>A Tale For A Cold, Wintry Night
…..I lived all alone in a city far from my family. It was winter, almost Christmas, and I had no money for a tree. My TV and VCR had been pawned to buy shoes for work. And work was getting slim…..
My nephew, who’d always loved spending weekends with me, didn’t mind the lack of a TV. We played Connect Four, Monopoly, Othello, Battleship, Trouble, and all kinds of card games. I kept craft supplies and we painted, created, and built. Plus, I still had my stereo….
We also spent lots of time at parks and even splurged on rare trips to the movies. Libraries were always part of our agenda. At least ten or twenty books came home with us every time we visited.
Even when he was twelve, Nephew came for weekends and, by that time, his little sister came some, too. She was much more attached to their mom and hated being away from her for very long…..
Anyway……..it was winter and almost Christmas. Nephew and Niece wanted to come spend the weekend and I reminded Sister of my limited funds. She asked if they could please just come and of course, I said yes. In a rare turnabout, she provided for me. She brought groceries, including snacks, and a little table top tree, complete with ornaments and lights. Wow.
It was too cold for the park, but we had a blast playing games, making ornaments and reading books; even cooking and cleaning. Niece felt very grown up helping with laundry and Nephew could actually cook a casserole, and I let him.
Saturday evening rolled around and we were thinking about what to do, when Nephew suggested the Narnia tapes.
A few years previously, I’d stumbled upon a radio theater broadcast of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It was taped in London and produced by a branch of Focus on the Family. It was stunning. I managed to tape the broadcast and Nephew and I had listened to it many times; Niece had never heard it.
We popped corn, made hot chocolate, dragged all the mattresses and blankets into the living room, lit candles and turned off the lights. When we were all in our jammies and cozy, I started the tape….the music filled the room and Douglas Gresham (Lewis’ step-son) introduced the presentation. No one made a sound; even the crunching of popcorn seemed to be muted.
The soft glow of candlelight and the magical twinkling of colored lights lent an air of believability to the sounds of Lucy entering Narnia, the discovery of Tumnus’ capture, meeting Aslan for the very first time, the great battle…..all of it.
I watched Niece’s eyes grow wide in her beautiful expressive face and I heard her sharp intakes of breath….she was captivated, like her brother and I. I had to play it again as we went to sleep, camped out on the living room floor, swathed in the light of multi-colored stars and the sounds of another world all around us.
When things got better, I went to the website and got the CD versions of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and The Magician’s Nephew. I’ve listened to them both over the years, mostly at Christmas because that’s when I first heard them.
My nephew asked to borrow the discs a couple years ago, but I didn’t have them anymore. He seemed genuinely disappointed…..
With the release of the movies, I’ve longed to listen to the beautiful adaptations again. The other night, after seeing a trailer on the internet for The Dawn Treader, I made up my mind to get another copy. I’m listening to Wardrobe right now….as I write this.
Well known stage and film actors, a live orchestra, Foley artists, and atmosphere out the wazoo, make these adaptations completely amazing. You know how you read a book and use your own imagination? And, how you see a movie and want to close your eyes and keep the images? Listening to these Cd’s is just like that….a book being brought to life in your head, that sounds like a movie….
When I went looking for a new copy, I found….wait for it…….the whole collection – for the same price I originally paid for just the Wardrobe disc.
Want to know a secret? I bought two sets. One for me, and one for……..
****Edit: Um, sorry if I’ve misled you all! The other set is for something coming up at the end of the month!****