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Friday, June 8, 2012

Just Let Me Finish This Chapter

I have always loved reading. When I started first grade at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Chicago, I was the best reader in my class. The principal came into our classroom a couple of days after school began and asked who had not been to kindergarten. Several kids, including me, had not. The next day all of the rest of them were gone. Reading had the power to let me stay in first grade! Of course, both of my sisters claim to have been the one who taught me to read. Who knows? What matters is that I can read and I love it.

Now that summertime is here, even though the calendar is still calling it Spring, I find myself hungry for books. When I was in school I was always reading, but during summer vacation I had time to read so much more! I would walk with my friends (or by myself) to the local library and peruse the shelves over and over, making sure I got the perfect books to read. It was a banquet of words, and I was feasting. I'd come home and decide which of my treasures to enjoy first. 

What a lovely thing it was! It wasn't just about the books themselves, although nothing could compare to all of the different times and places I have traveled to through reading. It was the whole experience. One day, I might sit on the swing in the back yard and enjoy the shade and the scent of Gram's rose garden while I pushed the porch swing gently back and forth with my toes in the grass. The next day might find me sitting on a sofa in the cool basement, or sitting on the steps from the kitchen to the back-door landing. The daylight lasted longer, and so could the books. And Gram was pretty cool about me reading in bed past my bedtime. Seriously, how can you get mad at a kid for reading a good book? She'd tell me I needed to turn the light out, and I'd answer that I needed to finish that paragraph or page or chapter. And of course when I finished it, I would just keep on reading.


I would love to go outside right now and lie down in the cool grass and read a book. Unfortunately, this won't be happening because the doggies around here use it for their potty. Enough said. But I have a window seat, and I can put down a pillow or two, open up a window, and take a journey into the pages of a book. There's still plenty of daylight left. And later on, when Trent says that I should probably get some sleep, I will answer with "Just let me finish this chapter..."