Friday, November 10, 2006

Donuts & Wardrobes

Yesterday my children got their Krispy Kremes - I mean report cards. Thankfully no surprises there. They generally got donuts- no, no, they got good grades. Yesterday. Today we got donuts: every A (or "plus" for lower elementary) equals a free original glazed donut, up to 6 per child; although today the cashier was being stingy and gave us only 6 total instead of 12 - for my 2 girls. I didn't quibble. It was enough for the four of us. And I bought a coffee so I wouldn't seem as much of a mooch (guilt, guilt, guilt).

After an enjoyable visit with the second grade and kindergarten teachers (yay!), we met my husband for lunch and then took a small "field trip". We've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia as a family. Just started our second time through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (first time for my 5 and 3-year old). My husband reads us questions and comments from the family guide to the series called Roar (which I highly recommend). It mentioned that the real wardrobe is in Wheaton, Illinois. Just north of Naperville. So guess what we went to see?

It was pretty cool, actually. The Wade Center at Wheaton College has a whole collection of C.S. Lewis' possessions, including his writing desk and the wardrobe that his grandfather built and hand carved. The girls had fun looking into the wardrobe (which actually had fur coats hanging in it). Tolkien fans would appreciate the Center too. It houses writings and other materials from a total of seven Christian authors, some contemporaries and friends of Lewis, and others that figured into his writing (okay, I can't remember for sure how they all fit together, but it was something along those lines). Let's see how many names I can remember: Dorothy Sayers, George MacDonald, Owen Barfield, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and... the other name escapes me. You can probably guess, if you're familiar with any of these writers, that my children lost interest after they saw all the Lewis and Narnia-related objects.

Seeing the writings of these great authors to and about one another, and reading a little about the writers group they formed together, really inspired me. Writing is such an isolated act. But working in community with other writers can make a huge difference. I know I've appreciated the times I've gotten to meet and share with writer friends. It's the whole "iron sharpening iron" concept in the context of the craft of writing. So, to my writers group friends: it's been too long. Let's get together soon.

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