Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tonight, I'm Gone with the Wind

At the beginning of the summer, I had two books that I really wanted to read. 

Ok, I have a to read list that is extremely long, but these two books I really, really wanted to read. 

They just might be the epitome of Southern American literature.... in my humble opinion, at least.

So, in June, I fell in love (again) with To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout Finch and Jem, honorable Atticus, and Boo Radley... well, they remind you about what family truly is and that sometimes, the good guy does win the war, even if you lose a battle. 

And in July, I'll be reading the best book ever.

I have a funny system of reading books. Because my bookshelf is so overcrowded, at the beginning of the summer, I selected seven books and sat them on my bedside table. As I've read one, I've replaced it.  Last night I finished the book I was reading and told Wallace to select a number between 0-7... and he chose the number that corresponded with Gone with the Wind.  As I picked it up he must have saw the look of love on my face.

"Are you going to read that?" He asked, looking at the size of the book.

Oh, yes. For about the seventh time.

I first read Gone with the Wind in high school.  I can remember pulling the cover over my head as Sherman marched into Atlanta, continuing with bated breath as Scarlett and Melanie traversed through the wilderness, the Yankees just a short distance between them. What would happen? Would they make it to Tara?

And I may have cried a little when Rhett left.  I wanted to shake Scarlett because Ashley just didn't seem like who she should be with, yet she still pined over him.

I've learned a lot from Gone with the Wind.

1. There is no place like home.  Ok, this line is from the Wizard of Oz, but Scarlett takes it serious, too. As she comes upon a war-torn Tara, her heart breaks and mine did, too. Tara was her Father's legacy.  Gerald O'Hara knew that land was the only thing worth fighting for.  Tara became her legacy, and she was willing to fight for it. To defend it. To be courageous even as she faced the enemy.

2. Birthin' a baby can be difficult, especially when the doctor is too busy with Confederate casualties and you have to help deliver a baby that belongs to the man you love... with the help of a whiny teenager. My favorite line of the movie just may be from Prissy: "Ms. Scarlett, I don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies." I repeat it often when talking about nursing specialties, because I have no desire to work OB. 

3. Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Nothing is more desperate than sewing your dress from a set of curtains. And might I add that she looked beautiful in that dress?

4. Tomorrow really is another day. I love Scarlett for many reasons.  I love her because she brings to mind everything that I imagine in the South.  I love her dresses, her pouting, and even though I don't necessarily like her manipulation, she is a better character for it.  She is determined and courageous and willing to fight for what she wants... which isn't necessarily always a great thing. But what I really love about Scarlett is when she decides to procrastinate, because if you know me, you know that I am a true procrastinator. When Scarlett declares, "I'll think about that tomorrow," I want to stand up and cheer. Yes, Scarlett. Tomorrow. 

If you've never read the book and like to read, go buy it now. I'll let you borrow mine when I get done.  I have an old hardback copy in my living room, but it isn't for reading.  I also may have let Kami borrow one, and never gotten it back, but that is ok because I am a true lover of this book and believe that everyone should have their own copy.

And if you compare it to the movie.... well, it's better.  Of course, I always say books are better than the movies.  This is truly one of the only books that I can vividly picture what the author is trying to portray in my mind. 

So, there you have it.  My happiness for the next few days... spent with the gentlemen and ladies of the South. And, perhaps, some who are not gentlemen or ladies...

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