Owl Day

We had some torrential rain Monday night and then into Tuesday.  Ugly summer weather events were predicted—thunder, hail, and the inevitable shower of cats and dogs.  It dislodged a digit somewhere in my internet service provider’s chain of command and by 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, I realized my connection to the larger world would not be restored by the opening bell of business.  What could I do?  Write a letter, make a phone call, sit on my boringly brown couch and cry?

Aux armes, citoyens…marchons, marchons…to the library!

I couldn’t have picked a better day.  It was the kick off to one of my own favorite childhood events, “The Summer Reading Program.”

Summer Reading ClubNo rain could dampen this day.  The library was buzzing with excitement and activity as the staff prepared for the rush of little readers who would soon arrive for the kick-off event.

Live owls!

I stayed as productive as possible, but my memory wandered back to thoughts of my own summer reading program days and the pure joy of having a whole glorious Maine summer to read books.  I thought back to some of the books I read, like mysteries by Newcastle (Maine) author Mary C. Jane and classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little by E.B. White.  As could only happen on a blog and in the small town one grew up in, I was startled out of my reverie by a familiar voice saying “Hi Julie.”

There was my mother, returning her library books.

I explained why I was planted at the library and asked my mother if she wanted to stay to see the live owls.  She declined and we laughed.

Twenty minutes after the owls arrived, I got a text from my internet service provider, announcing happily that the strings and tin cans of commerce had been reconnected.  I packed up my office and tip-toed down to the library’s children’s room to see the owls, visiting from the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick.  I could stay but for a moment and saw only one of the many visiting owls.  It was interesting, to say the least.  A story for another day, perhaps.

After work, I found hand-written lists of the books I read during my own summer reading program days.  We never had any live owls back then, but it didn’t make reading any less exciting to me.  When things slow down after The Moxie Festival, I’m going to hunt down some of those old books from my past and reread them.

WHO WHO WHO…knows what wise and interesting blog posts are just around the corner.

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1 Response to Owl Day

  1. Jim says:

    Ah yes, the library and the summer reading program from days gone by. Loved the memories your post evoked for me.

    As I’ve detailed on my own blog (and in my latest book), the library and a mother who recognized that “reading is fundamental” instilled in me a passion for books and reading. I never needed owls or any other wildlife to spur me on during summers past, to read books. Actually, I think back then, there was a McDonald’s gift certificate associated with reading 10 books. Probably for a hamburger, small fries, and a Coke. I’m sure that would be illegal today, or at least would be the fodder for a protest by some arbiter of rightness. But it was a different time back then, before we became dependent on the “strings and tin cans of commerce,” wasn’t it?

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