I’m writing to you from Hartford, where I’m ensconced in my hotel room. Soon, a day of rehearsal will begin and then I’ll head home around 7 tonight. By the way, since we’ve had the Keurig conversation in the past, I thought I would share that this room has a Keurig. So I decided I would try a K-cup, as you who are Keurig lovers suggested.
I’m sorry, my friends, but I didn’t like it. Now, maybe if it was a Peet’s French Roast K-cup, I’d like it better; nevertheless, it didn’t pass the Claudia test.
It’s now official. I’m sticking with my pour-over method for brewing.
About three weeks ago, a package arrived at my door in the pouring rain. The UPS guy, who wasn’t our regular delivery guy, decided to leave it by the kitchen door, where there is no cover, rather than on our porch, where there is. For some reason, I spied it on the cement and grabbed it. The bottom of the box had been soaked through. The box was from my sister and on it were the words, Do not open until April 24th, that date being the anniversary of our mother’s death.
I quickly made a decision to open the box. I went by feel. If it was unwrapped, I was going to have Don take it and hide the contents. Fortunately, I could tell there was wrapping around the package. Thank goodness I took it out of the box, or it would have been ruined and that would have been tragic. You’ll see why soon. I put the wrapped package away and dutifully waited until the 24th to open it.
This is what was inside:
Meredith had read this post, where I spoke about the books my mom had as a young girl. Those books eventually made their way to the bookshelf that my sisters and I shared in our bedroom. Yes, for quite a while, all three of us shared one room. In that group of books were books by Louisa May Alcott, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Jean Webster and more. Years later, when I was visiting my middle sister (who is now estranged from the rest of the family) I saw all of them on her bookshelves. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I was surprised and, now that I think of it, some of those books were mine, given to me by my grandmother.
Don’t get me started.
Anyway, I spoke about my quest to find those books, or to be more accurate, find vintage editions of those books not unlike the ones my mom had, for my bookshelves. I wanted to see the books I grew up with, that reminded me of my mom, in my home.
Well, it turns out my middle sister didn’t have quite all of the books. Meredith had some, too. She looked at her shelves, found these, and decided to give them to me.
I was dumbfounded. When I opened the package, I had no idea where she had found them. Had my dad given them to her when Mom died? I couldn’t figure it out. But I knew that cover of Anne of Green Gables. I knew it as sure as I was sitting there. And I started to cry. It was the anniversary of my mother’s transition and here I was, looking at books I thought were long gone, holding them in my hands.
Can you imagine if they had been ruined by the rain?
We think that Meredith and my other sister ended up with the books because I was older than them and was off to college and then on my own while they were still living at home. ‘L,’ my other sister, has the bulk of them, that’s for sure – including, Meredith informed me, the Nancy Drew books accumulated by all three of us over the years.
Okay. I have to let that go. If L’s children enjoyed and read those books, then that’s a good thing.
There she is.
The dedication from my grandparents.
There are illustrations throughout the book.
I remember this book sitting on our bookshelf so vividly. I loved that romantic story so much.
This next book was a total surprise because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. It was my dad’s book.
(Sorry – this is just a wee bit blurry, but I’m not at home and I can’t re-take the picture.)
Don’t you love that title? Part of the Dave Darrin series. I wonder how many books there were in the series?
To my dad from his older brother Fred and his wife, Grace. My uncle Fred was a very sweet man.
Priceless treasures. And all because my little sister has the most giving heart. Truth be told, she’s far more giving than me. She is my role model. And I love her dearly.
On the shelf. I am unable to imagine a more perfect gift. Or a more perfect way to honor my mother on a sad anniversary.
Thank you, Meredith.