Presented for your delectation is an image of a milestone and what might be termed a core life memory. Find the Way Home was the first book which impressed me so deeply as to directly impact my behavior in a major situation. Just prior to Easter when I was in First Grade, my sisters and I had a little mishap in which I fell into a vaporizer which had been running all day. They were splashed, but I sat directly in it and all three of us were rushed to the ER at Kennewick General Hospital. I was standing up in the car with no pants as the skin where I sat was sloughing off "like a boiled peach," a doctor said, and I could not sit! I remembered this book in which a lost boy begins crying, says, "Crying never does any good," then finds the solution to his problem of having lost his way. I repeated "Crying never does any good" and by the time we made the very short drive to the hospital I had stopped crying. A boy my age in the ER who had suffered only a small head cut was shrieking like a banshee and one of the doctors said, "Look at that girl, she is hurt much worse than you and she isn't crying at all." I thought, boy, I am tough!
I learned not only from the book but from my dad. My mom was mortified at any child of theirs having suffered an accident serious enough for the ER and wouldn't have mentioned it to a soul, but Dad trumpeted it to everyone he knew that I was seriously injured. My grandmother for whom I am named was ready to fly across the country till Mom set her straight. Anyhow, I learned if you are taken to the ER, make sure everyone you know knows all the gory details. This has stood me in good stead.
As to what brings this up now, I still have that damn vaporizer and when the hardware comes out of my leg perhaps I can mount both in some sort of tasteful display. I also have a crusty old vaporizer which hasn't been used in twenty years and probably shouldn't be. This year I decided we needed a new one and was thinking today where to set it.
Lastly, this book is a wonderful relic of a bygone era. Wouldn't it be great if the streets were safe enough for six-year-olds to walk far enough alone to actually lose their way?