Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I suppose this would be the biblioholoic's word for trying to read more than one book at a time. The husband and I are at the stage of life right now where trying to multi-task does not work very well at all. Both of us frequently will walk into a room intending to do something while thinking of something else we need to and then immediately forget why we are there. At the moment I am multi-booking - trying to juggle several books at once, and not too successfully. It's like being the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

I received a parcel of books from my cousin Richard, who moved from Nevada to Washington, DC, a few years ago. He decided to liberate himself from some of his collection, and he put a lot of thought into the books he decided to give me.... there are links here....

His mother, my father's youngest sister, died of cancer some years ago. Losing a Parent helped him through that event, and he hopes that it will help me now that my own mother is terminally ill with cancer.

He stuck a post-it note "self-evident" on the front of Biblioholism. I showed the book to Judy, and we laughed. I am probably not a true biblioholic - definitely constrained by being rather tight fisted with money when it comes to material possessions. I'm borderline maybe, but not quite over the top.

My cousin and I both adored our Aunt Betty and Uncle Johnny and spent magical hours at their house at the Hastings Natural History Reservation. We've been trading memories about those years. In a mutual commiseration about our dislike of cellular phones and technology in general (neither of us does very well with our respective DVD players), I suddenly remembered our Aunt had a hand-crank phone. So I asked him if he remembered:

I remember Aunt Betty's hand crank phone well.... It was at the end of the long hallway, leading from the bedroom wing to the kitchen. And yes, it was an actual working phone, and it was on a party line. Their ring was two longs and a short, or some such, vs two shorts and a long, And, I believe they had to ask the operator for any calls not on their direct party line.

Lives of the Cell is a book they gave him decades ago, he says. In a note, which I am using as a bookmark to keep my place, he says he had trouble digesting it or getting enjoyment from it and thought I might like it. I do indeed, but I can also understand why he had trouble with it. It is a collection of essays by an amazing writer, with some really odd, and sometimes very profound thoughts. It must be taken in small doses - and thoroughly chewed -- to go down well.

We both enjoy attracting birds to our yards. He fed peanuts to jays when he lived in Nevada, and had already decided to send me the book on Hand-Feeding Backyard Birds when I mentioned it in an earlier post on this blog.

Last year I sent him starts of the two ancient cacti that I have that originally came from our grandfather's garden back in the early 60s. Apparently they have survived the winter. I do fairly well with cactus, probably because they appreciate the "benign neglect" I offer them. However, I have not been very successful over the years in persuading my cacti to bloom. Perhaps after reading Cacti in Color and Cactus and Succulents, I will figure out the secret.

And finally, this book. The Flower Babies' Book...

We both remember as young children seeing this book at Grandma's house...

looking at the pictures, and hearing the poems. Some years ago, the original family heirloom passed from his mother to Aunt Vera, the only surviving Aunt (I have a wonderful relationship with her oldest daughter Teri, my cousin in Hawaii, but that's a topic for another day). He bought this one to give to his mother to replace the original, and now it belongs to me.

I had sort of drifted out of touch with this man who I spent quite a bit of time with when we were kids. Up until the time I was about 10 or 11 or so, they lived within reasonable driving distance of our house and I saw him quite a bit. We shared a love of nature and bugs and all sorts of things. This was during the time when children played with toys like erector sets and Lincoln logs and tinker toys, and I remember doing all those things with him before they packed up and moved 8 hours away. I am so thankful he is back in my life...


The Weaver of Grass said...

LL what a lovely inspiring post - to make real contact with someone you used to be close to and to receive a parcel of such thoughtfully chosen books from him. I do hope they help you through what is a difficult patch - and that you have many more years of this renewed friendship. Best wishes.

Jenn Jilks said...

I'm so glad you visited me! Thank you for visiting My Muskoka !
I, too, am a biblioholic. I used to read several at once.

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