hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Where Is Jessica's Mom?

Yesterday, I was working at the Friends of the Library's Used Book Sale, a regular Saturday feature in the summer here in Point Roberts.  We put out 400-500 books (mostly fiction of many genres), CD's, DVD's, and VHS videos, and for four hours residents and visitors drop by and, in the great tradition of small bookstores, browse the collection, and purchase (at a ridiculously low price) some of the stock.  Some folks look for  a long time and buy one book; others buy a big stack.

Where do the books come from?  From the bookshelves of residents.  We get thousands of books each year from donations and then they get moved on to other people's bookshelves, and the library (and the community) benefits because the Friends can provide extra money for programs that aren't in the regular library budget.  For example, the recent marionette show of "Peter and the Wolf" was paid for by book sale money.  I could say that we're making America read again, but as far as I can tell, America never stopped reading, nor did Canada.

If you work the sale, you find yourself taking money and taking books, as well.  I mean, I am as tempted by the promise of a good book as anybody else is.  Occasionally, I am taken by a book I've never heard of and discover upon reading that it is a wondrous book and I can't imagine how it is I've never heard of it before.  One recent book that captured my fancy was a book about ordinary life in 18th Century China.  I kept wondering who had donated that book and whether they still had some other books on their shelves that I wanted to know about.  But there was no name in the book. Perhaps we should all be writing our names in our books, at least if we donate them, so people can get in touch with our library for other wonders.

Names in the donated books are relatively rare.  I suspect many of us older folks are still a little leery of writing in books at all.  Givers of books, somewhat less so, as I don't infrequently see a book that has Aunt Mary hoping that Gordie will really enjoy this account of the friendship between a boy and his dog, or his cat, or his whatever.  People do leave their bookmarks in the books, even when they donate them.  Ah, here's someone who was in a Charleston, South Carolina, bookstore, and the bookmark has, with the book, perhaps, made the trip all the way to Point Roberts.

Yesterday, I was looking through the books to see if I could find any interesting bookmarks.  Out popped one handmade bookmark, made of a piece of paper cut out in the shape of a bare foot.  Written in pencil on the foot was this message: "MOM!  I love you so much that I think I'm going to explode!  Love, Jessica."  What a find!

So, I'm writing this blog to any mom who ever had a daughter named Jessica, and hoping that the bookmark-message can be re-delivered to her in this way.  And also, if the donator of "Six Records of a Floating Life" by Shen Fu, has any other great recommendations, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Big Winds of Summer

More strange weather here in Point Roberts.  A few nights ago, we had a very big windstorm in the middle of the night that left many people, including me, wide awake between the hours of 2 and 4 am.  And this morning, we awakened to thunder and lightning, eventually falled by a short but intense rain storm.  Windstorms, usually winter; lightning and thunder, usually spring.  But we're in the middle of summer.  Ah, well, even a little rain will help the dried up grass on view in many yards.

But the downside of the windstorm is that all my sunflowers took a very big hit.  The downside of 5 and 6 foot tall plants with very heavy flowerheads is that they don't do well in the wind.  I'd picked maybe ten of them already, but the last dozen were pretty much demolished in the windstorm.

Next week? Maybe hail or something like that?