I'm giving you fair warning: this may not be a very long post.
I walked home from G'ma's pod-castle today, listening to this week's Car Talk podcast on my iPod and feeling very proud of myself for no reason at all. The temperatures are perfect and most of the snow birds are still clinging to their real homes up north so the traffic around town hasn't reached its full winter proportions. Still, there was enough road noise that Tom and Ray were virtually shouting in my ears in order to be heard. By the time I got home, I was a rather unpleasant combination of exertion and exhaust fumes.
The cupboards are bare, as I go through my annual what am I not going to eat that would be good for the food pantry cleansing. I'm through the first shelf already; the goal is to have it all reviewed and renewed before the Little Cuter shows up to do her Rachael Ray impersonation in my kitchen. Sharing Thanksgiving with a daughter who loves to cook is one of life's great joys. I shop and chop and wash and find and turn on and turn off and she does all the thinking.
That bit of reverie managed to eat up an hour or so of holiday loveliness as I arranged and rearranged the Thanksgiving decorations (Halloween's remains are in a box in the dining room, awaiting last minute forgotten additions). Suddenly it was 4:30 and I still had to go to the post office to mail a birthday card, to the library to return Laura Lippman's story of dysfunctional high school girls, and to the grorcery store to be tempted into cooking dinner.
Showered and changed I was in the car in 11 minutes, sunglasses and a visor substituting for a brush and a blow dryer. Though I admit that I was impressed by the attention New Yorkers paid to their attire, living in the land of the flip-flop has distinct advantages.
Post Office drive throughs are a challenge for me, being a small person in a low(ish) to the ground car, but the card was mailed and the groceries were purchased and I just had to drop off the book in the library's return slot and go home. But there was a perfect parking space in the lot - the spot under the tree in the 3rd row - and I'm reading a James Patterson book so that takes an afternoon and I'm halfway through and what will I read while TBG is communing with the Broncos so I parked and went in and oh, yes, that was a good decision.
Right there, on the first display rack just inside the door, was The Scarpetta Factor. I've finally moved up to number 156 out of 500+ reserves for this book, which means I'd probably see it sometime in April, if I'm lucky. And there it was, smiling up at me from the third shelf - the one just at my eye level.
Yes, it was a sign. Because on those display racks were Faye Kellerman and Anne Perry and Linda Fairstein and I grabbed each one of them and then, because I was in such a good mood I took a chance on Julie Kramer (the new Janet Evanovich, if the book jacket blurb is to be believed) and I went to the self-check-out counter and didn't even get aggravated when it didn't work. I just walked over to the librarian with a big fat grin plastered on my face and nodded when she said "You look happy!"
Because I am happy. Very very happy. I get to spend hours with characters I know written by authors I admire who tell stories that leave me lusting for more. And it's all for free.
I admire Ben Franklin for many things, but I love him for creating the free lending library.
I have to go now. I have reading to do.