Saturday, April 10


I finished my books on Thursday and was overdue for a trip to the library. It's been hounding me for a week and a half but there just weren't any good chances to squeeze in a trip even though I'd reserved things and just had to pick them up. I hate finishing a book without something to start up immediately. However, I couldn't chance trying to manage all the kids at my most vulnerable time of day - 4pm. It's my worn out, running thin on patience with plaguing thoughts of feeding dinner to a hungry, fussy, messy, picky crowd time of day. Ryan was really good these past two weeks as he posed the options of kid-friendly eateries when my mounting dread had built up. Bless him!!!

This afternoon I broke free and ran over to the library all by myself. I honestly can't remember the last time I was able to go unaccompanied by minors! Oh I was so happy!!! I can't remember feeling so happy to be in a library before! I grabbed my reserved items and started browsing shelves, beginning with the audio books. Browsing! Me! Alone! Ahhh, it was awesome!

At one point I had an armful of books I'd collected and was able to sit on a couch, spread them before me and even compare editions of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to read to the boys. I was in hog heaven! (That's really an odd saying to type!? I'm a big fat pig rolling in cool mud or with a fresh tray of slop to eat? I think I'll choose a new phrase next time!)

The reason I love and prefer libraries to book stores where I want to buy all those shiny, pretty books is there's no commitment. For the non-committal shopper I am, in libraries there's no buyer's remorse if I don't end up liking a book or never get to actually reading it. It won't glare at me from a space on my shelves gathering dust. Before we moved here, we seriously purged our book stash and until we're real settled or have a ton of pretty book case space, I plan to keep it that way.

Ryan and I are complete opposites here. He loves to buy books, to be the first to crack them open, bend that spine and inhale long and deeply - especially if it's hard bound or old leather. He likes buying. Commitment, it makes him feel warm and fuzzy inside I think. In fact, that reminds me of when we were dating and were at the point of deciding if we'd be exclusive. I was the first to ask the question, he was the first to state it was what he wanted. I remember the his car, where we were on route to my soccer game. It's one of my favorite memories from our dating and one of the things I like about him most - he's decisive about what he wants but patient enough to let me follow his lead in my own due time. I wish I had both of those qualities!

The challenge I faced today was that I'll be traveling and busy soaking up time with my parents for the next few weeks. I didn't want to check out a lot because the items would be due before I had a chance to get to most of them even if I wanted to. I don't want to haul a lot of books around on our trips or worry about battery life and would hate to be guilty of not soaking up every moment with my folks. Library due dates are mere suggestions though, right? Should I just get all these great books and heed my scarcity mentality to hoard since late fees don't exist at this library?

To solve my check-out dilemma, I made a "to read" list from my favorite finds and only got what I thought I could read during travel. I'm a list making nerd. That "to read" list has really grown this year already!

My growing reading list affects my time spent in the car. It makes me antsy. If I'm driving, I crave an audio book. If I'm a passenger, I'm itching for a book in my hand. I think it's because it's one of the rare times of a day that my children are strapped down, going nowhere and so I can sit still and absorb. Sometimes the kids get chatty with me, but usually they're being silly with each other. I feel like I've been awakened to so much classic or great literature and history that I'm in a hurry to dive in!

Anyone read The Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson? Each book in the series is about a different front of WWII. The first book is about Northern Africa, #2 is about Italy, #3 is on Western Europe. I'm curious because I haven't read or seen much about the first two, only Western European fronts. I wonder if Atkinson will do the Pacific Theater next? Guess that would negate the Trilogy description touted on book jackets though.

"The Liberation" was in the section where I was looking for Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place" which I've always heard of and am anxious to finally read. I've gone through a long hiatus from Holocaust related reading after my study abroad in Israel and the DC Holocaust Museum. I haven't been ready to willingly go there for some time but I'm ready again and want to visit some camps while we live here.

With the US fighting a war on terrorism and my reads associated with different facets of that topic, we also recently re-watched "Band of Brothers." I was again struck by the episode entitled, "Why We Fight." After Easy Company's heavy losses on D-Day, Bastogne and other front line or behind enemy line assignments, the men were disheartened and angry about being at war. Then they stumble upon a concentration camp in Bavaria. War is horrible. But I am proud to be an American whose soldiers have liberated many. I wish our country was better at follow-through and nation building. But we all learn more from our mistakes than our triumphs. It is just so sad that the price is so high on all sides. Thank you to our soldiers and prayers for the ravaged people everywhere. May they both be blessed with peace in their hearts.