are : Mission Work in Southern India
by Amy Carmichael

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa
by David Livingstone

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

The Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa

Volume 1

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Volume 2

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone’s Expedition to the Zambesi
by David Livingstone

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

How I Found Livingstone
by Henry M. Stanley

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

The Personal Life of David Livingstone
by William Garden Blaikie

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

White Queen of the Cannibals: the story of Mary Slessor
by A. J. Bueltmann

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary
by W. P. Livingstone

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

A Retrospect
by James Hudson Taylor

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

A Narrative of Some of the Lord’s Dealing with George Muller
by George Muller
Part 1

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version: Not Available

Part 2

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Part 3

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Part 4

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Answers to Prayer
by George Muller

Project Gutenberg Page

Preaching Tours and Missionary Labors of George Muller
by Mrs. Muller

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

George Muller of Bristol and His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God
by Arthur T. Pierson

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Adventures in New Guinea
by James Chalmers

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

An Inquiry Into the Obligations of Christians
by William Carey

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Life of William Carey
by George Smith

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

How I Know God Answers Prayer
by Rosalind Goforth

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

The Bible in Spain
by George Henry Borrow

Volume 1

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Volume 2

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Black-bearded Barbarian
by Mary Esther MacGregor

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier
by T. L. Pennell

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Life and Work in Benares
by James Kennedy

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Henry Martyn, Saint and Scholar: First Modern Missionary to the Mohammedans
by George Smith

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Life of Henry Martyn, Missionary to India and Persia
by Sarah J. Rhea

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Lives of the Three Mrs. Judson’s
by Arabella Stuart

Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Life and Labours of the Rev. Samuel Marsden,
by Samuel Marsden

Project Gutenberg Page

Please notify me of any incorrect or broken links.


Beloved Read-Aloud’s

31 Days of Vintage E-Books

Beloved Read-Alouds

Vintage e-books

These are books we love to read together in our home.    Books we bring out on a rainy day, bedtime stories, and simple tales that the children often read aloud to me.

My Father’s Dragon
by Ruth Stiles Gannet

 Project Gutenberg Page
Kindle Version

Just So Stories
by Rudyard Kipling
Lock and Key Library
by Andrew Lang
50 Famous Stories Retold
by James Baldwin
A Hive of Busy Bees
by Effie Mae Willliams
The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball That Floats in the Air
by Jane Andrews
Uncle Robert’s Geography
by Francis Parker and Nellie Helm
Tales from Shakespeare
Charles and Mary Lamb
 Seven Little Australians
Ethel Sybil Turner

Uncle Wiggly Series
by Howard Roger Garis

Uncle Wiggily in the Woods
Uncle Wiggily ‘s Adventures
Uncle Wiggily’s Travels
Uncle Wiggily and Old Mother Hubbard

Mother West Wind Series
by Thornton W. Burgess

Old Mother West Wind
Mother West Wind’s Children
Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends
Mother West Wind “When” Stories
Kindle Version: Not Available
Mother West Wind “Where” Stories
Mother West Wind “Why” Stories
Mother West Wind “How” Stories

The Adventures of……… Series

by Thornton W. Burgess

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll direct you towards BenandMe.com, where Marcy Crabtree has compiled a list of links to all the Kindle versions.

Dotty Dimple Series
by Sophie May

Dotty Dimple at her Grandmother’s
Dotty Dimple at Home
Dotty Dimple out West
Dotty Dimple at Play
Dotty Dimple’s Flyaway

Five Little Peppers Series
by Margaret Sidney

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Five Little Peppers Midway
Five Little Peppers At School
Five Little Peppers Grown Up
Five Little Peppers Abroad
Five Little Peppers and Their Friends
Ben Pepper
The Adventures of Joel Pepper

31 Days of Vintage E-Books

Earlier this year I loaded e-readers intended as gifts for two very different people. One for a teenage girl who loves fiction and fantasy, and one for a grown man who prefers poetry, philosophy and non-fiction. I managed to place a couple hundred suitable books on each e-reader without any financial cost, but I spent many hours online hunting through the world of public domain books in order to accomplish this. The e-readers were big hits with their recipients, and I had found all the material I needed to supply my readers with 31 Days of Vintage Books.

Vintage e-books

As much as I love the look, smell and feel of a real paper book, I believe that E-readers are one of the world’s greatest inventions.  In a strange twist, the technology of e-readers has made books available to us that would otherwise be lost to age and the ever-advancing march of the entertainment industry. Since devoted volunteers began “saving” vintage books by making them available online, various websites have arisen to make them more accessible. At this time, the sheer number of books now available is overwhelming.  It can often be difficult to know where to find what you’re looking for, and well nigh impossible to comfortably browse.

With 31 Days of Vintage Books, I hope to take some of the mystery out of the world of public domain books.  During the week I will post a variety of free e-books, organized by genre. On the weekends we will discuss websites where public domain books can be found, as well as the best ways to navigate them.

On the 31st day, I hope to unveil a special project which I have been working on for the last 2 years.  Stay tuned!

I hope you’ll join me as we explore the wealth of words that awaits us.

Day 3: Natural History
Day 4: The World of Public Domain Books
Day 6: Poetry for Young People
Day 7: Poetry for Grown-Ups
Day 8: Biographies for Young People
Day 9: Biographies for Grown-ups
Day 10: Autobiographies
Day 11: The World of Public Domain Audio
Day 13: Ancient History and Mythology
Day 14: Fairy tales and Folk tales
Day 15: Adventure Stories, Part 1
Day 16: Adventure Stories, Part 2
Day 17: Historical Fiction
Day 18: Heritage History and Yesterday’s Classics
Day 20: Political works
Day 21: Harvard Classics
Day 22: Presidential Speeches and Writing
Day 23: Travel Stories
Day 24: Diaries and Journals
Day 25: Homeschool Commons and Lit2Go
Day 27: Theological Writings
Day 28: Sunday-School Literature
Day 29: Classics
Day 30: Miscellaneous
Day 31: Project Unveiling!

Saved by the Schedule

Last year I made an interesting discovery: my home runs better on a schedule.  When I am not required to put thought into what happens next, I suddenly have mental energy to devote to what is currently happening.  Our schedule has helped me to become a far more “present” mother.

I would be remiss in not mentioning how much Mystie Winckler’s writing has affected me.  Her words helped to pull me out a very dark place and showed me how managing my home could be done, even by someone who prefers thinking and reading and creating to boring everyday life.  I highly recommend her Rejoicing In Repetition ebook.

Over the next few weeks I’ll posting a bit about how our day works.  I have no reason other than the fact that it was similar posts that helped me to find the equilibrium for my own home.  It has taken me over a year to figure out the rhythm of our lives, and how to be flexible where it matters. Even now, with the current schedule having been in place for months, the details of it are still a work in progress.  Maybe I’ll get it all figured out before it changes again, maybe not.  But in the mean time, I am able to bring an increased measure of peace and productivity to our home.

Before I go on, I think I should mention two things about my attitude towards schedules, because I think they make a difference.  The very reasons that I find a detailed schedule makes our home more peaceful might make such a schedule a great burden to some with more perfectionist tendencies.

First, our schedule is always Plan B.  The schedule tells us what must be done if we don’t have a better idea.  The trick was to schedule the necessary events so that only a unusual opportunity would become more important than the schedule.

Secondly, I feel no personal compulsion to accomplish everything on my list each day.  The schedule works well to keep me from wandering aimlessly from room to room, trying to choose the most important task to tackle.  It keeps me from spending three days organizing one room while the rest of the house falls apart around me.  It spreads out my labor so that everything gets a bit of attention, which is not a talent that comes naturally to my project-oriented self.  But it does not cause me a moment’s distress if I missed a chore time, dinner was late, or nobody got to bed on time.  It is an ideal to strive for, not a set of rules to follow.

With all of that out of the way, here is a glimpse of what our day holds.  In the day’s ahead I’ll talk a little more about what happens during each component of our day.  There is a copy of this in my Circle Time Binder and a copy of it on the refrigerator for the children to access.

Daily Routine

5:30 – 6:00 Morning Routine

6:00 – 7:00 Chores, Kid-Free Projects

7:00 – 7:30 Children up, Dressed

7:30 – 8:00 Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 Morning Chores

8:30 – 9:00 Circle Time

9:00 – 11:30 Schoolwork

11:30 – 12:00 Lunch

12:00 – 12:30 Afternoon Chores

12:30 – 1:30 Quiet time, Computer Work

1:30 – 4:30 Tackle To-Do List, Dinner Prep

4:30 – 5:00 Dinner

5:00 – 5:30 Dinner Clean-up

5:30 – 6:00 Evening Chores

6:00 – 7:00 Free Time

7:00 – 7:45 Book Time

7:45 – 8:00 Snack

8:00 – 9:00 Bedtime

9:00 – 9:30 Read, Relax


“Let It Go” is not the end of the story

Frozen was not what I expected.  I loved it, yet it depressed me.  From the beginning of the film I felt an incredible empathy with Elsa and her struggles.  During “Let It Go” I hid my face behind my daughter and wept where no one could see, but I wanted to lift my arms and shed my cape and belt out each word along with Elsa. The frozen wasteland, the rising storm and the fierce joy she found in her isolation all echoed her soul’s cry in a poignant way as she rejected her wounded relationships and embraced her talent at last.

The rest of the movie passed in a blur, and the conclusion found me restless and dissatisfied.   Not because it was a bad ending; I loved the ending. But the ending had happened for Elsa, not me.  I still felt as if my heart was up in my ice castle brewing a storm that could harm everyone I cared about.  I was still shouting “Let It Go!” while Elsa was back to singing happy songs and utilizing her talent to benefit her loved ones.

Others may relate to Anna, or Olaf, or even Sven. For me, Frozen was all about Elsa, a woman learning to cope with a talent that seemed to have little value to those she loved.  Let it Go was the cry of her soul, but it was not the solution to her problem.

Elsa is in that lonely position of being talented in a direction that seems at best useless and at worst damaging to others. When she denied her talent it resulted in isolation, in loss of self and an inability to function in basic ways.  When she embraced her gift and rejected those who did not understand, it still resulted in isolation and her gift began to consume her.   Neither path brought happiness or fulfillment.

As the creative mother of young children, both feelings are ones I know well.  My abilities, from writing to crafting to identifying woodland plants, are not abilities that lend themselves to the daily practicality of life.  For many years I have vacillated between ignoring my creative talent as I strive to achieve order in my home and recklessly creating at the expense of those dependent upon me.  I might not pick up a book for months, because books make me need to write. Then  I suddenly find myself reading and writing while meals are skipped and clothes pile up.

 As spring comes on I feel once more the overwhelming urge to read and write, to run through the woods and explore the lake and crochet tiny bits of elegant lace that will never be used in my messy home, and to stop caring about the state of my house.  Frozen was a timely movie that reminded me there is a balance between denying talent and denying responsibility.

Elsa and I are not the first folks to be caught in the age-old struggle of deciding how to control our talents without rejecting them.  Jesus taught a parable on this subject in Matthew 25.

The thing about talent is that if we hide it away, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.  But if we let it run rampant, others don’t know what to do with us. This doesn’t just apply to creative folks, either.  It applies to gifted children, to efficient people, to empathetic listeners and introverts and extroverts and cooks and hunters and pretty much any area anyone is extraordinarily talented in.

Eventually Elsa’s family did appreciate her gift, but only once she could control it.  Our gifts can (and do) cause pain to others unless we bridle them.  It was not her grand palace of ice that endured but rather her rough little snowman; hardly a masterpiece but born from both her talent and her love.

If you are one of those folks who is so sick of hearing Let It Go that you are inspired to create hilarious songs like this one, it would be wise to ask yourself why your loved ones enjoy this song.  Is it merely because of the catchy tune, or is it because they feel the echo of the words and understand the wild joy that comes from finally using a long-suppressed gift? Do they have a talent they have set aside in order to love you?

If you are one who relates deeply to Elsa and longs to “Let It Go” right along with her, remember that this song, this feeling, this wild release of talent that only benefits self, was not the answer.

To control a gift while embracing it, to find productive outlets for creativity, is what Elsa represents.  She represents hope for those talents we have locked away down inside because those we love see no use for them.


America the Beautiful

While choosing memory work for the children, My Man discovered that the version of America the Beautiful which we know was not the original poem.

The first four lines of each verse are much the same today as in the original, but the ends of each verse have been significantly altered. For instance,

Verse 3, popular version

America! America!
May God thy gold refine;
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

Verse 3, 1893 version

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!

We’ve decided to memorize the 1893 version, as we think the ideals it portrays are better.  You can see the full text of both version at the Wikipedia page.


In the Cool of the Day

Genesis 3:8

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

One of the sweetest things about creation is the way nature can connect what our eyes see to what our soul feels, and then our mind understands.  Such a moment occurred for me on our nature hike this past week.

There is a deep ravine that runs in a semicircle away from the pipe under the road: a long curve of clay and sand that stretches far overhead.  To the left there is sun-burnt vines and tangled weeds and harsh gravel that stretches out to meet the road.  I step down, half sliding and half tumbling to reach the sand below.  Suddenly the steep wall shrouds me in shadow and the day is cool and still.  I hear the faint voices of the children as they dash through the storm pipe and search for crawdads. I know that they are just around the bend a few yards away, but tucked into this sheltered nook I can barely hear their voices.

The Quiet place, beyond which the children frolic merrily.

The Quiet place, beyond which the children frolic merrily.

The wall reaches far overhead, dwarfing me beneath it. I feel an unfamiliar peace stealing over me, a restful coolness that starts in my soul and migrates outwards.  It has been so long since I felt this. His presence has been far from me for many months, my faith shaken to the core and my own actions often less than admirable.  I have studied the Bible but avoided prayer, not knowing how to approach Him in my current state of doubt.  I have been hiding from Him, and since I would not come to Him He has come to me. Here in the shadow of my great sand wall I am forced to face Him and admit to what I am: a fallen human who needs His help.  I feel the touch of His presence and weep.  How I have missed this, the feel of Him close by!  A child screeches in the distance.  I am unsure if it is with terror or delight, so I continue on around the bend to join in their play, knowing I will return for a picture so I can remember this moment.

This is the essence of Nature Study: being unable to escape the reality of God.

Eehhmm.  Emotional moment over.  Rosie is deeply fascinated by the various types of moss, and in the process of photographing her finds I discovered that my 4-year-old camera possesses a setting for “Taking close-up photos in bright light.”  Who knew?  So I played around with that a little.


Things are happening in the woods.  New growth is stretching from the soil and reaching towards the sky, grass is blooming and dogwoods are preparing to burst forth in all their glory.  It makes me wonder about miracles.  Is a miracle big or is it small? Is it out of the ordinary or everyday?  Can it be both?  Can a miracle be explained?  If it is explained, is it still a miracle?

Growing Things

Last but not least, the rocks that face west have developed this tough green growth during the winter.  Further investigation is called for.


I love our rocky hillsides.  I wouldn’t ever trade them for pasture land.  Thankfully, the goats don’t mind.  :)


Ask Mr. Bear

Zorro has been very slow about learning to read.  Part of this is because his brain hasn’t fully clicked into reading mode yet, and part of it is because he doesn’t want to exercise the self-discipline required to sit down and pay attention to one thing.  I want him to acquire the discipline without pushing him beyond his ability, so he is required to read out of an “easy reader” book for a 5 minutes each day.   He also possesses a rapid memory that allows him to memorize these books with rapidity, so I am always excited about a new book I can add to our rotation.

Alas, quality Easy Readers are very hard to find.  Most of the ones at our local library are mind-numbingly dull, tell pointless stories that end in a spoiled child finally being given the object of his desire, and often feature popular TV icons that possess no fascination off screen. Where are the stories with simple words and rich thoughts?


I found such a book in Ask Mr. Bear. Ask Mr. Bear is written by the great Marjorie Flack, who wrote the Story About Ping and the Angus books.

Though the words are simple and repetitive, the tale is a worthy one. A young boy is searching for a gift for his mother, and visits the various animals in the barnyard on his way.  What manners he has!  No rudeness from young Danny.  As each animal suggests something that his mother already has, Danny always remembers to say “Thank you!” before explaining why his search must continue.  As for the animals, they are not in the least bit miffed that their offerings are rejected, but rather they all band together to help Danny solve his dilemma.

The solution they discover is one that requires little Danny to leave the safety of the farmyard and go on a journey, leaving his friends behind.  Danny gladly makes the trip, still wholly focused on giving his mother a special gift.  In a talented display of artistic talent, Marjorie Flack uses a few short pages to pull us out of the sun drenched fields and into the dark woods along with the pint-sized hero.


The change from warm fields to mossy woods is a masterful use of color and shadow.

In the end, Danny’s search pays off and he finds the perfect gift.  Thanks to Marjorie Flack’s story-telling ability, I am left with an early reader that fascinates and motivates without overwhelming.  This book is a gem.


A Vision for a Home

I’m not sure when this thought, that I needed to have a vision for my home, first started to blossom in my mind.  Perhaps in a way I always knew it.  But several months ago I was feeling crushed under the weight of it all.  Never very industrious, I found myself working from dawn until dusk and collapsing into bed exhausted each night.  Yet nothing was changing.  Not only that, the state of things in and around my home seemed to be steadily deteriorating in spite of my best efforts. I needed a vision.

It has taken a bit of time to find my sense of direction.  After all, I was trying to change the way I thought.  It wasn’t enough to build new habits, I had to build a new attitude and I wasn’t sure where to start.  Some women told me to remember that loving my children was more important than cleaning.  Yet I had to admit that our home was getting in the way of loving my children, not the other way around.  If I wanted to care for them adequately I had to do better, not let things slide.  Reading organizational blogs did no good.  Any time I tried to organize the house would be in chaos for weeks before I got us back on track.  I am terrified of having visitors, yet reluctant to leave the house because I have so much that needs done.  I hated my home and yet I could not leave it.

My study of Charlotte Mason and her educational philosophy was the first place I began to realize I could keep house without crushing my soul.  Caring for my home should not define me, but  it needed done before I would be free to pursue other interests.

I began to realize I had been going about it all wrong.  Charlotte Mason tells us “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.”  I was trying so frantically to create a home life that was worth living that I was ignoring the atmosphere and the discipline.  I needed to back down and start over.

Atmosphere.  This would be my starting point.

So I struggled on, trying to cope with pregnancy and summer and homeschooling.  But now I had hope.  I quit fooling myself that things would change in a few weeks, and I came to grips with the idea of achieving goals in a few years.  Because the only thing that happens quickly around small children is chaos, not order.

I began to consciously think about what I really, really wished was different and what didn’t bother me, and I made a few surprising discoveries.

Andrea Dekker reminded me that everyone’s priorities were going to be different, and I needed to discover what mattered to my family.  I have envied her home from time to time, but reading through her list made me realize that all the things that mattered to me did not matter to her.  Therefore, my home would never, ever be like hers.  I realized I was completely okay with that.

I discovered I wanted books and words everywhere.  I wanted time, space and inspiration so I could take a bit of my soul and mix it with the work of my hands and produce something both beautiful and practical.  I wanted animals, both pets and livestock.  I wanted to tend to them well, to reap the fruit of my labors in milk and eggs and companionship.  I wanted to garden, to have flowers around the yard and herbs in pots and giant tomato plants in the vegetable garden. I wanted to serve real food at organized meal times, to harvest the herbs from my woods and use them to treat my family.   These things MATTER to me.  Time to explore the woods, to watch the birds, to pick wildflowers and harvest berries and gather acorns.  Time to read, to soak, to think.  Clean surfaces: tables, floors, countertops, beds.  No piles of laundry.

In the evenings I would look at the pile of laundry on the couch, the children playing rowdily on the kitchen floor and occasionally jumping off their beds, and My Man on the computer as I cooked a late dinner. The children would be herded and scolded through their showers as I cleaned up from dinner, and those children who weren’t showering would be aimlessly wondering about the house pestering each other.  Far too late, with tempers frayed and everyone worked up, the children would be laid down and I would either try to finish cleaning up from dinner or I would collapse hopelessly on the pile of toys and blankets and dirt that was my living room floor and watch TV and pretend I didn’t care.  I hated every minute of our evening routine: why should I assume it was any better for anyone else?  I wanted dinner ready when My Man came home, I wanted places to sit in the evenings, I wanted everyone to pitch in and clean up from dinner, and then I wanted to read aloud, to talk, to sing and build and sew quietly, all together as a family.  We needed a time of peace before bed, and I had no idea how to achieve it.

What doesn’t matter?  A well-decorated home. Lots of clothing choices.  Eating out.  Landscaping.  (Big difference in gardening and landscaping.)  Keeping up with my favorite TV shows.  Coordinated furniture.  Crayon-free walls.  Sheets that match.

The ceiling in our LR that is nothing more than drywall 3 years after it was put in?  Nope, doesn’t bother me at all.  The crayon marks all over the wall of the kid’s room?  Not worth painting over.   What did bother me was books out of place, projects on my sewing table that I never sat down and sewed on, or the clutter that spread from so many surfaces in our tiny home, constantly shifted from place to place.

One day I ran across Auntie Leila’s great question:  Do you know what’s for dinner?  Is your laundry under control?

Um, No.

Finally, I had my place to start.

I have a long ways to go before I achieve my goal of clean surfaces.  But it feels good to realize what it is I’m attempting to accomplish, and to have a definite plan of attack.  Story time is happening daily.  The majority of evenings are peaceful.  The big yard sale we’re having next week should help with the surface clutter.  Time marches on.


Embracing Opportunities

…….For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I know both how to be abased, and how to abound; every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Philippians 4: 11-12


I have never thought of myself as a discontented person by nature, but in my headlong rush to raise super-kids I began to focus on all the things I wasn’t able to do with them.  The museums I didn’t take them to, the educational activities I never did, the handmade toys I never made them, the workbook pages we never filled out, the dollhouse I never built, the trips we didn’t take.  My question each morning had become “How can I fit in more?”


A visit from a fellow AO mom  shook me out of my discontented focus.  I had listened with envy as she described their current life, in which extensive traveling and lots of museums featured prominently.  But as we watched our children examining  a mud-turtle in an aquarium stuffed under a tree, she made a brief comment about how I never needed to worry about fitting Nature Study into my day.  With that single innocuous comment she triggered a shift in my focus, and I am learning to embrace the opportunities our life presents rather than fret about the opportunities I don’t have.


There’s a lot of things my children won’t do that I thought should be part of any childhood.

  • Visit art museums
  • Go shopping at actual stores (It’s all Walmart and Amazon here….)
  • Know what a dump truck is
  • Walk through Longwood Gardens
  • Watch The Scarlet Pimpernel with their aunts
  • Identify various types of cars, trucks and random machinery
  • Visit historic battlefields
  • Living History events
  • Picnics at Valley Forge Park
  • Bike Rides at Hagley Museum
  • Get excited about taking the “back roads”
  • Walk to the post office
  • Earn money by shoveling driveways and mowing lawns for the neighbors
  • Attend local concerts in the summer


But while it’s wise to be aware of these gaps in their life experience, it’s also wise to be aware of all the things they can do in spite of little effort on my part.

  • Watch animals give birth
  • See wild birds building nests
  • Identify every type of turtle found in our locale
  • Have a clear view of ever so many stars at night
  • Walk around the pond and tell what animals have been visiting
  • Spend lengthy amounts of time alone in the woods
  • Identify different types of plants, their edibility and medicinal uses
  • Acquire vast bug collections
  • Understand which bugs are beneficial and which are harmful
  • Track gopher trails through th woods
  • Run as far as they can, shout as loud as they like
  • Witness eggs hatching
  • Sleep in the tree house
  • Stuff themselves on garden veggies whenever lunch is late
  • Explore the world of nature to their hearts content


What unique learning opportunities does your life offer?  Have you learned to embrace them yet?