The book came up in a Twitter discussion a week or so ago, and it hit me hard that I didn't have my copy of the book I'd read more times than any other as a young reader.
My budget is horribly strained. I'm literally watching every penny, usually watching them fly out of my purse and bank account. And when I saw that copies were selling for $25 and more on Amazon, my heart ached. I wanted that book.
Fortunately, Judith Tarr recommended Abe Books as an alternative source, and there I found it for under $4. It's in transit now. I don't have it yet, but I will . . . . soon.
I had several of the Marguerite Henry books when I was a kid. Somehow I managed to hang onto my Album of Horses, but all the others vanished. Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Gaudenzia Pride of the Palio, and King of the Wind. I never owned Born to Trot, and the Misty series wasn't one of my favorites. The absolute favorite was King of the Wind.
Where did they go? The same place so many of my possessions went: my mother's garage sales. After I left home, almost everything I had owned went out with the junk. (Some things didn't; I know where they went and I can't talk about it.) The books were the worst of the losses; she knew how much I loved my books, but . . . she didn't care.
I got my love of books from my dad and his side of the family, not my mother's, and I think she resented that to a certain extent. He's been gone since 2008, and she's now fading. So I feel bad, I feel guilty for my own resentment, but it's there. I miss those favorite books.
As I've mentioned here in some previous, personal posts, I've tried over the years to replace some of those books. It's not an attempt to reclaim a lost childhood, but it is an attempt to reclaim lost comfort.
I don't have a support system here. I feel awkward even writing that much, and I won't go much further. But my books, my rocks, my online engagements, these are what I rely on. My kids have busy lives on either sides of the continent thousands of miles away. I'm not a social butterfly. I'm essentially estranged from all my family, who are in the Midwest.
Two weeks ago my already precarious budget got a gut punch with the forced purchase of a new water heater and water softener. I gathered my resources and figured out a way to manage. It wasn't easy, but it was doable. Today I got hit with a big fat auto repair bill. I've known it was coming, and I've tried to prepare both mentally and financially, but it was bigger than anticipated. Replacing the car is not an option, at least not now. BF says it's not worth pouring more money into this vehicle, but I really don't have any choice.
King of the Wind is about the little horse that could, but no one knew it. It's a feel good story, about overcoming seemingly impossible odds. For a young reader it was exciting and dramatic and suspenseful. For an adult facing real-life challenges -- some of them pretty darn scary -- it's a comfort read. It's gorgeous pictures. It's horses, horses, horses.
I'll let you know when it gets here.