August 21 – Last week as we were lying quietly in bed and talking about what we had accomplished during the day, we heard a kind of thumping noise. One thump, that’s all. Dale got up and using his flashlight walked around the house, wondering what had fallen. I was sure it was the cat that had jumped up on something and knocked it over. No, it wasn’t the cat, for she was still asleep lying in her special cool corner just outside the bathroom door. Dale came back with the news that some of our bigger books had fallen off the end table. Just a bit later, another thump! “I’m going out with you this time,” I announced. “If those books are falling, we had better get them all settled in.”
Talk about something really unusual! On the floor by the couch and book cases there were lots and lots of books that had fallen off two of the three shelves in the big bookcase. Trying to keep more from falling, I started pulling out as many as I could before the shelf fell down. Did the same for the other shelf, and soon there were books all over the floor, on the couch, and even on the piano bench. At the time, I didn’t know how many, but lots and lots. Nothing more to disturb our sleep. (Or so we thought) A couple hours later, a thunderstorm arrived with sheets of lightning, so bright that we couldn’t even watch the display. Blue and white and silver.
The next day Dale set to work on repairing the shelves that had dropped down. The problem centered on the screws that were too short and weren’t able to keep the shelves and books in place. Finally, after several trips to his workshop out in the barn area, he was able to put them in place, applied paint where needed, and soon we were able to put the books back where they belong.
They are such a real treasure. History, science, travel, literature, people, and many other categories including our school yearbooks. Dale and I were talking the other day about how few books folks read these days. They may read on their phones, on their computers, and in various others ways that I don’t know about because we still read from “real” books. I just can’t bear the thought of giving up any of our favorites, or even some that are just useful to provide information.
While putting the books away, I picked up a pretty heavy load of only four books and weighed them just for fun. Their total weight? Fifteen pounds. Since there were about 88 books on those shelves, the combined weight of all was around 350 pounds! No wonder the shelves had given up after housing those books for almost seventeen years. Wonder how long it will be before some of the other shelves, a total of 25, decide to quit! At least their contents are just “regular” books, not as heavy as the ones that fell down last night.
And yes, I know you can easily find the answer to just about anything using a computer search. I learned that while working with junior high kids. When I first saw some of them “fool around” with the computer, even to download pictures for their reports, I was more than amazed. At first I asked them why they didn’t get a book from the library to use for those reports? After they kindly explained the whole situation, taking time to show me the “easy” way, I had to accept their reasoning.
But you can be sure we did not just take a cursory look at those almost-ninety books waiting to be put back on the shelf. We’ve had some of them for more than forty years, and they are still real treasures. – CHRIS