The ordinary things

Milne and Shepard are remembered at Ashdown Forest, where animals and children still play. Photo by David Brooker via Wikimedia Commons [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (]

Milne and Shepard are remembered at Ashdown Forest, where animals and children still play.
Photo by David Brooker via Wikimedia Commons [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ]

“If I seem to write to write most happily about the ordinary things that boys do who live in the country it is because this is the part of my childhood that I look back upon with the greatest affection.”Christopher Milne

Look closely at the name of the person who wrote today’s quote.  I’ll give you a hint: his middle name was Robin.  Yesterday I quoted from Winnie the Pooh. Today I quote from the boy who loved the original “Edward Bear,” and inspired the timeless stories.

Christopher Robin Milne was not pleased with the fame imposed on him by his father’s literary success.  In fact, he was persecuted by his classmates at boarding school, who would taunt him with verses about him they took from Milne’s writing.  The probability that these bullying classmates were teasing him out of jealousy or envy did not lessen the sting.

The magical moments in Ashdown Forest that his father preserved for future generations to enjoy as the “Hundred Acre Wood” were to be Christopher Robin’s happiest times.  There is a lesson and a gift for all of us in this truth.  You may never become famous as a character in a beloved semi-imaginary world, but rest assured: there are moments in your most normal days that literally are the stuff that dreams are made of.

What ordinary things will you encounter today, that will be looked back upon “with the greatest affection?”

One year ago today:

Enter this wild wood

Photo by Nigel Freeman [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ] via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Nigel Freeman  via Wikimedia Commons [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ]



  1. Julia, good morning. Thanks for sharing looking back…right now I can’t…I turned my coffee on and later discover I had forgotten to put in the coffee. 🙂
    no memories at the moment…too foggy! 🙂

    • Merry, I hope you were able to get to your pot before it cracked! I found out recently that when you let a pan of boiled eggs keep cooking after it boils dry, the eggs don’t necessarily explode, but they POP as loudly as if they did. Not to mention the burned smell! I totally sympathize with foggy.

  2. I remember standing on the edge of Ashdown Forest and imagining Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet and Eeyore et al gambolling past. 🙂 And you are so right – when we step back and look with fresh eyes, what magical stories our lives can weave!

    • WOW, that must have been enchanting to actually be there where all these wonderful stories were born. I hope I can see it someday. Yes, sometimes we need to look at our lives as if for the first time. So much that is familiar becomes expected and taken for granted. But I really think that pretty much every life is fascinating in its own way. No two alike! 😀 Hope you have a wonderful weekend coming up.

  3. Julia, I have a mailbox across the street from our house and I casually get my mail everyday. Yes, I look both ways! 🙂 So, if it’s ordinary, how can it be special? I suppose because of its proximity to the ocean. I have mentioned before that I am blessed to live here instead of being limited to weekly vacations. I’m certainly not a boastful person but sharing my appreciation of such a daily venture! 🙂

    • Sheila, if I saw the ocean every time I went out to check my mail, I might check several times a day! 😀 Seriously, I love hearing you talk about your seaside home. It’s almost as good as having one myself. Hey, BTW, I am enjoying this month’s VERANDAH!

      • Julia, isn’t that porch and surroundings tempting us with fall? The featured caption (under the photo) was from Dori Sanders, a South Carolina peach farmer and award winning novelist. I have the cookbook and it has as many family stories as recipes! 🙂

        • Yes, with the HOT week we’ve had this week (most days in the 90’s) that calendar photo is a very timely bit of consolation! That cookbook sounds as if it would be just the sort to have great recipes. My favorite cookbooks over the years have been those created by women’s clubs and church groups, the ones that feature lots of pot-luck-supper and tea-or-luncheon tested favorites! A.k.a., things that “real people” cook! 😀

  4. raynard

    Julia I didnt get a chance to comment yesterday. Some days I felt like” tigger” other days I felt like “EEyore ” having a O.C.D moment. I always wondered ” was he related to Schleprock from the Flintstones/ lol I digress

    • Raynard, I don’t remember Schleprock but the name alone is priceless! Sclepping rocks is what I’ve been doing a lot of lately (from where the company that built our home nearly 14 years ago got lazy and dumped leftover rocks and concrete just under the soil, which is now making it impossible to plant a flower bed around the mailbox). I paid someone to come out and finish the job when I couldn’t bust up any more concrete even with a sledge hammer and a chisel, but I just went out awhile ago and found they didn’t do what I thought they would. Back to schlepping rocks for now! At least until I get them to come back out here.

  5. Michael

    Could you plant a rock garden there with lots of sedums-“chicken and hens.?” When life gives you rocks plant a rock garden?
    Perhaps you could fashion a fairy garden there?

    • Michael, the sedum and Walker’s Catmint were the surviving plants that were still flourishing in that rock bed. I dug up the AMAZINGLY hardy sedum and transplanted some of it to the tiny planting beds around the patio of our Alexandria townhome, where it’s predictably thriving. We should all be so resilient! Just today the landscapers came out and finished the job of clearing out the concrete and rocks – it’s now full of good topsoil and ready for some professional design and planting. I think it’s too sunny and hot out there for a fairy garden, plus I don’t want the gnomes going after my mailbox (it would be so tempting to put a “gnome cave” there and we already have enough problems with spiders who like it too) but I do hope to one day install some sort of fairy garden in our little wooded lot behind our yard, which is just the sort of enchanted place that such imaginary creatures tend to congregate.

  6. Michael

    Of course the fairy rock garden would have a Flintstones theme. Fairy Flintstones is almost a rhyme.

    • Yabba dabba do! I’ll certainly keep that in mind.

  7. Michael

    We planted some Sweet peas out by our mailbox. Turned out to be to dry this summer and they have succumbed. But the sedums made it.
    You have to watch the gnomes.

    • Michael, I’ve tried to grow sweet peas from seeds, but never any luck so far. Maybe the gnomes have been eating them. 😀

  8. Some of the Milne books seem entirely poignant and speak to adult lives without little ones even knowing. Many readers may only hear the catchy rhymes. That’s the trick of timelessness I think. If you can have adults relate on a subliminal level and children relate on a visceral level, that makes it golden and timeless. One of my favourite quotes is by Eeyore: A little consideration, a little thought for others makes all the difference. So many lesson in Pooh’s adventures, who could possibly not love him?

    • Yes, I often think that good children’s literature is written on at least two age levels — sometimes more — and those do tend to become the classics. It’s like the stories grow along with us. I just love the Pooh characters. They are all so quirky and unique but very understanding of each other’s idiosyncrasies, forgiving and supportive of each other. Tigger’s hyper enthusiasm, Rabbit’s bossiness and Owl’s pedantry are just accepted. Even Eeyore is not seen as a party pooper, but as one who needs cheer and sympathy. And Christopher Robin is sort of the adult figure to all of them. A very enchanting little world.

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