I’m spending part of January enthralled with the worlds created by L.M. Montgomery as I have done for the past five years. This year’s selections are the last two of the three Emily books. This quote is from Emily Climbs, and it’s exemplary of what I love best about Montgomery’s stories. It’s Emily’s response in her “Jimmy-book” (journal) to overhearing an uppity Charlottetown woman say that nothing interesting ever happens in sleepy little Blair Water:
“So, Mistress Sawyer, you are vastly mistaken. Besides, apart from all happenings, the folks here are interesting in themselves. I don’t like every one but I find every one interesting–Miss Matty Small, who is forty and wears outrageous colors–she wore an old-rose dress and a scarlet hat to church all last summer–old Uncle Reuben Bascom, who is so lazy that he held an umbrella over himself all one rainy night in bed, when the roof began to leak, rather than get out and move the bed–Elder McCloskey, who thought it wouldn’t do to say ‘pants’ in a story he was telling about a missionary, at prayer-meeting, so always said politely ‘the clothes of his lower parts’–Amasa Derry, who carried off four prizes at the Exhibition last fall, with vegetables he stole from Ronnie Bascom’s field, while Ronnie didn’t get one prize–Jimmy Joe Belle, who came here from Derry Pond yesterday to get some lumber ‘to beeld a henhouse for my leetle dog’–old Luke ELliott, who is such a systematic fiend that he even draws up a schedule of the year on New Year’s day, and charts down all the days he means to get drunk on–and sticks to it: –they’re all interesting and amusing and delightful. (25)
Confession: what caught my attention first about her observations is that obviously in Emily’s mind, forty is o-l-d, as is evidenced by her shock at what Miss Matty Small wore to church all summer. I’ll be forty next month. Sigh.