Miss Rumphius


Today is my birthday.  My brain has been too fragmented and confused to write postings these past few weeks.  But I had already started a post for my birthday about my all time favorite book – Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

There’s no specific reason I love this book but a combination of things.  The main character works in a library, loves gardens, and travels to far away places… all things I have enjoyed.  Though she traveled more than I… and the places were more exotic.  Below is an excerpt from the book.

In the evening Alice sat on her grandfather’s knee and listened to his stories of faraway place.  When he had finished, Alice would say, “When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea.”

“That is all very well, little Alice,” said her grandfather, “but there is a third thing you must do”

“What is that?” asked Alice.

“You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” said her grandfather.

It takes Alice (Miss Rumphius) many years to reach that goal.  It’s not something she planned.  The idea for the beauty she spread was a result of being infirm in her bed for a year.  While in bed she wasn’t able to plant flower seeds.  The wind and birds removed the seeds off her dying flower stalks. New clumps formed over the hill.   One day Miss Rumphius felt well enough to take a hike.  When she saw the flowers blooming, she realized how she could make the world more beautiful.

From that point on she was known as the Lupine Lady, buying seeds and sowing them about the countryside.  Some people called her “That Crazy Old Lady”

I am getting older but still unsure what I will do to make the world more beautiful.  I have a feeling whatever I do to make the world more beautiful may be a little eccentric and I may be called “That Crazy Old Lady” too.

Actually, I have one idea.  Going around to friends and neighbor’s homes on a set schedule to change out the batteries in their smoke detectors so they never have to experience the beeping, talking “change battery” sound in the middle of the night. (Yes this happened to me twice in the past 3 weeks)

Like Miss Rumphius, I got my idea as a result of being ill.  Just need to build my strength before climbing ladders.  Let me know if you want to be put on the schedule.  Actually, I am not sure about the beauty it will give.  Unless less cussing makes the world more beautiful.  Low battery sounds and cussing go hand in hand, especially in the middle of the night.

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