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'reading' while driving...

Monday, February 1, 2016
... really means listening while driving, as I always have a talking book available in my car, especially when I plan to be on the road for several hours. The most recent one was a very interesting story about a woman who grew up in the southwest in the late 1800's and into the twentieth century. It was written as a 'true-life novel', by her granddaughter.

Lily's earliest years were spent on a ranch in west Texas, helping her dad in the family business. Her father trained carriage horses, and she worked with him, helping to break the horses and provide the training of paired animals the family raised and sold. As she reached adulthood and wanted employment outside the family, she was hired as a school teacher in the area, working in a small one room building, with students of varying ages., With a limited education (having only finished the eight grade herself) she was none-the-less a dedicated teacher to youngsters of severely limited resources.

As a young adult, wanting to see the world, she moved to Chicago, and worked as a domestic for some years, realizing that more education would be the only way she could improve her circumstances. And over time did eventually get a degree. Working as a housekeeper during the day and going to school in the evenings.

She got married, had two children, and lived a long, full life with her family relocating a number of times in Arizona and New Mexico, as jobs/work situations changed. Often employed as a teacher, and often raising livestock, when her husband would take work as a ranch manager for absentee landowners. The book, written after many hours of talking with her mother and other family members was a marvelous story. And being from the perspective of a female, quite unusual as a retelling of life and experiences in the southwest when those areas were becoming populated by settlers moving from back east. "Half-broke Horses": was well written, and a fascinating tale about American history from the view point of one who lived it.

I will occasionally check out a book or set of CDs that will not grab my attention and cause me to return it without being completely consumed. In recent years, coming to realize there is no 'test', and I will not be expected to give a report to prove I actually completed the assignment. Therefore if the book is not one that holds my interest after a reasonable amount of time, I am more than willing to return it to the library largely unread. With no worries about bringing home a poor grade due to failure to complete my work.

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