So, the turkey's in the oven, the pies are cooling on the stove, and there's a warm pocket of time before we sit with friends and family to share our blessings. There's time to think of all the things we're grateful for.
Here's one of my favorites: When I was little, my parents read to me. My Mom, a speech-and-drama major turned 50s housewife, embellished everything she read with thrilling voices and gestures that kept me transfixed. I can still remember her affecting a nasal, high-pitched British accent when she read "The King's Breakfast" from When We Were Very Young, by A.A. Milne: "The King asked the Queen, and the Queen asked the Dairymaid, 'Could we have some but-ter for the royal slice of bread?'"
Dad would sometimes take on the hunched-over limp of a Frankenstein, or recite from memory the slightly ribald "New Hampshire Romance", which titillated all of us kids because it contained the word 'bosom'.Oh, those were the days!
I was transported to brave new worlds, listening to poems and songs and bedtime stories. Winnie the Pooh. Peter Rabbit. The Little Prince. And, later, when I was older, my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Small, read to us from Steinbeck's The Moon Is Down to settle us down when we came in from lunch. She had a deep smoker's voice, raspy around the edges, and perfectly suited to the tale.
As a result, I have grown to love the written word, and now one of my principal delights is reading to my grandchildren -- with the same pinched British accent, the same nasal whine: "The Queen asked the Dairymaid, the Dairymaid said 'Cer-tain-ly, I'll go and tell the cow now, before she goes to bed.'"
So, this is what I am grateful for today. I was a child that was read to.
Not every child is so lucky. In Jefferson County more than a third of families live in poverty. Their parents are so busy holding things together they can't get to the library, or afford luxuries like books. We'd like to change that!
This year, the Jefferson County Library Foundation is raising money to put books in the hands of children and their families, through Library programs like the Traveling Children's Library and our Summer Reading Club.
If you were read to as a child, if you love and value the written word, if you are filled with gratitude (as I am) for the gifts you've been given, won't you pass it on?
Won't you donate today for the next generation of children in Jefferson County?