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Darn Wright | Bonding through self-quarantine

Series: Coronavirus | Story 139

Last updated 7/24/2020 at 10:29am

It could be said that self-quarantine in our abodes can be a time where we have nothing to do, and all day long to do it.

But this idea was broken when my wife, Karen, came up with the idea to invite our 12-year-old granddaughter, Katelyn, and our 10-year-old granddaughter, Charley, to have an individual phone book club meeting once a week.

When Karen discussed this with the two girls, both were immediately on board, especially when Karen, a (horse nut) suggested to Katelyn (another avid horse lover) that their book would be Walter Farley’s classic, “The Black Stallion.” Farley’s book caught Katelyn’s attention, and it motivated her to join the Three B’s book club.

It was a delight to Katelyn since she could read and then talk about horse adventure stories with another horse lover. To reinforce Charley’s Harry Potter interest, Karen wanted to know if Charley would be interested in reading J.K. Rowling’s third book, “Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban.” Without any afterthought, and since she had already read Rowling’s first two Harry Potter fantasy-adventure books, Charley was front and center with that book selection. To further add to Charley’s Potter appetite, Karen suggested that Charley go to Rowling’s website

Now, with this connection, the Three B’s (which is the first letter of all three phone-in book club members’ last names) sorority came into existence. After Karen’s first discussion with Katelyn, her mother, Michelle, posted this “newsy” note on her Facebook, “The girl’s grandma Karen has made reading time more fun for the girls, with their own little book club... After they read a chapter or two, grandma talks with each of them, over the phone, about their thoughts. Thanks for coming up with such a wonderful idea!” Michelle’s post brought these friends’ comments: “That is something they will treasure so much down the road,” and, “Awwwwww I loved “The Black Stallion!” I read the whole series. What a lovely idea!” What Karen is relearning by using her master’s degree, is she must ask open-ended questions. A query of, “Did you like it when Alex, the protagonist in “Black Beauty”, did such and such?” would be a closed-ended question, because it can be answered with a yes or no.

But when she used an open-ended question, “Why do you think Alex gave Black Beauty sugar cubes?” she received an expanded answer. The use of open-ended inquiries leads to an extended give-and-take conversation. “What if Alex would have…?” Or, “How do you think the story would have changed?” At the same time, Karen had to think about not asking multiple questions at the same time, like “How was it that the ship was split apart by lightning? What is a plank?” Karen found when she asked several questions at the same time the girls would only answer the first one, and the second one was never addressed.

A day after one of her discussions, Charley wrote to her grandmother, “Having a book club with somebody is very entertaining. In mine, we read every week and on Wednesday we call and talk. Especially with COVID-19, it’s just useful and fun!”

Later, Katelyn wrote to her Three B’s book club founder, “I like having a book club with my Grandma because I get to read, and spend some time with her, and get to call her.”

After reading these supportive e-mails I jumped into the discussion by writing, “Thank you Katelyn, and thank you Charley for comments about your Three B’s club, since they will greatly assist me in writing one of my Mill Creek Beacon Darn Wright articles.”

Through their Three B’s book club, all members are learning the joy of thinking, laughing, sharing, and exploring ways to deal with the ups and downs of being quarantined or as the girl’s believed, “being grounded.”

Darn right, by exploring the many possible ways to bond, when one has nothing to do and they have all day long to do it, this grandmother ‘s suggestion did point out that there are a lot of things to do all day long.


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