“Family History” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen
I am addicted to books. I can’t seem to stay away from Half Price book store. I went with Sam today to look for a movie. “Elizabeth” I think, and ended up buying another four books. The stack of unread books increases daily. What is wrong with me? Is it because I was never given the right book to read as a child? I certainly read all the time, and enjoyed every minute of it. People who had not seen me for many years always remembered me as having had my nose pressed into a book all the time. Jan was much the same way, and I begin to wonder if it wasn’t a way to absent ourselves from where we were at the time.
I know that when I walked into Auntie’s house each time, I looked at and couldn’t stop thinking how wonderful it was that she had all those books. Mostly children’s books I think. Probably for their daughter Phyllis when she was a child. Auntie and Uncle Phil were readers too. Sitting side by side in their chairs in the living room each night with the lamp between them, reading until precisely 8 p.m. at which time they trundled off to bed not to be seen again until 6 a.m. sharp.
At grandma’s there were no books except the Bible and her Science and Health from being a devout Christian Scientist. Not much interesting for a child to read, except the cereal box, and there was nothing too exciting about that. When my Dad was at home, he always had a book, usually a mystery starring Boston Blackie or someone like that. I remember picking one up at an early age and seeing the word “damn”, I slapped it shut quickly, being pretty embarrassed and hoping no one had seen me.
Today’s foray into the book store brought gold. Sebald’s “Emigrants”, “Moby Dick” (only because I read yesterday that Starbuck’s got its name from “Moby Dick” and I want to find out where.) I also found “The Paris Wife” about Hemingway’s first wife, which I have read but lent it to someone years ago when it came out, and never got back. Bronia always says “if you lend a book, kiss it goodbye”. I guess she was right about that one, but then Pat whom I lent it to got sick and died, so you can excuse her for not returning it.
The 4th book was a quick grab going out the door. “My Dog Skip”. I had heard of it some time ago, and read the blurb on the back and being a dog lover, I was hooked. I think it’s a tear jerker, which is nice to read sometimes just to keep the water flowing over the eyeballs. If nothing else it is a good one to pick up and look through while waiting for Sam in the car which I certainly do pretty often. Today I waited while he went into the hardware store to buy a new garbage disposer. The old one was bought in 1989, and cost $89, so I guess we got our money’s worth out of it.
Someone asked me what I do now that I can’t do my artwork anymore, so I said I read and of course write. It was hard not to be able to do sculpture anymore after my shoulder gave out. Just to watch all my equipment roll out the door going to their new home was pretty traumatic. Of course, said Sam, you can always paint, and I know I can, but other than sporadic bouts of inspiration, I have done nothing in three years, so I figured I better get with it and find something else to do that might be at least a little creative.
Cheri said why didn’t I write a blog. I had never even read a blog and hated the word itself, but she sat me down and here I am, three years later. Of course as you get old or at least older, your world shrinks about half, so after you write about your kids, and your childhood, and a few other things which interest you but probably don’t interest anyone else, where else do you go?
Why don’t you write a book, says husband, kids and granddaughter (who really ought to write a book right now, since she is an inveterate traveler, and meets all kinds of interesting people, so it would be a worthwhile book to read). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, why don’t I write a book? Well maybe I have to get back out in the world and start meeting more people to write about.