Blitz

I couldn’t believe my eyes. There it was, lying on the floor, a blast from my past.

blitz_jan-2017

It stopped me in my tracks. I’d know that cover anywhere. We’d been cleaning the attic and out of no where it appeared. I hadn’t seen it in years, didn’t know I still had it. It was the first book I chose to read, from start to finish, on my own. That is, I wasn’t forced. This was BIG. I hated to read in grade school. It was torture. I didn’t see the point. I would much rather run with the boys, climb a tree, or better yet, jump out of one and do it all over again. Reading was a complete waste of time. B-O-R-R-R-ing.


We’ve been on a mission, the husband and I. We were fighting the our-son-returns-from-Vietnam-soon clock and preparing the upper attic. After weeks of endless sorting and cleaning I saw the floors. Dust flew as we continued to purge. Suddenly there it was, my favorite childhood book. I knew it in that instant. I recalled my affection for the book, how much I loved it. My heart swelled. I think I smiled. Never mind that I’d completely forgotten the plot; what counts is that I remember how much I loved it (whatever it said).


Later that day as I recalled the book, my mind wandered back in time. It was the mid 60s. It was required we take weekly trips to the library. Can you believe that?! We had to line up single file first. The place was cold. We had to spread out and sit at long, tan-colored tables covered with pencil marks. The librarian was crabby. We had to be quiet. It reeked. It was where that kid Lonnie would, on a regular basis, cough up something disgusting, take aim, and shoot out the contents at whomever he pleased (1). He shot at me once. He missed. No wonder I hated the place.

One day, while sitting far away from Lonnie, I looked over at the book shelf next to my table. I spied a possibility. Well, I thought, if I can choose the book, maybe this reading thingy won’t be so bad. I looked for low word count. I wasn’t going to read anything thicker than a fourth of an inch. I wasn’t stupid. I picked a very thin book with a brown horse on the cover. Every week for the allotted time, I took out that book and followed the story, mindful of Lonnie and avoiding The Crab.

Before I realized it I began to enjoy the story. Something interesting was happening and I liked what I was reading. Not that I was reading, but what I was reading. I began to look forward to coming in, single file or not, Lonnie or not, to see what happened next. I had no idea at the time, but I was hooked and I wanted to finish. Besides, I’d sacrificed coveted play time–time better spent in a tree–because I had to (did I mention I’d been forced?). Oh, no. I wasn’t stopping now. I’d started something and I was in for the 128-page long haul.

I finished a book (2). I actually read a whole school book. Me. Karen. I did it!!! Oh, I’d been reading. By this time, I’d been reading for years. But this! This was different. I chose the story. I’d begun at the beginning, read it through, and finished it, down to the last period. I had never done this. I recall sitting at my pencil-marked table, looking around the room, filled with pride. It was quite an accomplishment. I was seven.


Inside the front cover I noticed something else: I started writing book reviews many years ago. My BFF Cherie agreed with my scholarly assessment.

img_20161231_123132.jpgIt’s probably OK to let you in on something else. This isn’t my writing, but someone else was aware that I was in love.

img_20161231_122921603.jpgThis would be Donny Osmond. We were very tight. To this day I’m certain he pines for me. Cherie begged me to “like” David Cassidy, but no. Donny was the man. Come to think of it, in second grade she begged me to like Robert M. instead of Robert F. Robert M. was OK, but again…Robert F. was THE man. I respect her willingness to share, but sometimes you gotta stand your ground.

Without giving away the plot I’ll leave you with one last temptation: the back cover.

img_20161231_124129045.jpgBe careful, though. “You will cry and get very interested.”


(1) Absolutely and disgustingly true. Years ago he tried to strike up a conversation on FB, like we’re pals. My memory is long and sometimes accurate. He’s been blocked.

(2) At my request, my parents later purchased the book.

  42 comments for “Blitz

  1. January 30, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I’m about to write a post about ‘A trip down memory lane’ Karen… and in it is an old magazine cover with a picture of … yep….. Oh Donny.. that smile.. I like David but I’d have to fight you over ‘Donny’… and like ourselves, he’s stood the test of time haha!
    Your writing in this is lovely.. you painted such a clear vision, I felt I was sat in the library with you but grateful I wasn’t with Lonny around.. ugghhhh !
    Have a wonderful week and I hope you’re new adventure is progressing well.. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you for the lovely compliment. I am glad you enjoyed my stroll down library lane. I read your memory lane post and smiled all the way through. Those tea houses seem like a great place to visit. Glad you enjoyed your time there. Have a fabulous week…and, um, don’t even think about taking Donny. He’s mine…

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        It’s a good job your not closer Karen – I’d have to give your hair a ‘tug’ !! haha…
        I’m glad you liked my post and I loved yours! … Get your hands off is all I’ve got to say.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • January 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

          Yes, because of the miles we may have to declare a truce. According to his text of just today, however, he pines for me. XX

          Liked by 1 person

          • January 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

            Oh now that’s just mean….heehee xx

            Like

            • January 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm

              We may have to share… πŸ˜‰ ❀

              Liked by 1 person

            • January 30, 2017 at 3:30 pm

              Now that’s more like it – I’ll compromise on that – Mon, Wed, Saturday – he’s mine! x

              Liked by 1 person

            • January 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm

              Deal. ❀

              Liked by 1 person

            • January 30, 2017 at 4:17 pm

              xox

              Liked by 1 person

  2. January 28, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I enjoyed this heartwarming post. It’s amazing how a book (and the things in it) can bring back so many memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks, Sheryl. Yes, I think my heart skipped a beat when I first saw Blitz lying on the floor. And, I had not thought about my childhood library let alone the memories it evoked in years. Fun stuff. πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. January 18, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Just found your blog. Love your prose.

    I became a bookie very young (not the betting ones, the good kind), so I don’t really remember the first books I finished. However, as I was reading this post, I remembered reading Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. I wasn’t old enough to go to school yet, so I had as much time to play outside as I wanted. Friends pestered me to join them for something (playing a game or exploring the hills around our neighborhood probably) but I was hooked.

    The just-one-more-chapter itch didn’t stop when I finished the series. However, over the decades that itch got buried under life’s nagging issues. But now, as I’ve finally gotten old enough to learn what my real priorities are, reading has reclaimed its spot near the top of my wanna-do list.

    Thanks so much for this sharing this post! (and for letting me ramble)

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

      I’m with ya. I’m an avid reader now, and can prove it by the books I collect. The Husband would correct that to read “hoard.” πŸ˜‰ And…he’d be right. But, it’s all good. It keeps me off the streets (as does buying fabric). Thank you for the lovely compliment and the follow. I’ve just been over spying on your blog and I love the creative appearance with the digital drawing, the font on the titles, and your writing. You bring us in to the conversation with your style. Great blog. And, as for rambling: please do! You are welcome any time. Have you hiked anywhere in Oregon?

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 19, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        My pleasure on all counts. Really appreciate the feedback on my blog too. I’m slowly making the transition from a blog that is a colorful “update to friends and family” as I realize… I love blogging. I have a lot of doubts about whether I have the SKILL to be blogging, but do know I love it, and for now that’s enough. But feedback is what’s going to help me to get to your level, so thank you very much.

        Thus far, most of my hiking has been in the east coast, the rockies, and the Carpathian’s. Hiking the Pacific Crest trail (PCT) is on my bucket list, probably 2018. This year should be a big change as my wife Monica will be joining me (for the first time) as we walk the Camino de Santiago from France to southern Spain. Should be interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

        • January 20, 2017 at 10:40 am

          In meeting others, I’ve found that most of us feel the way you do about our skill level and abilities re: this blogging thing. Personally, I found WP to be extremely difficult when I first started, and then when changing themes. I found some of the videos ineffective because they go very fast and are often difficult to hear. Most of whatever I do here is painfully self-taught through trial and error, so I am always looking for ways to improve. Having said that, you may be more comfortable in this tech world than I, and the result (yours) is a very colorful, interesting, and eye-catching blog. I won’t give up either because, like you, I love to write.

          Some of the trails in these parts are fabulous. A friend did the Camino a few years ago and wrote about it along the way–totally on my list. I was invited to go but was not able to join. Some day. Sigh…. πŸ™‚

          Anyway, love your blog. Thanks for stopping by again. Have a great day!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. January 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    There is nothing more fun than finding an important momento from our childhood! (And just for the record, I was a Bobby Sherman fan myself.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 17, 2017 at 10:58 am

      This cracks me up! I guess I was a two-timer because I also loved Bobby. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. January 16, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Such a great read…yes, your post is a good ‘read’…see now how much that ‘reading thingy’ contributes to the pleasantness of life? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 16, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you, Laura. Yes, now I am an avid reader and read daily; back then it was hard to focus on something like that. I was a tom boy and preferred to be outside any chance I could. I peeked at your site earlier and like what I saw. I’ll be back. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. January 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Oh my gosh. You are hilarious!! I love this almost as much as your stretch jeans with the real pockets. Which, BY THE WAY, I got for Christmas!! Oh yeah, sister! Mom set me up with a two pack! I’ve worn them every day since we got back from her house Dec 26!

    When I saw your book cover I nearly peed my pants! I have a horse book called Misty’s Foal that I got to pick out in grade school at the book fair!! Love your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Jessica, I discovered yesterday that I had many, many messages that went to my trash file without my permission. Yours above was one of them. I am so sorry I didn’t see it until now. So, that said, I’m going back to respond to those who wrote…albeit much later. So, those pants! LOL. A two pack?!!? I’m astonished I’ve not seen those, let alone purchased a pack (or two). I have Blitz and you have Misty’s Foal. I think I may go to the library to see if I can check it out. Sounds about like Blitz, right up my alley. So much fun to find this book, I can’t even tell you. I hope all is well in your world. Hugs, K.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm

        Hi sweetheart. This reply from you is the best gift ever. I haven’t blogged in like 6 weeks and I opened it up expecting to find nothing and here you are. A light, as always. Perfect timing. ❀️

        Like

        • March 24, 2018 at 8:00 am

          You as well, my dear, provide a much needed light. I’ve contacted the higher ups at WP to ask about this issue. Your response above went to my spam file. Aaarrrggghhhh!!! I hope I can get this fixed, and soon. I hope you are doing well. It’s much better here as you know. I’ve planted our seeds (in my Rolo-eating she-shed) and they have already come up. I am so excited for Spring, and hope to post some photos of our flowers and yard real soon. Spring is so cheery. It gets the juices going. I need all the help I can get there, ha ha. πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a great weekend! Hugs. ❀

          Liked by 1 person

  7. January 15, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    I can’t even imagine having a book from childhood. Don’t think my kids have any from theirs either. How fortunate you are to have found it. I does look like a good book. Stodgy teachers and librarians are why so many kids didn’t and don’t want to read. It has to be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 22, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Marlene, this, your comment above, was another that I just retrieved from my trash file. I have no idea why. Anyway, yes, I was stunned to find this book and cannot imagine where it’s been all these years. The attic would have been my last guess on that. It was fun to find it and reread it. It also makes me sad that electronics have replaced books for lots of kids (and adults). It’s a new era. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 22, 2018 at 2:26 pm

        I still buy hard copy books for children always and have both hard copy and digital books. I try to limit myself because the floors of a manufactured home are not certain to continue to carry the vast weight of my library. πŸ™‚ There are some books that I read on the e-reader, then by the hard copy to keep for future reference. Some books I’ve bought weren’t worth the paper and I have found that I love listening to books more these days. Have a great weekend ahead.

        Like

        • March 22, 2018 at 3:17 pm

          I laughed when I read about the strength of your floors to hold the weight of your books. Maybe I need to consider that, too. I tried an e-reader a few years ago and found while they are useful, I prefer to hold a real book. Maybe because I am afraid they are a dying art. I could live in bookstores, and have collected quite a load over the years. I must sort and declutter soon since I have far too many, and many I’ll never read. I kept many of my parents’ books when my mom moved. They were avid readers, mom still is, and now I have even more. Parting with them is hard. Books are comforting, though. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • March 23, 2018 at 7:29 am

            It is hard to part with books but I have given many to the “Friends of the Library” used bookstore that sells them to make money for new books at the library. I’ve donated huge boxes full after a good sorting. It’s how I let go of the guilt of giving them away. πŸ™‚

            Like

            • March 23, 2018 at 11:57 am

              When my mother moved to Independent Living four years ago, we sorted, dumped, gave away, and took home some of their many, many books. After that, my husband and I took two truck loads of books to the local library. TWO! Unbelievable. But, it’s very good because it makes me remember that I come from well-educated parents. I love that. ❀

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy
    January 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    What a wonderful story! I was the opposite—once I learned to read, it was my favorite thing to do (before that, it had been coloring). My first love affair with a book was Charlotte’s Web. I actually will be blogging a bit about it in the near future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Me, too, now. I hoard books and read something every single day. I could wander in used book stores for hours. I don’t care how badly old books smell, I love used books (and new ones, too). πŸ˜‰ There is a used bookstore at our favorite beach and the kids used to refuse to go in with me because I would never come out. Later, they liked the place. ❀

      Like

  9. January 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I smiled all through this post Karen. What wonderful memories this book evoked in you. Brought back a few library memories of my own. Lovely post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you, Miriam. Isn’t it funny how these memories came alive with the discovery of a childhood item? I had not thought about Lonnie (not his real name), the Roberts (likewise), or the dreaded library until I found this book. I’d also forgotten how much I hated to read. Glad it made you smile, too. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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