I love this time of year! The pencils are long and new. The erasers haven’t been broken by furious or frustrated erasing. The metal spirals on notebooks haven’t wormed their way out of their holes and snagged any sweaters. The packs of college-ruled lined paper give me hope that whatever gets written on them will be learned and not just memorized. The new backpacks help to make the tome-toting a little more stylish. Decades ago, when I walked ten blocks to my elementary school, there were no backpacks. I had a sort of top-loading briefcase. It still makes me snort laughter as I type. I think the briefcase is the reason I still list a bit to my right side when I walk.
With all the school shopping going on for my granddaughter, I was feeling happy for my own going back to school, too. I’m starting my 24th year working in post-secondary education, so I don’t need a lunch pack or anything by way of ACTUAL school supplies. However, the beginning of the school year signals more quiet time for me as GN does her homework, so I’ve assigned myself some homework too. The assignment was accidental, coincidental, serendipitous, and completely dependent upon what I spotted in the aisle pictured below.
What you see is half of one side of a very long aisle of books in my favorite thrift shop. The books are placed in labeled sections, and while not alphabetical, it’s still convenient for browsing.
The four books I bought were not things I was looking for. They called out to me much the same way purple clothing does when I’m within hearshot. I can’t explain it. It just happens . . . and I allow it.
The first book I picked up called to me because of all the things I’ve knit over the years, my favorite item to make is dolls. The book has knitting patterns for bedtime items for children: nightcaps, bedsocks, blankets, etc., but if you can see what is in the left hand of the child, it’s a little doll. It’s that little doll that called out to me. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
I plan to knit some of those dolls this year. Lots of time for that when I watch football. You know how I feel about football and knitting going together. Super Bowl XLVI, Indy? Yeah, ‘nuf said.
The second book I bought didn’t shout my name, but sort of whispered. “Pssst. Hey, Gram! The kid loves soup, doesn’t she?” I listened and then had a conversation with the cookbook that ended up in my shopping bag.
Oh, I make good soups, but getting new recipes keeps my it interesting and also shows my granddaughter that I care what she takes to school. GN loves soup. There are some creative uses of vegetables in this book.
The third book is a little more difficult to explain. I suppose the Ingenious Gentleman Don Quijote* of La Mancha (the full title) is more ingenious than Cervantes initially imagined, because he is still cleverly making his way into the shopping carts of busy grandmothers.
I bought the book because of the language. In truth, it is the language of the translator. I’m familiar with the basic plot, but have never read the book. I compared the translation in my hard copy with a translation available online and the hard copy is my preference. The antiquated grammatical structure will interest me as much as the fantasies of the protagonist. It better. The book has nearly 900 pages of about 8 point font! Perhaps Señor Quijote would not have had such wavering mental faculties if he had someone knitting near his hearth to keep him more grounded.
I don’t usually pick out books for my granddaughter to read. She has her interests and I remember that I did too, when I was her age, so when it’s time for her reading pleasure, I don’t make too many suggestions. The following just jumped into my cart and I bought it without telling her. The title, by no means, expresses any opinion I have of my nearly fifteen-year-old housemate.
I bought it yesterday and she is nearly done reading it. I heard her laughing out loud in her bedroom last night, so I guess it was something she’s enjoyed. I have a feeling she’ll be sharing this one with her friends.
*I used the Spanish spelling for what is also spelled Quixote, because that’s what is used in my copy.