I hunker down with a slim volume by Miss Read. I join her in the infants class where the narrator teaches and walk with her in the little English village of Thrush Green or Fairacre or Caxley. I enter an alternate universe where people experience collywobbles and talk to their neighbors over hedges, gather together when a tree falls on the church to raise funds, relax in front of a fire with tea and approach everything with a sense of humor. Things work out, the world is a gentle place, people are realistic but kind, life is centered around community and church.
It's how I envision my life in Maine in a small village, my future self toting a pie to the parish bake sale, greeting my neighbors by name, getting my groceries at the general store and knowing that others will help dig me out in a snowstorm.
My neighbors here will dig me out but there's no tea afterwards. (Everything that is missing in my life can be traced back to not having a fireplace in my house.) I brought gifts to neighbors who had babies early in my years here but I've gotten distracted and tired and the last time I gave a pizza kit to the couple next door. I couldn't even get it together to make a casserole. I don't know some of the neighbors' names.
So I settle down with Miss Read who takes me to a world where people aren't as harried as me and take the time to walk down the lane, visit their neighbors and start the fire together.