My elderly Siamese, Eggnog, sprawls despondantly by
a stack of books destined for the county library.
During the 12 Wyoming years of moving from one house to another as J. built and then sold them, I did a
fair amount of editing my belongings. I parted with stacks of Victoria magazines which went back to the first published issues. I took them along with quilting magazines to the local library which had a large rack for give-away publications.
I sifted through the flotsam and jetsom which most of us seem to accumulate. Some items went to the Neat Repeats, some were consigned to the dump run.
Still, I arrived here with way more "stuff" than can be nicely accomodated in this small cottage.
I have spent frustrated hours during the last years pawing in various cartons and storage bins, searching for something I supposed I needed: muffin tins, sewing supplies, books--always another book which I wanted for reference or re-reading.
J. spent many weeks renovating and upgrading the cottage. New flooring went down in all but two rooms; the old kitchen was torn apart and new cabinetry and appliances installed. He turned a desolate basement area into a handsome family room complete with tiled floor and a wood-burning stove.
I heard vague references to book shelves. Custom built, designed to take best advantage of the space, adequate to house my books and perhaps some decorative "collectables" as well.
Perhaps the book shelves were never very high on the list of priorities.
J. readily and competantly delves into big jobs such as building a house from the ground up.
Fiddly things like book shelves don't really inspire him, especially when there is outdoor work to be done.
I have hoped that suitable and affordable bookcases would appear--none have come through the local auction barn. The furniture store where I bought my desk has a few--towering, heavy [pricey] things better suited to a barrister's office than a simple cottage.
I've considered hiring one of the local Amish carpenters--there are some expert ones--and some who, I've heard, don't take as much care.
But--hire a carpenter when I 'm married to one?
It is questionable whether I could ever corral all my books!
I live with books on the bedside stand, books beside my rocking chair, books in heaps around my desk.
Books follow me to the dining table, travel with me in the car or truck.
Gardening books; quilting books; kitchen planning books; books of essays; series of mysteries; large glossy books replete with photos of impossibly tidy gardens; Books on crafting--how to make everything from a wreath of dried herbs and botanicals to directions for a stenciled floor cloth!
In the interest of sanity and space, some of these books have to go away!
The battered childhood books will stay. Old favorite novels are revisited every few years during those times when the cold winds blow [either literally or figuratively] and I need the comfort of the familiar.
Well worn volumes by nature writers and essayists are old friends who must not be displaced.
I have haunted second hand book stores for years. I regularly place orders with alibris.
I can't imagine giving up real books in exchange for a kindle.
I started my book sorting several weeks ago.
The librarian snatched eagerly at the stack of house design and decorating tomes
which we piled on her desk.
Today I gathered up great armloads of books, ferried them down to the family room--DUMPED them on the day bed and in cascading heaps on the floor--surrounding my one, totally inadequate, bookcase.
Some of the books were in cartons in the big cupboard which J. made at the end of the basement hallway.
While digging grimly through cartons of books I was derailed into cartons of carefully wrapped collectables--mostly the cat figurines which I have gathered since childhood. Some have sentimental value, little tokens from friends or family over the years. Many such already sit happily gathering dust throughout the house.
Above are some of the tiny treasures unearthed today--ones that for various reasons, will remain with me.
Here are others which have been dusted and set aside for consideration.
Perhaps I have ADD [?] I started with books, was side-tracked to cat trifles and china bits, returned to surveying the books. Here is an assortment gathered more or less untidily near a living room chair.
A staggering of books old and new in one of the fireplace cupboards.
Willis, who found his way in through the basement door, decided I am beyond help.
He watched for awhile from his slanted amber eyes, then flopped down in my shabby armchair in the family room.
Sorting and parting with things is nearly as tiring as weeding the garden!
I have to persevere as the family room is now a disaster zone with books in heaps and tipples.
Lawd, have mercy!