A Family Tradition

Each summer, the kids and I eagerly await the yearly library book sale. We go at least two of the four days, and we spend hours jockeying for position and searching for goodies. And then we come home and lay the books out on the floor and take stock of our booty. This year, we weren't able to lay the goodies out on the floor--six cats and four dogs plus the rearrangement of our living room made that task unwise at best. This is the first year I didn't tally the number of books we got (although we did count the manga Bobby scooped up: 33) and we didn't go back on Sunday for the $6 bag sale. 

We're saturated with books, as regular readers and friends know, so you're probably wondering where the tableful of books went since the bookcases are exploding. Let's just say I've taken artful stacking to a new level and that we've maxed that out if I don't want to get to hoarder status. 

The sale this year coincided with my 46th birthday, so it made for a special birthday. It was the first birthday in many years that we didn't make my grandmother's traditional meal for me: meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, strawberry cake and strawberry ice cream.  Maximum spending money for books took priority and I forgot about it till the afternoon. Oh well. Payday will be here tomorrow and I'll get the ingredients then. My grandmother has been gone for 19 years now, and it feels a little unreal. I had a complicated relationship with her, in part because she was bipolar, and in part because she was a difficult woman, but her birthday dinners for me were her way of displaying her love for me and my upholding of that tradition is my way of honoring her. The books are in part my way of connecting with my other grandmother, who loved to read and would race me to see who could finish first. 

I'm not much into tradition, but these I hope I can continue. Feeling connected to those who are gone, sharing our fondest memories with those who will be here long after we are gone...that kind of personal tradition makes sense to me. And I hope to my children. 


kathleen said...

Lovely..traditions is only a word..lovely memories are everything..:)

melbo said...

Happy birthday - loved reading about this tradition and your recollections of your grandparents. Hope you got that birthday dinner eventually! xx

K Wombles said...


Melbo, planning on having it tomorrow!

Stephanie said...

Happy (belated) Birthday!

Lovely sentiments. Thank you for sharing. :)