In the nineteenth century, crossing the North American continent became a new adventure and challenge.
Narcissa Whitman was a new woman out there on the plains….
On cool mornings, Narcissa loved galloping sidesaddle ahead of the wagons on her new horse and even briefly losing sight of the party….
‘…I never was so contented and happy before…’
- Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
In a book published in 1952 (in England, of all places) with a story set in 19th-century Michigan, we find a fictional female character discovering, like Narcissa Whitman, the joys and freedom of travel.
If only she could feel like this always! If she never had to go back to the narrow streets of houses and the regulations and proprieties that governed every moment of her life at home! If she could stay on the road! The idea was like a burst of light.
- Elizabeth Howard, Pedlar’s Girl
But there were always those to whom the travelers seemed more like invaders.
So came the winter of Plenty Buffaloes, the one the whites called 1861, the year that saw the Holy Road dark with moving men, many going to the places of the yellow metal, many running away to the mountain diggings to keep out of the war parties the whites seemed to be raising against each other.
- Mari Sandoz, Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas
For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end. …
It’s all a process, steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.- Michelle Obama, Becoming
If you don’t already live in Northport, I hope you’ll find a chance to visit this week before Dog Ears Books closes for the 2020 season. We expect and hope to be back in the spring of 2021 to serve locals and visitors alike, connecting you to books new and old, authors familiar as well as new acquaintances, and to share with you our joy of reading real books.
But we will have a couple of surprises for you in the spring, too -- maybe something you would never expect from us! Because, you see, you never know. That’s what the Artist and I tell each other every day when we wonder what the day will bring, who we might meet along the way, what stories will brighten our hours. And that’s the way I like to keep Books in Northport, too. You never know what I’ll write about next? Neither do I!