I have been an avid reader since before I started school, of course when I started school there was no kindergarten and if your birthday was after some date, I’ve forgotten what, in September you couldn’t enter school until the next year. Since I had the honor of being born on Christmas Day I was put into school at 7 years and 9 months so not that much of a prodigy as a child who was bored in the days before TV and video games.
My favorite things to read then were the comic papers, there used to be a whole section devoted to comic strips, do they still do that? I started with Nancy, and then I would read Blondie and marvel at the amazing sandwiches that Dagwood was able to construct! I had learned to sound out the words on my own and amazed my mother when she realized that I was actually reading the words and not just making the up the stories from my own vivid imagination.
My wonderful imagination earned getting striped legs from the “keen” switch the summer I was four because I told a group of ministers wives, who were admiring my long, black, curls, the ones that had cost many tears and the engraining of “suffer for beauty’s sake” into my little head, that my parents were not really married. I think I loved the astonished looks on their faces as I embellished our sinful lifestyle!
But I digress, the point was that I really loved to read stories that took me out of the little mill houses that the Pastor of the local church lived in, and becoming the “knee” child when my brother was born.
I went on adventures with Sacagawea as she accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition acting as an interpreter and guide in their exploration of the Western United States, then when my dad bought a few of the Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories I thought I had died and one to heaven!
I got older and discovered the Nancy Drew girl detective series, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Cherry Student Nurse (what is it with the name Nancy, comic strips and book titles?), and then I discovered Gone With The Wind in my Junior High School library, now I really had died and gone to heaven as Miss Scarlett foolishly loved someone from afar who would never make her happy while ignoring the man who loved her body, soul, and spirit, yes that would be Rhett Butler. Because of that book I really got interested in anything concerning the Civil War.
As an adult I began to devour the biography and autobiography of every famous person available, then I moved on to the suspense novels of John Gresham, James Patterson, the series novels of Diana Gabaldon and many others. The walls of my bedroom are lined with bookshelves that are double and triple stacked and now I have two Kindles and the pleasure of being able to read everything from the various versions of the Bible to obscure out of print books such as Christ in You, author unknown and others you may or may not recognize.
As I polished off the latest entrée of delicious book fare and brushed the final crumbs from my satisfied mind I began to think about why I have the need to immerse myself into all of these different thoughts and stories, when I finish one I am like a starving man looking for his next meal and I am not happy until I have another book lined up and ready for me to hit the magic little space that says “read now”.
Maybe it is something that we all feel, I just don’t mind putting it out there for you to know, anyone else agree? If you look at my life, up until this past December at you could say that as a caretaker of my aging parents but still keeper of the home and chef in the kitchen I just needed some outside stimulus, and you might be right. I grew up feeling that if I wasn’t able to see the whole world, all the wonderful places I had read about that I would feel claustrophobic, but as I got involved in the life of being married to a man who was starting a company, raising two children, being needed at the church as music director, counselor, leading a prayer group, in charge of getting food for the needy for the Holidays and on and on… there was no time for anything else and it seemed OK with me. Then there comes the time when you are replaced, and not always for the better, your world grows smaller and you wonder what lasting good you have actually done and what happens from now until the time you can have your own “glorious day”, that time of transition that I no longer dread.
I was talking to someone today about their problems in life and as I am want to do, instead of just listening to them I tried to come up with solutions. It was then that I realized why I read so voraciously, I want to know the end of the story, pure and simple! I am sure that when an author starts to write a novel, and some have such convoluted plots that I cannot figure how a human mind can come up with all the details, they already know what the ending is going to be and they just make everything they write lead to that one ending, hopefully for me a happy one!
The young authoress that penned Jane Eyre made me a very happy reader when she ended with Rochester regaining enough of the sight in his large brown eyes to see that the face of his newborn son looked so much like himself. None of us know how it will all end but I know this, I will continue to write my story as it happens, yes I have happy endings in mind that may never come to pass but keep on writing I will and the one thing I am very sure of is this, “And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story saved by grace, And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story… saved by grace.”