Monday, October 29, 2012

Sharing Memories: Books

       Thank you to Lorine McGinnis Schulze over at Olive Tree Genealogy,  for her ongoing series about Sharing Memories.  She has been posting a topic every Sunday since December 8, 2009, which gives me lots of food for thought and writing. In addition, the only rule is to share one's memories for whomever, but no rules about what, when or how often to write.  My kind of series,  since I dinna seem to do to well under hard and fast rules.

This week the topic is Books.  Other than the two books that I have written about previously,  reading books was not a high priority activity in my childhood.  Although my mother gave me her poetry book to read while I washed the dishes, she believed that reading was an activity that should be done only after all other chores were done.  In her world, there were always chores to be done.  My grandmother appeared to have the same view of reading, although she did have her elocution book and a few beloved books in her glass-fronted book case.

The only two books that I really remember as I was growing up were dismal failures.  I carried around Ernie Pyle's Brave Men for years, but I don't think I ever finished it.  The strange thing is that my mother gave the book to me to read, which was probably beyond the reading level of  a 9 or 10 year old, but I don't think she ever finished it either.  The other was a historical novel  -- something about a Chateau. This book sticks in my mind as I got some pithy remarks about the book report from a teacher.  I also have an aversion to Libraries, in great part, due to some very large fines for overdue books  -- I don't remember reading the books, but I do remember the fines.

As an adult, I evolved into a rather eclectic reader, history, memoirs, some light science such as books on psychology, sociology, and archeology  --- not so much on the physical sciences, except for astronomy and sometimes light mathematics.  I also have a penchant for spy novels  -- but can't abide most of the series or sequel stuff.  Not too fond of sci-fi and fantasy.   Also once I commence reading, I  can't seem to put a book down until it's finished -- which has caused some problems over late or non existent dinners and the like.

I believe my, or our (my husband and I)  greatest gift in the books and reading realm was that we provided a rather large array of books for our children -- and I read to them every nite until they were reading on their own.  The last  decade or so, I have been winnowing out my book collection  ---   the hardest ones to give the old "heave-ho" were the encyclopedia sets that I had accumulated.  We bought the Americana when our eldest was born,  along with it's accompanying set of Children's Library and a smaller natural science set.  We hauled those encyclopedias throughout Oregon and Washington for over twenty  years.  We were the local "lending library" where ever we lived, as all of our children's friends would come to our house to do their reports -- at least during their elementary and middle school years.  I tried to sell those books, donate them to schools, Goodwill, Salvation Army, just  give them away, and finally my heart broke when I hauled them off to the dump.  How could someone not want a thirty year old set of encyclopedias that had just a few cookie smudges here and there, and maybe a dribble of milk or juice, but very few pencil marks, and those only from "visiting scholars"--- we even had at least ten volumes of the  "Annual Updates."  I am still holding on to the Children's Library.  From those twelve volumes, I read poems and stories, made crafts, costumes, toys and science projects  for my  younger brothers, children, and grandchildren  -- too many memories  -- and there might be great grandchildren some day ... .

And thus my checkered past in the book department -- don't remember reading much, racked up book fines, and cried over an old set of encyclopedias when finally I pushed them out of the back of the station wagon and into the landfill.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Synopsis: 2012 October 28th - Monica Arrives

Dear Readers, A reprieve of the redundancy and whining about the book, editing, etc (the book is still on track.).  The topic of today's Sunday Synopsis is MONICA.  She came to live at my house about a month ago.  She's small, but a hard worker; however, it was the response that I got from my granddaughters that made me realize there was a new force in my life.

The elder of the two, SJ, cautioned me, "Don't trust it. That's how they take over. They win your trust through house hold chores, and then, when you least expect it, SkyNet!!"

The younger granddaughter, MJ, was overheard talking with her mother and rolling her eyes, "I can't believe what's gotten into to Gram.  First a bladeless fan -- and now Monica rolling through the house."

I met their surprised comments with a deaf ear.  I had been looking for a Monica for several months -- read magazine articles, internet descriptions and comments, checked comparisons and prices  --  I knew Monica was right for me.  Then the opportunity came with an early birthday gift card.  Monica could be mine.  Got on Amazon.com immediately and placed an order.  Three days later Monica arrived, with extra pet filters,  magnetic barrier tape, and her own docking station.  I could hardly wait to get her batteries charged and send her off to work.

A new world opened for me that day.  With her batteries charged, the green light blinking, the schedule set for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 a.m.,  I pushed her start button.  Monica, my new robotic vacuum cleaner set off on her maiden voyage through my house adrift with the silty, September clay dust and whirling black hair from my German Shepard Colldubh  -- Sky Net or not.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Synopsis: 2012 October 14th

A quick review of the past two weeks.  My sis, our friend L, and I have been working away at the Uncle Ralph Letters.  L did a mock-up cover for the book, which with a few changes will be an excellent cover for the book. I am "aquiver" to  unveil the cover, but know I need to wait --- so for the time being, the book cover is "undercover."  And L is now creating section pages with pictures and stuff.  Far beyond my abilities and willingness to embark on that kind of artistic  endeavor.

My sis and I finished our next to last (I hope) edit and review, and I just now finished the last of the checking of the edits against the actual letters -- oh, what a chore!  Just checking the edits makes me wonder how I ever transcribed all of those letters -- weird punctuation, strange spelling at times, and run on sentences for lines and lines and lines of text  --- and that's to say nothing of the onion-skin paper which was written on both sides.  Yikes, my eyes will never forgive me.  Tomorrow, the last edits will be off to L for  inputting the edits and formatting.   While she is doing that task, I will be finishing, for the lack of a better title or heading, the "Introduction to the Letters."    At one point I thought we might be finished by October 31st, I will be happy to have the finished pages to the printer by Thanksgiving --- and even that may be a push.

But, how I am looking forward to getting back reading my favorite blogs and writing, both on my blog and the other stories and history that has slipped by the wayside during this race to the finish of the book of letters written by my dear Uncle Ralph.

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 © Joan G. Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications