Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Envision Today

Friday, June 29th, 2018

A year and a half ago, a friend suggested an exercise to me: You envision a day in your life ten years in the future. What do you want it to look like? Describe it in great detail.

The promise is made that you will be surprised about how much that you envision will come true.

I was thinking about that exercise today. I was going for a walk by my lake. It was warm, yes, but cool breezes were blowing. I’d gotten a close up look at my friendly neighborhood great blue heron. Lovely flowers were blooming. It was simply beautiful. My heart was overflowing.

I started thinking, if ten years ago I had envisioned today, could I have imagined much better than this?

Now, if I were imagining a perfect day, I would have gotten up a whole lot earlier than I did today. But there are a whole bunch of elements of today that will be dreams come true:

— I’m going to spend hours reading out on my balcony.
— I got to go for a walk in a beautiful place.
— I *can* take a nap, take it easy, sing along with Christian music….
— I will post thoughts and they will be “published” on my blogs.
— I’m on the Newbery committee, for crying out loud!

Okay, it’s not as impressive when I write it out. But I’ve been thinking lately about Psalm 103:5 — “who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” When my desires are satisfied with good things, I want to *notice* it. I’m a bit stressed because I need to spend every spare minute reading – but that’s a dream come true!

The truth is, when I envisioned my life ten years in the future – Future Sondy had a wonderful husband who was sharing in all the activities of that day I envisioned, and making them better.

But I’m noticing lately that dreams can come true even if that particular dream hasn’t come true yet.

Lately I’ve met some single men near my age – and I haven’t been attracted to them, and they have shown no signs of being attracted to me. And I just hate the part of me that is disappointed by that! It’s an attitude of scarcity – that single men near my age are rare, and I’d better hope if I meet one that we’re a good match, because otherwise none of my dreams will ever come true!

I’m speaking against that. I like what Michelle Obama said at ALA – that she’s found you can have it all, but usually not all at the same time.

The truth is, right now I’ve got a dream come true of being on the Newbery committee and getting legitimately to spend hours and hours of my time reading. Often out on my balcony with birds chirping around me and gentle breezes blowing.

And you know what? It really is easier to do that while I’m living alone.

At the same time, I’ve noticed how richly blessed I am with friends – and a wide variety of friends, women and men, young and old, from so many different backgrounds. Last night I got to read at Silent Book Club with a friend who’s older than me and a delightful storyteller and another new friend who likes to read horror stories and is a young college student and drives out an hour from West Virginia to meet with us.

But I like this idea: Envision Today.

Sure, I’ve frittered away a lot of this day, but that’s a luxury in itself! I’m going to get to sit out on my balcony and read. I’ve gotten to post on a blog some of my thoughts about life. I’ll get to connect with some friends on Facebook.

And look at that. A box of books just arrived at my door from a publisher!

Yes, I can imagine a day where NO dreams come true. But I don’t want to generate that kind of vision, so let me instead look at some really bad days I’ve had:

There was the day I went to court and my divorce became final. That day, my lifelong friend, who was my maid of honor at my wedding and a witness in my divorce, along with another much newer friend, took me out to eat. Showing that even on my worst day, I have loyal friends.

Or how about when I was in the hospital after my stroke? Again, friends came and helped. I went in the hospital the day before my son’s birthday – but my ex-husband rose to the occasion and drove to pick up my son a day earlier than we had planned. I was cared for even when I couldn’t care for myself. Even my work colleagues contributed some of their own sick leave for me.

Tomorrow I have to work. Working in a library has many situations that are definitely *not* dreams come true. But it also has many situations that are. Tomorrow, I’m hosting Family Math Games, and I can easily imagine that I’m going to get to see parents interacting and having fun with their children, who are learning, also having fun, and feeling loved. I can easily imagine that I will get to help a child find a book they’re going to love. And after work? Why, some more reading, of course!

I’m not trying to say that every day is a dream come true. But when dreams do come true, I really want to notice it!

And, honestly, until January 28, 2019, I’m on the Newbery committee – so the truth is that every day *does* have at least one dream come true.

But what about January 29?

I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to make a new habit. Envisioning a day ten years in the future is a great exercise. I added some good things into my life after I did that.

But I would also like to make a habit of Envisioning Today.

I’d like to do meaningful things, and I’d like to notice that I’m doing them.

And when my dreams come true, I’d like to notice it.

Project 52 – Bonus Post – Books!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Last night, I accidentally skipped this picture of my sisters and me with our library books:

1969_08 Reading

I like this picture, because I was thinking about books I read when I lived in Kent. There were two chapter books I got out of the “big section” of the library — one was Winnie-the-Pooh (which I remember my Mom reading to me), and one was this one — The Poppy Seed Cakes. (Ha! I just looked it up, and it is still in print! I am going to have to get myself a copy!)

I am quite sure that my Grandma Bates also had a copy of this book and that it was one my Mom had read and loved as a child. Anyway, when I read it at home, it was from the library.

The other books I remember reading while we lived in Kent were mostly Beginner Books. I remember that my Mom bought me a copy of Are You My Mother?, by P. D. Eastman. And it may have been new — but I also remember her reading to me Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss, and my Mom making much of the question at the end, “And now is your tongue numb?”

We owned many other Beginner Books for a longer time — I don’t remember them being bought. Some Berenstain Bears ones (The Big Honey Hunt and The Bike Lesson). Go, Dog. Go! The Cat in the Hat. Hop on Pop. Green Eggs and Ham. We may have had Dr. Seuss’s ABC.

In the picture, Becky is clearly reading a chapter book, too. But Wendy, at not quite two years old, is not reading. Yes, we learned to read early, but not quite that early. She is imitating her big sisters!

Oh, and I have to add one more thing because Facebook just reminded me today is the anniversary of the moon landing on July 20, 1969.

I remember sitting in my Mom’s lap in the car (yes, the front seat!) and she said that I’d be able to tell my grandchildren that I remembered when men walked on the moon. What a ridiculous idea that was!

We also went out in the front yard and looked up at the full moon and waved to the astronauts!

The Street of the Lifted Lorax

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

This summer at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, I especially enjoyed Seussville, and there I especially enjoyed The Street of the Lifted Lorax. 

The Lorax was one of Josh’s favorite bedtime books.  So much so, that he had it memorized and could recite long parts of it in his adorable one-year-old voice.  Timothy also loved it as a child.  Steve was the one who bought the book, and I will always remember his voice reading it and then Josh’s baby voice chiming in.

As a children’s librarian, it seems especially appropriate to celebrate The Lorax with this sequence of pictures:

Lorax1.jpg

They had a plaque quoting from the beginning of the book:

Lorax2.jpg

Here’s the devastation left behind after the Thneed factory ran out of truffula trees:

Lorax3.jpg

“On the end of a rope he lets down a tin pail and you have to toss in fifteen cents and a nail and the shell of a great-great-great-grandfather snail.”

Lorax4.jpg

“Then he grunts, ‘I will call you by Whisper-ma-Phone, for the secrets I tell are for your ears alone.'”

Lorax5.jpg

SLUPP!  Down slupps the Whisper-ma-Phone to your ear and the old Once-ler’s whispers are not very clear, since they have to come down through a snergelly hose, and he sounds as if he had smallish bees up his nose.

” ‘Now I’ll tell you,’ he says, with his teeth sounding gray, ‘how the Lorax got lifted and taken away…'”

Lorax6.jpg

They tried to put a more positive spin on it, but the stump below is supposed to say UNLESS:

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.

“SO . . .  Catch!” says the Once-ler.  He lets something fall.  “It’s a Truffula Seed.  It’s the last one of all!  You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.  And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.  Plant a new Truffula.  Treat it with care.  Give it clean water.  And feed it fresh air.  Grow a forest.  Protect it from axes that hack.  Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”

Lorax7.jpg

Tim’s Library

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Tims_Library.jpg

Last week, my son brought home his artwork from 8th grade Art class.  I was especially tickled with his Library Scene.  It was all done with cut construction paper.  The assignment was to make a scene with at least three people.

I especially like the READ poster.  Tim said, “It’s not a library without a READ poster!”

I HAD to bring this picture in to work.  It occupies the proud place of honor on the wall above my cubicle.  I like it a lot!  Tim has certainly spent a lot of time in libraries, so it seems very appropriate.  I also like the kid using a laptop.  (Yes, libraries offer wireless internet, too!)

Sondra Lisa Reading

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Sondra_Lisa1.jpg

Today we had some silly fun at the Library.  (It was my boss’s idea!)  Our theme this year is “Master the Art of Reading.”  So we took a poster of the Mona Lisa reading — and cut a hole for kids to insert their face.  Nancy also added words to our display:  Picture Yourself Reading.

We had a lot of fun trying it out!  Unfortunately, I had my camera set on no flash, so most of the pictures taken with it came out blurry.

Anyway, here I am as the Sondra Lisa!

Thing #14

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

The 14th “Thing” in our library’s program to do 23 Web 2.0 activities is to explore www.technorati.com.  It’s a site where you can search blogs.

I had some fun with it, searching for my own posts.  I did not find the Great Falls post I posted most recently, but I did find my goodreads post.  It was fun to look for authors I have recently quoted on Sonderquotes and find other people quoting the same authors.

Then I looked up a title of a book I just checked out, Keturah and Lord Death.  It came highly recommended on the YALSA-Book Listserv, and I thought it would be interesting to find bloggers reading YA literature.

Sure enough, I really like the sound of one of the first blogs I looked at–“Jane on Books,” (http://janeonbooks.edublogs.org/)  with the subtitle–“I Love Kids’ Books.”  I’m going to have to start following that blog….

But wait, there’s more!

The Librarian Soul: http://sonjjjah.wordpress.com/

Talking Teen Books: http://talkingteenbooks.blogspot.com/

Everything Under the Sun: http://everythingunderthesun-booklady.blogspot.com/

The Book Blog: http://anderson8th.blogspot.com/

Book Trail: http://booktrail.blogspot.com/

Pell Mel:  http://melindamorley.com/blog/

So Many Books, So Little Time: http://tannergirl.livejournal.com/

Liz’s Book Buzz: http://lizsbookbuzz.blogspot.com/

Wow!  I was only getting started!  I think I like this method of finding blogs I will enjoy following.  Probably too much.  It’s not like I need more blogs to follow!  But I did want to add to the Blogroll on my site, and I think I’ve hit on a good method.

Oh, by the way, everyone enjoyed the book!

Better than LibraryThing?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

I just found another site for cataloging your books–www.goodreads.com.  It is positioned as social networking for readers.

It seems very similar to LibraryThing.com.  However–and this is a big however–it doesn’t seem to charge you after you’ve entered 200 books.  It does allow you to post reviews and rate your books and all that good stuff.

I’m curious–Do people out there have an opinion on www.goodreads.com as opposed to www.librarything.com?  I’m thinking perhaps I should make a goodreads account and post my reviews to that site as well…  But I will probably only go with one of those two sites, and I already know of a few friends who use librarything.  What do you all think?