A Love For Stories
I have always loved books. I love the way they smell, feel, and sound. When I walk into a bookstore or library, I always take a deep breath and absorb the smell of opportunity, adventure, and dreams. I have always loved books. Narrowing this experience down to one meaningful book to share about was not easy until I realized I needed to go back to my roots. Charlie by Diane Fox Downs always makes my heart skip a beat when I see it. Sightings are rare, so these moments are special. It is a Little Golden Book that’s been out of print for years. I am partial to the one with the dark green cover, as that is the book my grandmother had.
We would arrive at my grandparents’ for dinner and I would spend at least 15 minutes poring through the book shelves, pulling books for my grandma to read to me. When I had as many as my arms could carry, I would carefully walk out to the sofa to put them on the end where my siblings wouldn’t knock them over with their rough play. The other kids would often then run to grab a few favorites, too. “Grandma, will you read to me?” No matter what she was doing, Grandma would always take a few minutes to read at least one or two of the books to me. I would have to wait until after dinner to finish the stack with her, but Grandma always read every one to me. I especially liked Charlie, a book about a stray orange tabby cat who wants to play “tiger in the grass” in the garden of a beautiful home. I saved it for last every time.
Fifty years later, I can still tell you exactly how it felt to be snuggled up next to her, listening to these stories, the sound of adults in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. Those sounds will always mean family to me. When we grew older, she would laugh and tell us how sometimes she would let a couple of pages stick together to make a book go faster. Grandma had read these books to us so many times we knew the words by heart, even before we could read, and would call her out on it. Later, I would read picture books to my children and chapter books out loud to our whole family in the car on vacation. Now, I read to our grandson.
Grandma instilled and nourished a love of stories and books I have embraced throughout my life. She gave me the gift of knowledge and success in developing strong reading skills early in life, something that really empowered me. Most of all, my grandma gave me a tangible demonstration of her love for me and all of her family. She taught us how to love and show love by always making time for each other. Yes, I will read to you.
Tammie Roesler, married to Patrick, Mom to Emily and husband Matt and Mitchell. Nana to Nathan and little brother due in August. By day I am a Revenue Cycle Manager at UnityPoint. I enjoy traveling, new food, and relaxing in my garden with family & friends.--