“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway
I must agree with Mr Hemingway. From the book drives in elementary school to the first cook book given to me by my cousin Patricia as a kid, that lead to hundreds more through my life; books need to electricity and can be carried any where. Some antique books are like good friends of mine that I turn to over and again.
Paulette Le Pore age nine playing Nanny’s Henry F. Miller piano
I ended up going to college to learn how to teach piano and taught ages 6 to 86 for 20 years and showed kids and adults how to play, learn chord charts, and even taught two children who wore hearing aids using sign language! Nanny gave me her piano many years later and I gave it to my neice Jennifer when my now ex husband gave me the rosewood upright grand I now have as a graduation present from college.
I have about 1000 in my personal library. My mom read to me all the time when I was a small child. I remember her teaching me how to sound out words and my parents always took time out to answer how to sound out a word and congratulated me when I did it right.
The gift of learning, exploration, reading and creativity were awarded in the Le Pore House. We had a Music Room and aside from the music played in there by me on my organ my dad bought me one Christmas, a Rickenbacker guitar for my brother Mike, drums for Bob, an art set for Brenda and an art set for Mom. Mom was the matriarch of the family, the stronghold and who always created peace no matter what was going on. Mom could paint beautiful landscape pictures and figure out how to sew anything she looked at or make anything from a satin rose to a doll dress to go on an antique doll. What she didn’t know how to do, she read how to do it.
She taught me, along with my Nanny- (dad’s mother), how to play piano. When she walked into my world at age nine and came to live with us, I had no idea how she sould change my life and make an impression. Her birthday would have been today, come to think of it.
Mom taught me how to play guitar and sing at nine years old, and cook in the kitchen. The first cook book I got from the book drive at school had me baking a Giant Gingerbread Man. There I was with my book open wide, mom by my side, apron tied in a ribbon “just so” as Mom would say…whipping up my first baked thing. Books fuel ideas and they will never go out of style as some say who hold their IPODS and Kindles and Nooks. I have an IPOD and have many trade books that are handy to carry with me as reference writing & photography books on there. Many books are cheaper via IPOD. But, when I am in my sleepers, laying in bed, if I am not adding new content to one of my web sites, I love picking up a book with a cover and pages. Books are handy for down time, waiting for a bus or whatever. You can pick em’ up and put them away in a second.
When my mom Ramona Lea’s mother Ruby Hart was older I used to buy her the enlarged print Reader’s Digest and she would read every one I would buy in a day or two. God bless her. I wanted to keep her mind active, doing, becoming and enjoying stories instead of just sitting around.
TV is a more passive past time for seniors because they just “sit there”. If you have any family or friends with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, put a book in their hands about something they love- (provided they are able to still read) and let them enjoy. Also, I used to read to my mother when I lived next to her in the large duplex that was sold recently.
Have your loved one read a paragraph and then you, then you accelerate reading from a solitary activity into a family activity.
Written by Paulette Le Pore Motzko
Copyright October 2, 2013
Photographs from Paulette Motzko’s Family Album
Paulette Motzko & Pinterest