Henry David Thoreau at Ideuma Creek!

Denise Jacobus

Meet Accoyo Thoreau born on July 13. There is, of course, a personal connection to the name. I teach reading. I try to teach a love of reading. One of the first things I have my students learn is the 8 habits of a good reader. The last "habit" is that you make the book a part of your life. Reading "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau when I was a sophomore in college truly changed my life. This book became a part of me. I remember thinking what an important life adventure it was for Thoreau to spend so much time in the woods contemplating life and how we should cherish it. There's one section where he records how long it took him to dust each week. He dusted a large rock on his desk that he thought would be a paperweight. After several weeks of not using the rock, he realized he was wasting his time - precious time - dusting it, an unnecessary task. He threw it out the window and never dusted it again. When I read that section of Thoreau's work, it "clicked" for me. I went home and threw out my iron. I spent a good half an hour a week ironing. I hated doing it and put it off always until Sunday night. To this day, I have no iron (and therefore sometimes wrinkly clothes - but who really cares?!) and I figure since my sophomore year in college, I've saved myself (remember I'm celebrating my 50th birthday this year) 46,800 minutes - 780 hours - 32.5 days of ironing. I have been able to garden, play with alpacas and dogs, read and spend this time with family - all sorts of things I love to do - rather than ironing. This little alpaca is named for Henry David Thoreau who I'm thankful taught me so much so early in my life. His dam is Accoyo Zahara and his sire is Accoyo Cuba Libre.