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My mother is one who once she has read a book will never re-read it and if she mistakenly pick it up will promptly return it to the library after she figures out it has been read before.

I on the other hand love to return to old friends — like the song sung by Girl Scouts the world over: make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.

I listen to audio books all the time and when I haven’t found something new to spark my attention I will listen to an old favorite. I own the Harry Potter series and the Lightning Thief series. This has been very helpful when I lead discussions on these for the library — I have read them so often that just listening to them again is a great way to refresh my memories on occurrences in the story. I find new details in each reading and think about things in just slightly different ways depending on what is happening in my life at that time.

In times of stress — I love returning to old books because it is just a little a respite from what is happening in daily life that is causing the stress.

Old books with their retro covers that would never be made in today’s publishing environment and their split spines are just so dear.

I do enjoy new books as well … non-fiction books that inspire, fiction books that thrill and youth fiction that touches the heart are all wonderful. I care not if the hero is young or old; healthy or preparing to die … the story is the thing …

I don’t want to scare anything away … but Spring may actually be quite near by. I know this is a rather surprising thought after the winter we have had … and there IS STILL some snow in spots … but finally there is hope.

Yesterday I actually opened the window to the screened in porch and the cats went out and could come in at will … as opposed to waiting for the dumb human to admit to hearing their cries at the door (I do have a very thick door) and then letting them in at my leisure.

Another sign of Spring is that I have finally seen crocus and other Spring bulbs battling the frosted ground and poke through. This is truly an amazing sight after the gargantuan piles of snow that occurred this winter.

I have been tempted to actually hang laundry outside in the warmer temperatures … I think it got to 60 degrees F the other day! However, I don’t trust it not to precipitate on my clothes. It has been a strange past few weeks: one moment sunny, the next drippy weather.

Bird songs are heard in the early morning when I wake up and that is just glorious. It isn’t warm enough to sit outside with coffee in the morning … but I am dreaming of that time.

Things are finally looking hopeful and I am rejoicing … the darkness of winter is past and hey with some school moms yesterday as we spoke about graduation … I received the first sunburn of the season! Isn’t that a downright wonderful thing?

Are Libraries Necessary?

Often times people ask me if I think libraries have a purpose in an age of technology when anything can be found on a person’s phone.

I dare say the person who asks this question needs to spend a few hours in a library to find out.

I am a public library director. My days are never the same.

Who needs a Librarian

Some days I am asked about a book and I am not given the luxury of author or title. I was told what the cover looked like. This was a few years ago and I actually was able to find the youth fiction book because the cover was so distinctive — pink and green.

Some days I am a technology teacher. Helping patrons to open email accounts to apply for jobs, which is predominately done on-line now. Performing Christmas miracles when one patron opened an email account to keep in contact with her adult son across the continent. I often help patrons print pictures or nieces, nephews and grandchildren who are growing up far from the people who love them.

Some days I am asked how to download eBooks and audio books from the consortium we are a part of and sometimes the most basic question when they call and have problems is … our you on our library’s web site? Little do people know just how many Goshens are out there in the world!

Some days I lead book discussions on juvenile literature.

Some days I help moderate discussions on foreign policy.

Some days I write reports for my Library Board of Directors and grants for future programs.

Some days I counsel teens.

Some days I grieve with families.

Do we, as a society need libraries?

Well, all I can think of when this question is asked … what is one of the first things a dictator does when they start taking over a country? Gain control of education and close libraries.

If any of my friends read this post — they will laugh uproariously for I have been far more stressed than positive lately.

If I were to look at a scales and check my weight — you will find that I have found solace in more chocolate lately than I should have and since the weather has been horrible I haven’t been able to walk even if I could have found the time.

Yet I do try to stay upbeat in the daily routine. Some days it is harder than others though.

Budgets are due at work and changes are made.

Staff members are moving and retiring.

My son is going to high school, when did he get so old?

Rejoicing in the knowledge that family is close by, even if they are a world away. My children, though of course driving me crazy, are pretty good kids on the whole. Did I say that my son is looking at high schools? It has been a wonderful thing reading the answers to the high school application questions. It really does make me proud.

Rejoicing in friends with whom I keep in contact using Social Media. I can communicate in real time with friends in Great Britain, Ohio and Massachusetts as if they were in the same room. I also text friends and even my mother — don’t I have a cool Mom?

Rejoicing that I have a wonderful home with cool cats and the opportunity to be a “Home for the Weekend” service dog in training organization so that I do get the “dog fix” without being a 24/7 care-giver which we couldn’t manage right now.Smile Change the World

Rejoicing that I have a career that I enjoy and wonderful people with whom I work.

So yes, high school choices and scheduling stress abound; but this does just help to reconsider all that is right at the moment.

Let’s Kill the Groundhog…

What a cruel and wicked winter this has been.

We have had lots of snow, very cold temperatures and the kids have been out of school almost as much as in school. Well that is a slight exaggeration but not too far off.

I do actually like winter, but I suppose I want it Camelot style. Perfect amounts, spaced nicely apart, never during the week when I need to be getting kids to bus stops for school. It needs to exit March the 2nd on the dot. Hmm wait, is that really what the song says? It has been a while since I listened to “Camelot”! Winter really does need to leave earlier … especially if it has been a harsh one.

I swear there were some weeks this winter when I saw my plow guy more frequently than my best friend. I like my plow guy — he is really sweet, but I also want to see my best friend and sit over coffee and gossip!

There has been rampant images on Facebook with cats and wolves threatening the life of the groundhog, so I get the idea that I am not the only disgruntled person.
Wolf & Groundhog

I have an acquaintance who works at a grocery store and I often ask him, so how was work today? He will just groan and say it was horrible.

There must come a point when we have gotten so hardened by winter that we no longer run out to the store to get bread, milk and eggs … we just buy them every other day in preparation for what we know is right around the corner.

Thinking of Spring …

It was still the winter holidays when seed catalogs started entering the mail.

I thought they had to wait until January, but I guess they have changed the rules somewhere in the realms of marketing. Are we supposed to send I.O.U.s to people for Christmas?

I.O.U. one apple tree — oh, wait a minute … usually you need two for pollination …

I started looking at these the other day when I woke to -2 degrees and thought, I need apple trees. I stopped my uncle the horticulturist and asked about which catalog I should order from and opened up to the Heirloom varieties.

I may be too busy — but having apples has been a dream for a few years. It is why I bought my house in all actuality, I have acreage which would be easy to convert to orchard. Now I just need time.

Dreaming of spring with seed/tree catalogs. Dreaming of having time to do something with them. Now to make the dreams a reality!

Yes, I know more cheese with more whine.

But somehow in all the climate change hoopla we have forgotten just how hearty New Englanders have been. I don’t remember just how cold it was day to day when I was young, but I do remember piling on the clothes before sledding and wearing multiple layers while waiting for the school bus at the end of the driveway. Yes actual waiting at the end of the driveway as opposed to waiting inside and going to the bus when it gets there!

Now since all things worsen with age — “When I was your age we walked to school and we went in blizzards when I had to go up hills both ways!” — and all that stuff, however, in general it is rare nowadays when temperatures are actually negative. On average if it is in the teens at night that is deemed cold.

This year though things seem different. We are returning to the cold of yester year and I am grumpy. I mean … I work 1.5 miles from my house. Yet I have to run my car for 15 to 20 minutes before making the drive because it takes that long to get the engine light above C. Thankfully I have a garage, but it isn’t heated so on average it is only about 13 degrees above the outside temperature and thankfully if any of that white stuff falls from above I do not need to sweep it off …

I spoke to the gentleman who plows my drive way this morning, he apologized for coming so often … I told him it wasn’t his fault.

Pretty soon I will take up mumbling to myself and rocking in the corner … put I will do it with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders and more than likely a cat will be joining me.

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