Monday, October 05, 2020

A Knock at the Door

We were up in the mountains for a couple of days, staying in a cabin with some family members, including our 12-year old granddaughter.  I was sound asleep in the downstairs bedroom when a loud knock sounded at the door. I sat straight up in bed and nudged the gardener awake. As I remember we were both so tired we went back to sleep as we heard nothing else. (And of course, he thought I was just imagining it.)

The second night I was getting ready for bed when a loud knock sounded again. Knowing our son was still up out in the living room I rushed to fling open the door and ask him what he wanted. He looked up, confused, and said, "What?" No one knocked at your door.

Still wondering the thought came to me that maybe our granddaughter walked in her sleep. I went up to her room and she was still awake so I climbed into her bed and we talked for awhile. I asked her if she had ever sleep walked. "No, but my other grandma also asked me that. In fact you are the third person to ask me." So I began to tell her the story of Heidi, which she has not read (but should) and the mystery of the open door in the city house where Heidi was living with Clara.

That's all it took to take me back to my childhood and one of my two favorite all-time stories: Heidi.

Back at home I looked in our bookshelves for the beloved copy I had read, but found one much, much better, which I had forgotten we had. My great-aunt's 1900 edition. Beautifully bound, with wonderful etchings, I think they would be called.

Of course I read it, enjoying the wonderful story again, this time with the amazing illustrations, and thinking that my great-aunt had read the same copy--and maybe even my mother and her sisters.

Of course the book came up in discussions with my sister and friends. I remembered reading Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children. One friend checked her bookshelves and sure enough she had the two other books, purchased years ago in a London charity shop and loaned them to me. She and her mom began reading Heidi together. 
Then my sister found my mom's childhood copy and began to read the story.

And then my DIL went searching for her childhood copy to read. And my great-aunt's copy went into the hands of my granddaughter, who does not sleep walk, but who I hope will read it.

I've done a little survey of the young girls I know, and quite a few do not know 
about this classic story, which is sad for their sake, in my opinion.

I am now finishing Heidi's Children.
A fun saga midst our Covid-19 days ...

                                            ...  all because of a knock on the door.

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