“Maybe Heaven will be a library. Then I will be able to finish my to-read list.”
“Whadda Ya Reading?”, the monthly book group that meets the 2nd Thursday of the month, lost one of its voracious readers in December. Wiinnifred Ruth (Dehn) Moths, or as we knew her, Freddie, lost her battle with cancer. But even when she could not attend the group, she was still reading and would send along her list with her sister, who would share it with us.
Freddie recently had written an account of her life to be shared with her family. Her sister Bea, also a big reader and part of our group, brought along a few passages this month to share with us. Freddie lived all of her 88 years in Wisconsin. She was born near Sheboygan Falls, just north of Plymouth. She was the oldest of four and attended a one room schoolhouse that had a wood/coal furnace for heat but no electricity. She went to school till 8th grade when she had to quit and stay home and take care of her siblings while her mother went to work. But she always missed school and felt the need for education and eventually got her GED. Her married life was spent on a farm and consisted of a lot of hard work ( from some hints she gave us over the years, I think she was capable of most anything). Farm life was also an education. She and her husband raised sheep and Freddie could spin and weave. She never lost her love for reading and education.
Bea said she never gave herself a lot of credit but we only knew her from the book group. The woman we saw every month was a reader of an amazing and eclectic collection of books and a woman who had no difficulty speaking in the group. Note: Our book group is a round table where you are expected to talk about what you’ve read and review it for the others. You get your chance in the spotlight and Freddie did just fine.
Every month I keep a list of what everyone reads so I went back through my lists and collected some of the titles that Freddie brought to our attention. This is by no means everything but it is a testimony to her vast interests and thirst for knowledge. Freddie, we will miss you, but hope God’s library meets your expectations.
Freddie’s Books (just a few):
1. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Anderson Brower
2. Freeman by Leon Pitts, Jr.
3. Sgt. Reckless: America’s warhorse by Robin Hutton
4. Curve of the World by Marcus Stevens
5. The Sun Does Shine: How I found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
6. Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe
7. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
8. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
9. Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney
10. All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
11. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
12. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
13. Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World’s Greatest Rodeo and a Hidden History of the American West by David Wolman
14. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
15. Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals who helped him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Constantine Croke
16. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterley
17. A Wolf called Romeo by Nick Jans
18. Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
19. Where the Wind Leads: A Refugee Family’s Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue and Redemption by Vinh Chung
20. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Story of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free by Hector Tobar
(To my book group, my records were far from complete so if I have mis-remembered any of these titles, I apologize.)