I was up very late again last night, reading through and making responses to papers and posts in my online class. Nearing the end of the semester, the only way to make progress up the mountain is to take a deep breath and just climb.
One of the things getting me through these good but exhausting late night teaching treks is beautiful Christmas music. In addition to playing through some of my old favorites, I've been finding some Christmas gems on youtube. When you're bleary eyed at 1:30 am from reading patristic theology (a fine thing to do during Advent, by the way) it can put tremendous vigor into your soul to spend time listening to Andrea Bocelli sing "Adestes Fideles".
Somewhere in the midst of recent late-night multiple play-throughs, the thought came to me suddenly: Julia Ray would love Andrea Bocelli.
Julia Ray, of course, is the older sister of Betsy Ray, the main character in Maud Hart Lovelace's beloved Betsy-Tacy series, set in the early 1900s. Julia's heart belongs to opera, but she also enjoys popular music, and she is quite a fan girl of Caruso. It dawned on me that if the Betsy-Tacy characters lived in the internet age, Julia would no doubt be the administrator of the Andrea Bocelli fan page on Facebook.
(Side note: does anyone else ever do this: see or hear something and think "oh, so- and-so would just love this!" when "so-and-so" happens to be a fictional character? It helps, of course, when you've grown up with fictional characters and loved them for so long that they feel like friends.)
Picturing Julia Ray on FB gave me the late-night giggles. Suddenly I found myself thinking about other Deep Valley characters, and what they might be doing if they had access to the internet.
Grown-up Betsy, of course, would have a very writerly blog. I think she'd name it "Willards' Emporium" after the now-defunct store. I picture its banner as a photo of rosy apple blossoms. She'd have an oft-changing quote (with things like "to thine own self be true") and a sidebar picture of a long-legged crane. Joe would pop in from time to time to guest post, and she'd also keep a neatly organized side-bar with clips of his online journalistic endeavors. Whenever she or Joe got published, she'd post about it with a picture of the naughty chair from the Violent Study Club. And of course, she'd be the one keeping the Study Club's calendar in Yahoo Groups.
Tacy would keep a blog too. She'd include cute photos of her homeschooled kids. Yes, I've pegged Tacy for a homeschooler. I think she'd be an unschooler with a bent toward classical education -- something in gentle Miss Clark's freshman ancient history class must have stuck somehow! She'd share recipes for her best company dinner too -- roast chicken, giblet gravy good enough for a millionaire, and chocolate meringue pie. She might even tell a few good-natured Irish jokes.
I can't quite picture Tib keeping a blog, but I do think she'd have all the latest technological gadgets, including a really smart phone. She'd no doubt snap pictures of her latest brilliant dressmaking creations or fabulous dinners and send them electronically to Betsy and Tacy, sure they'd want to post her pictures on their blogs. And she'd be right. Naturally. (She'd also make sure that any new friends got a look at the Betsy-Tacy cat duet she put up on youtube.)
Carney might have a blog too, though I've been wavering about what kind. Somehow I can picture her creating a very cool looking sewing blog and running a brisk, efficient business of handmade items on etsy. She's gotta help pay for the kids' music lessons after all. She's also busy with vice presidential duties on her Vassar alumnae FB page (she generously let Isabelle be president).
You can find out a lot from the online CV of Emily Webster-Wakeman, MSW, PhD. It's posted at her university website. You'll note she's on the board for several refugee and immigrant advocacy groups and is in demand as a public speaker. Emily also enjoys a wide circle of friends on FB, where she proudly sports flair and fan pages for Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moosers, Jane Addams, and Robert Browning. Her husband Jed is busy on FB too, especially with his college wrestling buddies and his fellow civil war re-enactors.
Okay, okay...it's been fun...but the mountain of end of semester work awaits! I'll stop for now. Of course, if you're a Deep Valley fan, feel free to chime in with your own ideas about Betsy-Tacy in the internet age!