Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Little Orphant Annie's come to my house to stay..."

Being a born Hoosier, I grew up with the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley. My dad knew so many of the poems and the ones he didn't know he would read to us from his poetry books. I learned them by absorption, not by anyone making me learn them. I know Little Orphant Annie, The Raggedy Man, The Fishing Hole...and on and on. There is not one Halloween show that I do in the fall for children (and sometimes adults) that I do not recite Little Orphant Annie.

I have spent some time in the Riley home in Greenfield, Indiana. I burst into tears when I walked through the doors trying to imagine Mr. Riley living there as a child and then writing about it. Originally Annie was Alice, but the publisher could not read his writing. When the publication came out, it was Little Orphant Annie.  Mr. Riley got ahold of the publisher in N.Y. and they promised to change the name to Alice for the next publication, but it was too late. Little Annie was already in the hearts of the Hoosiers and others who loved his work.

Every Saturday my neighbor girl, Morgan, comes to clean for me. She does exactly what little Annie did. She scrubs, she sweeps, she changes flowers in the vases, she dusts, she cleans closets...well, she does everything. Only this Morgan does it all with her ipod! I am so grateful to have Morgan in my life to keep my house shining and clean until I am able to get it all done myself!

So cheers to my Annie!

Morgan cleaning my house on Saurday!