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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Farewell My Friends 

Let's get one thing straight, right up front. I could never be confused with someone who hangs on to too many things.

I think that comes from when I was married. We moved. A lot. And it wasn't easy moving myself, the ex, three kids and which ever relative was going with us. So I learned to run lean.

I'm not a collector of anything, except candles. I have so many candles that people keep giving me plants to put oxygen back into the house. But I love them and don't see that changing - ever.

The one thing I do have too much of are my books. I've always been a big reader. I have a real love of Russian Literature and had a pretty good collection by the time I went to college. When I left school I donated all of those books to the library, as I couldn't believe they didn't have them already.

While I was married I took whatever "break" I could. Most of the time that was reading a trashy novel. I could do that while everyone was sleeping, or hunting or what ever. So the collection started. After I was promoted to the Chicago office for the steel company I really got the chance to read. A book a day. (long commute) The collection grew. By the time I moved to Florida I had over 200 paperbacks. The movers thought I was nuts to want to bring them along. Hey - those are my friends you jerk. Where I go, they go.

And as silly as that sounds, that's how it is. I re-read all of them. Often. I have some that I read at specific times of the year, some I read when I'm homesick, some I read just because I know it'll give me a good cry.

There are 7 authors that I own everything they have ever written. With some duplicates. I don't loan my books out (often) but people are free to read when they are here. It's nothing to see a group of my friends and I sprawled out around the house, music blaring, drinks at the ready and everyone hunkered down with a book. (I know, strange, but we never said we were the run of the mill kind of girls.)

So - I'm getting ready to move again. I now have over 1700 paperbacks. Even I will admit, it's time to par them down. So I sat down last night to try and start the process. I'm about half way thru right now. I would be done, but I keep finding books I hadn't seen in a while (there's a surprise) and wanting to skim thru them for the memories. Got me a little off course.

I'm getting ready to take the first batch to the shelter. Isn't it childish to feel sad about that. I know I don't need them all, I've only read some of the 2 or 3 times. But it's still not easy to actually drop them off and drive away.

This all sounds kind of melodramatic, but anyone that knows me well will tell you this is a huge step for me. I don't travel anywhere without at least 2 books. I don't sleep a lot, so I always read at night. My selection seems so small right now. And I'm not even done.

So this is my Farewell to my friends. You've been there when I needed you, you've picked up my spirits when I was down, helped me cry when I couldn't but needed to. You've entertained me on those long boring weekends and traveled with me to exciting as well as mundane locations. Thank you - and I can only hope that some where, some one will enjoy you as much as I did.


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My "Other" Family - Fizzen Sparks