One of the best things about reading aloud together (besides the quiet time snuggling all cozy under a blanket) is that he asks questions I wouldn't have thought to ask. I tend to breeze right over things I don't know, without even realizing it. Here are a few things we've learned.
What's a tin kitchen?
Jo's desk up here was an old tin kitchen, which hung against the wall. In it she kept her papers and a few books, safely shut away from Scrabble*, who, being likewise of a literary turn, was fond a making a circulatory library of such books as were left in his way, by eating the leaves.
*(Scrabble is the "pet" rat that lives in the attic)
|Reproduction of a 19th century tin kitchen,|
made by Historic Housefitters
All the pictures I found of tin kitchens are rounded like the one pictured here. It seems like a rounded desk would be difficult for writing on! But I think that adds to the charm, and determination, of the little office Jo has set up for herself in the attic.
What did treadmill mean, back then?
"I dare say; but nothing pleasant ever does happen in this family," said Meg, who was out of sorts. "We go grubbing along day to day, without a bit of change, and very little fun. We might as well be in a treadmill."As Evan pointed out, exercise gyms don't seem like the type of thing folks invested in, back in Civil War times. So what type of treadmill was Meg referring to? We found two different possibilities.
|Photo from History of the Treadmill|
|Photo from the National Archives of the U.K.|
So, when Meg says she feels like she's on a treadmill, the commentary she's making about the life of a young woman without financial means is pretty darned glum. Poor Meg.
Who would have guessed that treadmills would be the wave of the future?