When I was around 10 years old my Grandma brightened up my entire world by giving me a set of Nancy Drew books, which I absolutely loved to read. I got so I would read one a day….all summer long…the summer I was ten.
I love how as an adult you remember things you did as a kid and think, “I still do that!!” I HATE endings, I hate finishing things that are extra-special. Most of the time you just have to go ahead and end, but sometimes you have a choice and just can’t. For example, I read Winnie the Pooh to my son when he was little and I never read him the last chapter because I just couldn’t. Well, I never read the last Nancy Drew book from Grandma, either………I never will. It would be over.
I kept them all on a bookshelf in my bedroom, in an orderly row. My baby brother Isaac went through a stage when he would deliberately crawl in my bedroom just to pull himself up and pull all big sister’s nice books down in a heap. I wonder if we have a photo of that. I would have to put them all back again every single day, half annoyed and half forgiving because he was so cute and I loved him.
I had neglected the books. I had all but forgotten their existence.
BUT THEN. My brother David went to a huge antique store in Savannah, Georgia and sent me these photos:
(by the way it feels so good to be seen and known and loved by family–by Grandma years ago, and by Dave in sending me these photos bc he remembered I had them)
The memory of Nancy Drew books came back to me as I thought of how amazed I was when Grandma gave me the set, how I treasured them and read them. I would study the titles and the pictures on each cover. I loved the size and feel of the books in my hands and their nice hard yellow covers. I thought how I’ve kept them for 32 years now…..but not on shelves. Shelf space for Nancy Drew had run out years ago and other books had become more important because life was busy with raising seven children and I rarely had time to read anything but children’s books to them, and no time to enjoy my own collection of books, much less the ones from my own childhood. I like to enjoy my books by looking at them, pulling one out to look through, putting it back, rearranging them, putting them in neat orderly rows. Feeling that they were mine, all mine.
I texted him back: “When I was 10 Grandma gave me the whole set. And I read one every day. I should put them on shelves instead of in boxes.”
I’ve been cleaning and cleaning the basement for days. And as I did, I came across some of the books!
Yesterday, Dave (my son) had an appointment and afterwards had to go back to school, but, “It would be WRONG if we were right next to Goodwill and didn’t run inside quick.”
WE FOUND A BOOKCASE! It was made of pine (light enough for me to carry myself) and only cost 10 dollars.
Once books are on a shelf no one notices the shelf anymore so any ol’ bookcase of any quality (as long as it is sturdy) will do for books. When I showed it to Rich he asked how much I paid and I said thirty and he said “good” and then I laughed and said “IT WAS TEN!!!!” to surprise him and impress him.
It was wonderful to gather up my old Nancy Drews out of a dark lonely box and put them all in one spot for the first time in 20 years. I opened them up to see my name written inside. I admired the covers.
There were a BUNCH MISSING.
This morning I wanted to blog and could not find my computer anywhere. David uses it more than I do these days so I kept muttering his name as I went from room to room looking for MY computer. Ugh. I felt just as annoyed as I did when I found all my books on the floor. Boys! Brothers and sons. cute. loved.
I remembered that he had gone to the garage where we have a work out room upstairs. He goes over there every day to exercise and he is very proud of his resulting muscles. “Maybe he took my computer to the work out room,” I thought. I don’t like going to the garage and mainly stay away. But I tromped on over to look and… since I was there… I looked in the storage closet and FOUND A WHOLE BUNCH MORE OF MY BOOKS.
Thanks Dave (1) for inspiring me and thanks Dave (2) for misplacing my computer and forcing me into the garage this morning! It’s all because of you two that I’m getting this silly little project done!
I carried them back to the house in this basket.
Getting ready to add them to the shelf.
the shelf I bought at goodwill for ten dollars is already filled up
I wrote down the ones I am still missing. It’s like a treasure hunt! I bet they’re around here somewhere!
the beautiful blue of an autumn sky
Samantha cat has a sore paw.
David was using this tool to retrieve Seth’s football from the pond. He wasn’t being nice. He knew he had to do it because he was the one who kicked it in.
When he saw me up on the porch taking his photo with my zoom lens he did what he loves to do…….
…..take his shirt off and show off those muscles from his daily work-outs.
I have three brothers and these five sons. (photo from 8 years ago)
Why am I crying? I guess it’s because I’m happy and life is beautiful…and fleeting.