Linking up today with Lisa Jo over at Five Minute Friday.
She took us to the library. It's one of the most consistent memories of my childhood and the one that cemented in me a voracious love of reading everything I could get my hands on.
The first library was the one in a converted house at the far edge of our town. Tiny, cramped, jammed full of books. I can still see the shelf where Judy Blume's Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret lived. Declared off-limits to me, I remember sneaking peeks inside while Mom was otherwise occupied with a brother. I can see the room where the career catalogs were housed and that's where I had the notion that maybe, just maybe, I could be a physical therapist. (Later lack of joy in the sciences nipped that dream quickly.) I can see the dust mites floating from the ceilings as the afternoon sun shone in.
The next library was the one we went to every Friday for seemingly forever. She'd pick us up from school, we piled into the station wagon and later the brown Grand Prix and we'd travel into DC to the doctor so my brother could get his allergy shots. This weekly requirement was only made tolerable by knowing that the library awaited after he was done. Hillcrest Heights library was a little bit of heaven for us. Aisles and aisles of books. We'd seemingly read our way through what the neighborhood library had to offer, but doubted we'd ever run out of choices here. I remember Caddie Woodlawn and thinking she had such a pretty name. Graduating from young adult to the adult section upstairs was a delightful rite of passage.
And then there was the church library, housed in a little musty room, filled with every single Grace Livingston Hill book every written (which I only picked up as a last resort). What a blessing that little library was to minds looking for adventures to take them away from the everyday routine.
During the college years, I spent hours inside the library as a necessity, not for the joy or love of reading. Later I was actively involved in another church library, this time using my love of the library as ministry. The first thing I tried to do when we moved to a new community four years ago was to get a library card, but they made me wait. I was so new in town I couldn't prove I was a resident and eligible for a card. "But I love the library!" I bemoaned. "This is my very first stop." To no avail. Once I received the first electric bill, you bet I went to get my library card!
I still love the library. Yes, I love Amazon -- click, click and books appear on my doorstep or on my Kindle, but there's just something about the library. I think a little bit of my heart lives there, thanks to Mom.