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.

27 thoughts on “Blitz

  • 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

    • 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. 🙂

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  • 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

    • 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.” 😉 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

      • 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

        • 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…. 🙂

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

          Liked by 1 person

    • 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. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • 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

    • 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). 😉 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. ❤

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