Years ago, the director of the incredible little child-respecting school where I was teaching gave me a copy of the book, "The Sense of Wonder," by Rachel Carson. The book wasn't really finished when Carson died, and is sort of journally, and I love it. My copy was published by The Nature Company, which also died a few years back, and had beautiful pictures. In 1996, my apartment flooded slightly in one of Sacramento's "we've really got to upgrade our storm drains" neighborhood floods, and everything on the bottom couple of shelves of my bookcases was ruined, including that book. I actually rescued it, dried it out, and saved it, but it's not very readable, sort of warped and puffy.
More recently, I found a copy at a library book sale, but like every other recent version I've seen, the pictures are so-so compared to the Nature Company's edition.
So for Christmas this year, my mother-in-law Pat, Casey's mom, gave me a homemade version, with photos taken from my own flickr stream as well as, with permission, work from a couple of photographer friends of mine, Joe Decker and Lisa Ellis.
It's just lovely, and a treasure, and so incredibly thoughtful. Pat pointed out to me a couple of days ago that she had loose-bound the book, rather than had it permanently bound, so that I could continue it with our adventures in nature with Owen. Wow, I hadn't thought of that. But now I have been thinking:
I'm going to continue to use Geographile for geography posts as often as I am able, but I'm going to start a specific project of recording our adventures with Owen. I'll post them here (with photos), link it from our family blog, and print out versions as well to bind into our Sense of Wonder book. I'll keep that up as much as we can, over the years, with no hard goal -- once a week, once a month, whatever I can manage -- until it feels done.
I can give it to Owen when it's time, whenever that ends up being. Maybe he'll want to continue it himself.
I collect natural history, environmental, and geography books, almost compulsively. I look for used versions where I can (to save paper) but also appreciate that many of these books come out in runs of a few thousand copies, and aren't profit-makers for the publishing companies, so when they come out new, I buy them while they're new. If you like Geographile and want to let me know, please either comment on my posts, or visit my Powell's wishlist to feed my book collection. You might find books you like there, too.