Sunday, July 06, 2008

Story Night in the backyard...or not

I had Story Night here on Thursday. These are informal affairs, spread mostly by word of mouth. I provide stories for an hour, bug spray and a few places to sit. It's free. Sometimes there are fireflies.

I've always said that I'd do Story Night only in the backyard, not in the house. I don't want to spend time and energy making sure the house is clean enough. When I'm really busy, vacuuming isn't a priority.

On Thursday the sky clouded over in the afternoon. I'd planned three Story Nights this summer and the first was cancelled due to inclement weather. The second was lightly attended. Should I cancel this last one? When Janelle called from Kansas City to find out if it was happening, it was beginning to rain and I knew the seats and lawn would be wet. I decided to move it indoors.

I'm glad I did. There were 22 people here, one of the biggest Story Nights in the five or so years I've been doing this. It was a great group, too. We crowded into the living room. I stood in the doorway to the kitchen. Almost all the kids had heard me before, so I had requests: The ghost with the one black eye, Unanana, The goat in the chili patch, Drakestail. I also told Brainbox by Philippa Pearce, in an attempt to tell something Finn and Nora hadn't heard (they remembered it from a Story Night two years ago!). Trixie, the baby puppet, Grackle (the crow) and Bill (the white duck) made appearances. During all of this, Joe Fish slept in the office. Afterwards, he got pats from various children.

Now I'm thinking of doing a few more later this year. I'd do it again indoors, unless it gets too big. We could fit another ten or so listeners, if they were small.

P.S. I just took that picture of the backyard seating--can you spot the tipoff that it isn't in the evening?


Les said...

Hey 'Skiller! I would love to show up for one of your backyard story nights. Alas, I don't think I'd get there in time after work.

Thinking of you!
Les in VT

PriscillaHowe said...

Ha! I'd love it if you and Molly turned up for story night!