Sunday, January 23
The other night, I went over to my client's house to work. They have recently decided that they would be moving to a senior community center. They have lived in their home for fifty years, and have accumulated many things during that time. Among their treasures are a collection of books. I don't mean just a few books, but many! My client, who I will call "Jane" (not her real name), pulled out a plastic bag full of cardboard books. I looked at them one by one, and saw that they were Raggedy Anne and Andy books dating as far back as 1919. The pages were yellow on the edges, and most had fallen out of the binding.
Jane told me about how she used to read these books to her children, and how they looked forward to story time. There was a beautiful little poem on the first page of one of the books. I couldn't help but copy it. It says:
"Let us start a garden you and I. Let us turn the soil of acquaintanceship, and in this fertile ground plant kindly thoughts. Let us pull all the weeds of envy and selfishness, and destroy them.
Let us water our garden with the dew of sympathy. Let us keep our growing garden in the sunshine of love, and happiness is ours; our garden is filled with the beautiful flowers of friendship."
I am not sure why I was so intrigued with these books, possibly because each one held a story within a story. The history of this couple is written into the things they have collected over the years; everything they have treasured. Now, the question Jane asked me over and over was, "what are we going to do with all of these books?" The dilemma is that each one was tied to a memory, and to get rid of them was to say goodbye to parts of their lives, and yet to hold onto them would be impossible and impractical. No amount of money would make up for the history attached to these items.
Even though this is a major crossroad for my client and her husband, I enjoy being a part of the journey, and observing how they will handle this question, and those that follow.
Here are some pictures of the book covers. I thought they held up well after all of these years.
I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!