20 January 2013

What do people do all day?

For as long as I can remember, I have been a voracious reader. Like right now, I have four books on my nightstand, each one in some phase of being read. If you're interested, here are the four books I'm reading right now:

A true tale of life in Delhi. A Jewish member of the Peace Corps in China. An African-American woman used as a medical test subject. A high school football team defying the odds in the dregs of Florida. It's an eclectic list.  About the only thing that links them is the insight into the human condition and that they are all non-fiction and each gives me another picture of the world in which we live.

Reading has illuminated that world for me ever since I was a child. I was reminded today of one of the books the first lit up the world for me. A family sat down in front of us and one of the books they used to keep their toddler interested during the service was from beloved children's author, Richard Scarry. As they cracked open the big book and I saw the familiar face of Lowly Worm, I smiled broadly and remembered, with great fondness, this book:
Published in 1968, when I was already a toddler, I'm certain this was not my first book.  However, I remember this one to this day. I was completely taken by it. I could not get enough of reading about what people did all day. It was my first look into the world of adults and I was mesmerized. It certainly helped to have Lowly Worm as a guide. With him, the world seemed a little less intimidating. Huckle the Cat was another great companion, helping me to explore the world. Funny, he was only the cat who did not fill me with rage then. It remains the same today - Huckle the Cat = awesome.  Any other cat = minion of Satan himself.

I'm grateful for the gift of words. I'm thankful for what reading has brought to my world. Thanks to Richard Scarry, I got an early peek into that age-old question of what do people do all day. I'm eager to share that same glimpse with our grandchild. As long as he has the same antipathy towards cats, then we're all good.

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