On a Friday

I have begun to work at a school library; Fiona's school library to make things that much more convenient. I love it.  I spend three mornings a week placing my favorite books into the hands of first, second, and third graders.  I feel humbled that I get to do such gratifying work and I never want to take it for granted.  One of my favorite perks is running my hands along the spines of titles that I have never seen before. I grabbed this one as I ran out the door on Wednesday and I can't stop reading it.  The words run like a harmonious babbling brook through my mind.  Voigt's descriptions paint a vivid picture of coastal Maine as I could not have imagined. And the heroine is name, Clothilde.  There's a name that got away. I love seeing it written in type again and again.  Clothilde has struggles and asks difficult questions. It feels like a story just right for this day.  And there is a lot of charming talk about clam chowder, being in Maine and all.

"...so it was Clothilde who chopped wood, year-round, for the stoves, and shoveled coal into the boiler that supplied hot water for the house; who dug potatoes out of the garden with Mother; it was Clothilde who- whose future didn't matter."

It is Friday and the sun is shinning, but yet I am bracing for the weekend.  Fiona has a play to perform tonight and Sunday, and Myles has his usual Sunday morning choir boy obligations, as well as the rest of us.  I hope to find a bit of rest in the midst of all the ought-tos.  Even as I write that I feel guilty complaining about being busy.  What nerve I have.  


And Two Boys Booed

Fiona said today that this is her favorite book of all time. That was a happy moment for me.  There is something charming and wonderful and sentimental about this story.  I love books that tell about the awkward moments of childhood.  The ones that people like to think don't happen to children.  The times when things don't go as smoothly as we imagine.  And to beat all there are soothing flaps to turn throughout the whole thing. It is simply the best.  

Today was a glorious late autumn day in which we walked back and forth to Harvard Square to get Myles a haircut.  On the way we found a bright pink wallet on a bench right in the middle of the hustle bustle.  We picked it up and posted a sign that read, "Dear So and So, we found your wallet!" along with my phone number. Thirty minutes later we received a call from a relieved citizen and reunited the person with their wallet. It was a moment that boosted all of our spirits to see a happy ending unfold particularly in the face of a very skeptical ten year old who thought we should run in the other direction of the whole situation.  I remembered how much better it is to give, than to receive. To be hopeful instead of dower. To be empowered by doing was exactly what we needed.  


The Friday after

This week left a mark.  But despite the chaos of starting the week off with Halloween Monday, somehow we are all still standing and happy to be home.  These books I could read over and over again.  Come Home, Angus is getting some press as a Caldecott maybe.  It is so beautiful and features a hangry (did I just write that word?) kid and a firm, loving mother.  I love books like this.  Especially when the kid eats something interesting in the end, like a sardine sandwich for example.


Memories of a Move

Tomorrow I am moving to New Hampshire.  It is a very small state up in the top corner of the country. I have never been there before.

Right now I live in Georgia. It is big state in the bottom corner of the country.  All of our things are in boxes. All of our things are in boxes in a big truck.
Some of the things don’t fit. My brothers crib won’t fit in the truck.  It is made of iron and it is painted white. My mom is sad because it won’t fit and it took her a long time to find such a crib as this.   But we are still going to New Hampshire even without the crib.

We are moving without the crib and without our friends. It is just us going. My grandma cried when she found out. We are moving without some of our family too. We are leaving our chickens. We found a new home for them. We would be leaving our goat, Betsy. But she had already found a new home.  Someone took her without asking.  That was sad.

My best friends and my sister wrote our names on a piece of paper. Friends Forever.  We folded up the piece of paper and stuck it through the cracks in the floor of our barn. The barn with the roof that we dared people to jump off of.  The barn that we found a scorpion in. The barn that we raised baby chicks in.   The barn with the dogwood tree in front.

We are leaving our garden.  Mom’s raised bed garden that she copied from Old Williamsburg.  She grew herbs and lettuces and flowers.  My dad built it for her.

Now we will build a new life in a new state in a new home.

We are excited.  New Hampshire gets very cold. The houses are close together where will live. We will be able to walk to the movie theater. We will be able to walk to a candy store.
I like cold I think.  I won’t have to ride a bus a long way to go to school.

We are driving the whole way to get to New Hampshire. We are bringing Jessie our dog and Wellington and Claudia the cats.  I wonder what they will think about the new place. We are bringing a lot of other things too. Our friends and our families are coming with us in a different way. We will still get to love them.  We will still get to remember being right up close to each other. We will be together in a way that is different that being right up close.  It will be good to learn these new ways. I think.


Sad Book

My life is a wordless book right now. Its pages are full of scenes bright and vibrant, turning quickly.  I flip back over them in my head trying to catch some details that I missed on the first look.  Some pages are more blurry on the second go. And some images become more defined. Fall quickens the pace. The slow summer days are flung into a world where everything is hurrying to find its proper rhythm. There is life around every corner. And you think to turn to someone and show them autumn's first fallen chestnuts, but they aren't there.

And then this book fell into my lap.  It is just the right sort of read when you need to be in the good company of those bereaved.