Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

Trendy, old and creepy

Soooo, ahhhh, yeah.

Working at work, minding my own business when this old lady comes up. Now I shouldn't say old. She was like later sixty-ish old. Old enough (TO KNOW BETTER). Errr, yeah. She had on this yellow beret and this outfit that old ladies buy when they have too much money and way too much time.
I didn't expect much out of her. She wanted me to a put a hold on “Healthy Aging”. Ok, ok. I remember that book from working at B&N (it's by this stocky old guy with a beard) so I'm typing in all the information and she's standing on the other side of the counter giving off rich old lady vibes. Kinda crackly. Yes, crackly. Like paper that is being scrunched.

Well, for some reason, I can't hold the book for her. Odd, I think and I take a moment to go ask someone why that is. Oh! It's because she's not a St. Charles patron (she's from Elburn and her library card says Elburn) and only St. Charles patrons get first dibs on new books. “Healthy Aging” is a new book. I tell her this in my distorted way. I don't communicate the best when people are crackling like paper in front of me.
She scowls. She crackles. And she says, “You're discriminating against me.” For a moment, I didn't think she was serious and I just Smiled. I mean Smiled. I thought she was kidding around. And in the second I smiled, I realized she was Not kidding. She was deadly serious. I wiped the smile off my face in that next split second but alas, she caught it. I'm not sure how she took it because the next thing she said was, “Yes, that's right. That's how it is.”

Anyway, blah blah blah, I wouldn't (and couldn't) hold it for and said she could speak to my supervisor, which she said would be useless (which was true). And woah. Woah. I wish I could have died laughing. I'm glad I smiled. It wasn't a pretty smile. It was a mocking smile. Yeah. Old white ladies get descriminated against. You know how it is, folks.

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Life Lessons from a Cardinal

Outdoor living is coming in fits and starts now that it’s June. Last week it was in the 90’s (30C) and today it is gentle and cool with thunderstorms passing by north and south, bringing coolness in the wake of their stormy skirts. The sun shines but the thunder rumbles nearby and my cats retreat farther indoors to snooze on chairs instead of near windows.

It is tempting to join them. The heat break means that deep good sleep is possible again. Even with air conditioning, I sleep poorly when it’s hot. I sleep best when it rains.

And it has been raining at night but in great torrid thunderstorms where the house shakes and the windows rattle. Sometimes I lie in bed as the thunderstorms march by and wonder at the fate of all the creatures and people living outside.

It is summer and I have no arguments with it. It’s too hard to argue with the seasons. On the beautiful days, I sip my breakfast tea outdoors and watch the birds and squirrels to start my day. There’s always a drama playing out in the backyard. My favorite is the cardinal who walks along the deck rail, casting his bright black eye here and there and then breaks into song until a robin kicks him out. When the coast is clear, he returns and does the same thing all over again. Despite my nearness, he doesn’t mind me at all and I adore his bright red plumage and courageous laughing heart. His song cheers my soul and I’ve come to recognize his particular song. It falls under the same lines as all cardinals but it has a bit of improvised trill at the end. I think he’s been hanging out with song sparrows and got Ideas.

He’s a hard individual to photograph (all flash and movement) but I’ve shared a photo of a cardinal from National Geographic so you can get the idea. He’s hard to ignore and is a permanent on the robins’ blacklist. I aspire to such a level of happy insouciance.

How to Get Through a Big Book

How to get through a Big Book and have a little fun too.

  1. Make and eat food mentioned in the book (big books always include food, usually in meticulous detail).
  2. Read a little bit each day.
  3. Make a soundtrack.
  4. Dress like a character from the book for a day. Or a week. Or a month if it really grabs you.
  5. Ten minutes to kill? Daydream about the landscape or what the characters are seeing as they move through their day.
  6. Read passages you enjoy out loud. If you’re in the right mood, record yourself reading passages and share it (Instagram is great for this). Include illustrations if you like (thank you, Shirin).
  7. Whip out a highlighter or some sticky tabs for those great parts.
  8. Pace yourself and remember, reading gigantic books isn’t a race. It’s about the journey. Might as well bring along snacks, good drinks, great lighting, and enjoy the ride.