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Let’s Cook: All you need is reading

By Staff | Aug 26, 2016

This week marks the start of school in Minot and area schools. Summer allowed our family time for relaxing, biking riding, badminton, North Dakota State Fair, gardening, Minot State Summer Theater and trips to the farm. Most parents would agree that a child is the product of his or her life experiences. This is certainly true with our daughter Lydia.

Even though summer is a time for relaxing, the reading skills that Lydia has learned at school take no break in the summer. Reading, without a doubt, has been and continues to be the product which has a great impact our life experiences. Mysteries, Harry Potter books, and biographies continue to be at the top of Lydia’s reading list. She also has a real passion for reading the contents and usage instructions of household products as well as where they are produced. That so reminds me of myself as I strolled the aisle of Radke’s Fairway and checked out the spice line, dish soaps, and so much more. My threshold for letting Lydia do this is as high as the North Dakota State Capitol. I see myself in her and realize that this involvement are home, community, national and internationally centered. Many of her current reading interests come from her curiosity in wondering about products we can purchase as consumers.

Jan capitalized on this with Lydia when she encouraged her to enter the Consumer Choices Judging Team with the Ward County 4-H. Ellen Bjelland, Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent for Ward County, advised the team and the reading began! We learned many things in our house about fishing rods, running shoes, and breakfast cereals before the competition at the ND State Fair. Not to mention that these lessons will lead to desirable choices from them as young consumers and give them a good anchor for the responsibility that comes this being an adult consumer.

As a child, reading was my world. Like Lydia, mysteries were at the top of my list. I read not only all the Hardy Boys, but every Nancy Drew I could get my hands on. After all, the details in “Mystery at the Lilac Inn” still remain as a bright jewel. Next came Encyclopedia Brown, featuring detective Leroy Brown. These stories were as refreshing as a lime cooler on a hot day.

My latest passion has been vintage movie stars and the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Where do you like to read? My oldest brother, Tom, was a tremendous reader. He read all the time and encouraged me to read, as well. Our first step in reading was to check out the inside cover paintings, remember those gems? Our home in Underwood, at one time, had a glassed-in front porch with windows on all three sides. This was a favorite respite of ours. The top perch was an old mission oak rocker–one of few pieces of furniture salvaged from a house fire at Grandpa and Grandma Repnow’s farm home. The porch windows leaked, the floor sloped, and from time to time, spiders thought of my grandmother’s old kitchen cupboard–painted bright orange–as their penthouse.

One summer, Mom and I redid the porch to the delight of the spiders. We replaced the woven birch curtains with bright orange shades and half curtains, the wall were white washed and spider plants made the place look like a jungle. Color and atmosphere are not essential for finding a reading nook, but they added so much, without the calories.

Recently Lydia and I were at the capitol in Bismarck with our nephew, Tanner. Our first visit was to the North Dakota Hall of Fame, and I will admit, they were not exercising too much excitement when I suggested their reading should include all of these folks. One of my favorites there is Dorothy Stickney, former Broadway actress. In time, acted in movies as well , “The Catered Affair” with Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine.,and where Stickney played the lovely, Mrs. Rafferty. The seed has now been planted with Lydia and Tanner, and in time they may hook up with Turner Classic Movies and realize some of the stars have North Dakota roots.

Reading in special places is another pleasure. For example, when I lived in Massachusetts I took several afternoons to read at the John F. Kennedy Library. Another great place was the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where the top floor of the library gives a wonderful view of the campus–equally as delightful has been the Minot Pubic Library and let us not forget the new Ward County Library. On my list is to read for an afternoon at the top of the State Capitol while nestled into one of those vintage wicker chairs.

Yes, reading lets us explore our passions, gives us the chance to be a hospitality committee of one or more to greet a new subject, and it even allows us to read to others–including dolls. This was the case in our home when Lydia recently return from Camp Metigoshe. She discovered in her bedroom the latest copy of Harry Potter–being enjoyed by her dolls.

Reinventing where you read can add a great dimension to this life-long pleasure. Volunteering at nursing homes and schools to read will put a smile on your face. Yes, reading gives all of us the chance to all be winners-just like the medalists in the summer Olympics in Rio.

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