Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remember Whensday: Sunday Evening Stories

Sunday evening was story time with Dad when we were all quite young. This picture was taken in 1965 when I was ten and my baby brother was five months old. Dad is reading from the book, The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes and to this day it is a favourite Bible story book because of my fond memories of these times. The text was very simple but Dad would embellish the stories in a dramatic fashion. We would beg him to "read" one more story and then another. I was so happy to find this slide in my dad's collection of pictures, a photograph my mother must have taken. Mom also read to us at noon hour after we finished lunch. We went through classic books and many favourites from her childhood collection. All five of us are still avid readers.

I read to our girls every night before they went to bed and they have kept several of the books which were their favourites. The Becka could recite every word in Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child even before she understood what the words meant. When our daughters went to bed they were allowed to leave their lights on as long as they wanted if they were reading. We never had a problem with them going to bed and they never had difficulties with reading at school.

Of course they heard the same stories my father read from our copy of the Bible story book I enjoyed as a child. Some things are important to pass down from generation to generation.


  1. Ruth, this is a wonderful memory and how wonderful to have passed on this family tradition of reading. My Mom read to me sometimes before bed, like Black Beuty and My Friend Flica. I started reading young and tackled the Nancy Drew series, which a cousin owned. I read to my kids too. Great post. I'll bet you're having fun going thru your Dad's old slides.

  2. Reading is so important.I used to read to our son every night as well.

  3. This is a wonderful post. Books were always a part of my childhood and I read to my son when he was little. Each Saturday we would go to the library for new books. He still reads alot and so do I!

  4. Those early exposures are critical for establishing a foundation and love of reading. I love to read as well and attribute it to my father making sure it was a priority for us as well. What a wonderful photo Ruth. :c)

  5. Ruth, this post touched my heart. What a wonderful legacy your father and mother gave you, both literary and spiritual. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Ruth,

    This is an awesome post. I wish more parents and grandparents would read to their kids. And that photo of your father reading to you. What a precious memory.

    I read to Michelle every night when she went to bed. When she was older, she always read before bed and I still do to this day. Michelle is also an avid reader.

    We read to the boys and though they don't read as much as we do (video games) they both enjoy books.

    Grandma gave me a book every year for Christmas and my birthday. Nancy Drew books were always welcome in those days.

    Thanks for the memories, my friend. Speaking of books, if you have time, drop by and see what I received in the mail.


  7. ost. Reading opens such a wide world to children (and adults) and it is so important to foster this world by reading to children. I envy your children being allowed to read until sleepy, - I did a lot of flashlight-under-the-cover business, but that was long ago and our own children didn't have the same lights-out rule.

  8. What a wonderful photo and memory. That picture is a story in itself. I can almost hear your dad's words and the silence from his children as they are all listening so intensely. What a great way to spend time with his children.
    I'm sure that it is a fond memory for your dad as well as all his children. Don't only was he teaching you the importance of reading, but the quality of family time together.
    I'm really enjoying the slides from your childhood.

  9. "Down by the great grey green greasy Limpopo River"--not sure if that's exactly right, but I LOVE "The Elephant's Child."

    What a precious photo--such memories. And what good parents. I am thoroughly convinced that reading to children is one of the keys to them growing up just right!

  10. Mexico Mom1:52 pm GMT-4

    I think Phiilip, Dad and I were all speechless when we read your blog. What wonderful memories you are returning to us. I don't recall that particular picture but I want to get an enlarged copy to frame when in Canada. A thanksgiving memory.

  11. Ruth,

    I finally posted the photo of the woodpecker. I wonder if you know what kind it is. It isn't a great photo, but the best I could get.

  12. Reading and the love of reading opens up all kinds of opportunities for children and adults. Imagine the closeness you all experienced while listening to your dad "read" (and embellish) the stories. I always enjoyed reading as a child, and I always took the time to read to my kids when they were very young. I also took them to the public library for story time there, and then came home with more books to read to them. They are both avid readers to this day and you can imagine the different "worlds" that have opened up to them because they enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing your memories, Ruth. They brought back a few of my own as well.


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