February 20, 2015

When a Book Lover meets a Book Lover

Posted in Books, Humor, Just Life, Singleness tagged , , , at 4:08 pm by catsinboxes

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I stepped into a bookstore today.  Being a book lover and also a C. S. Lewis lover, I noticed a C. S. Lewis book in the recent releases and was headed toward it, when an employee distracted me,

“How are you doing?”

“I’m doing well. . . . How are you?”  Polite platitudes.

Then, the unexpected.  “Doing well, doing well . . . living the dream.”

Distracted, I really looked at him: young with a beard that Spurgeon wouldn’t be ashamed of . . . . He was putting some finishing touches on a display area.  (40% off commentaries, or some such theological deal!)

“What?  Working in a bookstore?”

“Yes, I love books!”

“Oh, I love books too, but I’ve never worked in a bookstore.”

He proceeded to say, with enthusiasm, that it was really interesting.  I may, or might not, upon leaving a few moments later have glanced to see if he was wearing a ring.  And on that note, if you’re a book-loving girl, you should definitely see this Instagram page!

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August 7, 2014

Beginning Again

Posted in Blogging, Books, Favorite Quotes, Just Life tagged , , at 8:38 pm by catsinboxes

It has been a long summer. There has been so much to write about . . . I have started to compose blog posts in my head. Then I have stopped.

What is the point? I love to write, but I have been busy, and working. But there is another reason I have not been writing, the reason for my last post:

Granddaddy. I miss him. Memories come back and catch me, sometimes unexpected.

Making coffee in the French press yesterday, I suddenly remembered his detailed instructions last year, when I was visiting. He showed me how to use a French press, explaining carefully just how to manipulate the plunger.

So I smile, and catch my breath, and blink before I can cry, but it hurts. And then, with that memory, comes another.

That is the funny thing about memories, how they flow together. For some reason, I keep thinking of a time, probably over a decade ago, when he visited Wisconsin. We went for a walk in our woods, just the two of us.

Fall

The path was rough, it was a new path then –not the beaten old path it is today. I think it was fall because the woods were bare, but the weather was perfect for a walk. As he walked along, he gave me a lecture about the correct use of words. He told me how many words today are not used properly, like effect versus affect. He told me about the sometimes comical misuse of some words in advertising. (Illustrating this with a story about a restaurant though I cannot remember which word was misused!)

P1080293And then, just as quickly, comes one, final memory. Why? I do not know, but I am so thankful. My grandfather was a soldier. He was gruff, yet he loved us so much, and he did not mind showing affection. He would give me hugs, and I remember them, brisk and slightly awkward, and then I –being female and affectionate– would finish by kissing his cheek -rather dry and slightly rough. And I remember the kiss.

Why? I don’t know. But I am so thankful that I have that memory.

What does all of this have to do with blogging? Because in the past couple years, I was so busy, and I blogged for him. He was so darn proud of this blog. He would remind me that people read it, so it was important I updated it. He was proud of all I have done as a writer, and he liked to see my writing. And so I would write, and I would write for him. Because I knew, in the faceless blogosphere, that hardly anyone would see my work . . . except that one person. I had one faithful reader, and that was reason enough to write.

I know other friends read this blog, and I am so thankful for you. But I know your lives are busy, I know you do not have time to catch every post. But he did. And he cared. And so I would write. Or I would intend to write. Sometimes a post became an email, sent off to him.

And now he is gone. And why should I write? Oh yes, I write for other things. I write letters, and I love writing for Redeemed Reader, but this blog is different.

Yet, as the summer concludes, and as fall stares me in the face with a daunting schedule, I need to write. And I need to write here. It is time to begin again. I pray I will be more consistent, especially now that I do not have a loyal reader (who never really understood blogging!) there to remind me, mournfully, that I have not posted for months.

In Out of the Silent Planet, there’s a beautiful line that I have been thinking about this summer:

And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back -if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these are that day?

There is a place for sadness, that is why I cried as I wrote this post, but there is today and tomorrow and the beauty and glory of everyday grace . . . and how can I help but write?

May 16, 2013

C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien on Hobbits, Wizards, and Invisible Cats

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Faith, Favorite Quotes, Humor tagged , , , at 8:08 pm by catsinboxes

As an admitted C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien buff, this post is definitely an indulgence.  Still, I know there’s a lot of us out there, so I hope some of you fellow Lewis and Tolkien lovers enjoy it, too!

Light and trees

If you take nature as a teacher she will teach you exactly the lessons you had already decided to learn; this is only another way of saying that nature does not teach. . . . Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty.  I had to learn that in other ways.  But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me.

In any mind which has a pennyworth of imagination it produces a good attitude towards foreigners.  How can I love my home without coming to realise that other men, no less rightly, love theirs?

Image of a stack of books

The truly wide taste in reading is that which enables a man to find something for his needs on the sixpenny tray outside any secondhand bookshop.  The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day.

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A belief in invisible cats cannot perhaps be logically disproved, but it tells us a good deal about those who hold it.  Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend.

 

 

 

Wizards after all are wizards.

 

 

 

And what would you do, if an uninvited dwarf came and hung his things up in your hall without a word of explanation?

John Howe, Bagend

He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he –as host he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful– he might have to go without.

Goodbye then, and really good-bye!” said Gandalf, and he turned his horse and rode down into the West.  But he could not resist the temptation to have the last word.  Before he had passed quite out of hearing he turned and put his hands to his mouth and called to them.  They heard his voice come faintly:  “Good-bye!  Be good, take care of yourselves –and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”

January 31, 2013

Is This Fun or What?

Posted in Books, Favorite Quotes tagged , , , at 7:24 pm by catsinboxes

 

Thanks to a Facebook friend, today I was made aware of a bookshelf I would like.  In addition to one that has an attached stepladder.  . . .  I’ve wanted one of those ever since I first saw one on *cough* Beauty and the Beast.

I love this shelf because it’s a reminder to READ your books.  Don’t just let them sit on the shelf!  Knowledge cannot be acquired by osmosis; books must be picked up, read, and read again.

C.S. Lewis said it, and I whole-heartedly agree:

“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”