Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just a Friendly Reminder

The past few days have been difficult.

I woke up on Monday with a sore throat that has not gone away. I have been coughing, sneezing, and feeling sick to my stomach all week long. Basically, I have been no fun to be around. When I woke up this morning, I was convinced I had strep throat. Unfortunately, for many parents, there are no days off. Although Nathan does work from home in the mornings, he cannot tend to three children while he teaches students. Fortunately, work was incredibly (and strangely) slow this morning, so I had plenty of assistance with feeding the babies, changing diapers, and entertaining Eliza.

After a few days of trying to entertain Eliza at home, I decided I would gather the energy to take her out to the library. As soon as the babies were down for their nap, we hurried out on our date. Eliza loves the library and choosing books to read, so I knew she would have a great time. We left with an armful of books and noticed the local thrift store, which is conveniently located next door the library, was opened. I love looking for old books, so we went straight to the children's literature section.

I scanned through the various book titles, and my heart skipped in excitement when I read a single word: "Frederick." I immediately pulled the book off the shelf and nearly clapped my hands when I saw it was the book I had in mind. It was a childhood favorite and in perfect condition.
Feeling victorious, I continued to scan every book title, searching for another treasure. Four books later, I found the winner of all winners. In fact, I told Cheryl only yesterday that I needed this book for Eliza: 

I cannot put into words how much I adored this book as a little girl. I haven't seen the pages in about 15 years, but I remembered every single one of them. Coincidentally enough, I had actually considered buying this book on Amazon last night because I wanted it so badly. Ten dollars was much too much for our budget, though. I paid ten cents for it today.

The connection between these books I found at the little store was incredibly meaningful to me. These are two books my grandmother introduced me to. She worked for the school system in North Carolina and was a connoisseur of children's literature. She would go to literary conventions and come back with autographed books for my siblings and me. It was heaven for a little girl who loved to read.

When I went to her house, she would always have a new book waiting. However, she knew my favorites were Chrysanthemum, Frederick (the Mouse,we called it), Ferdinand the Bull, and Thomas's Snowsuit (which I did buy last night on Amazon for $2.00!). To unexpectedly find two of my favorite books (after searching at many yard sales and many used book stores) felt ridiculously amazing. I couldn't stop smiling, and I had the emotional boost I needed to get through the rest of the day.

If my grandmother were still alive, I would have called her to tell her about this seemingly petty news; it wouldn't mean that much to anyone other than her. What could be a seen as a coincidence, though, was a much needed reminder that we are surrounded by positivity daily and remain close to loved ones we have lost--even if it simply through our memories. For five minutes today, as I looked read through these books inside of the thrift store, I felt like I was 8 years old again in my grandmother's bed.

And when I read the stories to Eliza tonight, I knew my grandmother would be proud of me. I also knew she was close by. 

I can't say it was a bad day at all.


  1. Awww. That's so wonderful! Finding childhood treasures does wonders for the soul. Also, I can't help it, but every time I think of the word chrysanthemum I think of Anne of Green Gables (more the movie than the book in this case). c.h.r.y.s.a.n.t.h.E.m.u.m. I will forever know how to spell that word. Haha.

  2. I cannot tell you how much I love the book Chrysanthemum. It was one of my childhood favorites too! There isn't a lot that I love more than browsing old/rare book stores in search of something amazing to add to my bookshelves.

  3. That is awesome!! I love both of those authors. Have you read "Jessica" or "Julius, Baby of the World"? Maybe Eliza would like that one, because it's about a new baby in the house. Those books both have such good lessons for kids! And the art is adorable. Also, your grandmother is beautiful! What classy pictures. And seriously, what a teeny tiny waist. We need to talk soon! (Today?) I'll text you.

  4. Great finds! I felt the same way when I found Danny and the Dinosaur. I also scan through the children's books but only sometimes.I need to show you my collection of Storyscope books and tapes. Yes, tapes. I also have The Monster at the End of this Book. Great pictures! I have some wonderful pics of my grandmother too. I can tell that I would have gotten along with yours just fine. She looks very welcoming and kind.

  5. Awww, I love this! I love those special memories, and my childhood books are some of my most treasured possessions! You know I love those pics of Grandma look exactly like her! I didn't have that last pic so I'll have to steal that one. ;-)

  6. Heather and I loved Chrysanthemum!!


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