For a month, more than a dozen liquor boxes filled with books have been in the middle of the rug in my little office.
Let me explain. The room was recently painted and I had to remove all my books so the bookshelves could be moved out from the walls. For such a small space, it was a lot of work – for me and for the painters.
It’s about time that I’m finally getting around to replacing the books. I’m thinking carefully about where I want to put them. It’s no good to merely toss them back any ole way just to clear away the cartons.
Literary Magazines from two years of attending AWP conferences (Association of Writers and Writer’s Programs) are arranged, alphabetically.
Photo albums of Susan and Michael as children line the shelves that are behind the door. Everyone looks happy in these pictures. My mother, gone three years now, looks young and so pretty sitting with five year old Michael and my father at a car show.
Many albums of summer trips to France, Greece, Turkey, Italy – and on and on – are neatly stacked. They’re from the days of film. I’m glad I made these albums and am surprised at how fine the pictures are. They bring back memories of family trips that were enjoyable.
Travel books are arranged alphabetically by country, international separate from domestic.
A small section contains books on trauma, each one read more than once, including Joan Chittister’s Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope. I bought this book on Debra Haffner’s suggestion in September 2005, but it was too painful to actually read until 2007.
Pop-up books in perfect condition, that were Michael’s, are in another area. As a little boy, he was always careful with books. None were ever damaged.
Physically, I’m tired. My back aches from bending over and lifting books. My lungs are objecting to the dust that remains on some of them. A hint of asthma demands a spray of albuterol.
I’m glad for a phone call from Susan. It gives me a chance to sit down and hear about her day. Cocoa sits behind me on the chair, curled up, her head resting on her paws. Misty stands on the desk in front of me, tapping the screen with her paw, trying to catch the curser as it moves. The whirlwind Haji is staying away. She’s with Maury as he watches the news. Pretty soon it’ll be time for dinner.