Until last week I thought the Keep Calm and Carry On poster had been around and popular since World War II. But when I watched a YouTube video Liz sent me about the poster’s history, I found out I was only half right. And I fell in love with another used bookstore…
crocus & hyacinth in my garden | Kansas City, KS 2013
In the Midwest, spring rarely lines up with the calendar. I was thrilled when my crocus came up this year and weren’t thwarted even after their tender buds were buried twice under a pile of snow. My hyacinths and tulips started their upward climb through the dirt and have thus far survived the temperatures dropping back down to winter-levels. Even though the forecast of snow this week makes me grumble a bit, just seeing their green leaves sticking out reminds me that winter will not last forever – spring is coming.
To gird up my outlook, I went in search of spring quotes and thought I’d share a few that seem fitting for this early stage of the season — the barely hinted at spring.
A friend of mine owns an estate sale business and every month I get to work a sale or two with him. Normally what this means is I sit behind the cash table and watch other people buy the things I missed or was hoping would still be there later in the day. But every once in a while, I go home with treasures. And more often than not, they’re books. (Big surprise.)
I didn’t realise it until this last sale, but one of the great things about estate sale books is that it’s not uncommon to find an inscription in them. And sometimes a mediocre book can suddenly look interesting when there’s a good inscription that sets the book in the context of life.
I know this is not a tree growing in Brooklyn, nor is it even Francie’s Tree of Heaven variety, but when searching through my Flickr images for the right photograph I found this little gal, (yes, I personify trees) and she has the same gumption as the tree on page one of Francie’s story. Out of a rock, she grows. Towered over by others, but not afraid. Green and growing despite her meager starting place. I imagine Francie as an old woman, visiting Colorado as part of her life’s goal to see everything, and stopping at this spot, because of this little tree. She sits on the stone and rests her hand gently near the little green branches. And she smiles as she remembers.
the patio bedecked with snow | Kansas City, KS 2013
One of my jobs is to write SEO-enhanced product descriptions. So, amid the Blizzard of Oz while the snow piled up outside, I was cozied up inside pondering ways to describe summer patio furniture and lawn ornaments. Ha!
When working on these projects I often find myself stuck trying to think of different words with which to say the same thing over and over again. During one such moment, when trying to think of a fresh way to say “adorning” the word “bedeck” came to mind. I second-guessed myself: Is that even a word? What a silly looking word. But the squiggly red line didn’t appear [in Word] so it had to be “real”. I right-clicked to check its synonyms to ensure I was using it correctly.
Today in 1903, Anaïs Nin was born in France to Hispanic/Cuban parents and was given the never-ending name — Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell. Whew. Though she was raised in France and spent time in both Spain and Cuba, she lived the majority of her life in the United States where she established herself as an author.
I haven’t read any of her journals or other works, but I always stumble across quotes of hers that I like. (I wonder if she wrote anything in her journals about the weight of carrying six different names.)
We read Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for book club this month. (Actually, I’m still reading it — 200 pages left to go!) One thing I’ve appreciated about the book is how Smith tosses out detailed descriptions of everyday things — a meal, an outfit — almost like a recipe for life in 1900s Brooklyn.
Unexpectedly, I found myself becoming a little enamoured with the Nolans’ approach to poverty. Being on a tight budget myself, I began wondering if I should try to incorporate some of their attempts at economy. I realize this sounds like I’m romanticizing the struggle of being poor; I am not by any means discounting the hardship of poverty. Rather, reading this reminded me of something Anne Shirley said: There are so many things in this room and all so splendid that there is no scope for imagination. That is one consolation when you are poor — there are so many more things you can imagine about. Oh, imagination.
Hey friends. Gimme Some Reads has been live for three months now! Crazy, huh? I’d love to get a little feedback from you all, to better know my audience, so I’ve created a quick survey (below). As these are fairly general questions, and don’t allow you to write in your own answers, feel free to comment on this post (or email me) if you have any further suggestions.