Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The First Guest Post!!

Welcome to the first ever Guest Post! It actually started out as an email, but I cracked up so much I asked my new friend if I could repurpose it and share it with you. Valerie is a bosom friend of a bosom friend and after hanging out with her at Book Club for about five hours total I can confidently tell you she is My People. She writes a fabulous blog over at Pigs 'N Buttons. Please check her out and give her a follow. 

(Also, I changed the name of the grumpy librarian in her story just in case he reads this. Which, given his grumpiness, I feel confident he would not think I am funny at all and would never disdain to read a blog called "Savor the Crazy.")

The tale:

"I have a story for you and finally had five minutes to sit down and share. I've told our mutual friend and she was all, "you have to tell Martha."

I went to the Brentwood Library a few days after our last book club meeting to try to check out Hannah Coulter (which I'm loving) and my choice for June and I struck out, 0-2. So, as I sat at the card catalog computer (whom I call "Dewey" or "Mr. Decimal," if I'm being formal), I thought I'd look up the Mitford books of which you spoke so highly. The only problem is I didn't write down the name or the author, and my memory is worse than Cheech and Chong combined. I knew it started with an "M" and I thought there was a "ford" in there somewhere. So I began my search:

Millford Series?
 >No results found.

 >No results found.

 >No results found.

 >631.2736 "Exciting Silk Floral Arrangements" by Karen Mifford

 >No results found.

At a loss, I turned and looked over my shoulder at the help/circulation desk. There is a man who has worked there for as long as I can remember, which isn't saying much (see aforementioned memory issue), but suffice it to say he's been there since I was a child. His name is Burt and he's whatever the opposite of warm and cuddly is. He's the one who shushes people, kids and adults alike. He monitors people's time on computers and chastizes those who don't follow the book replacement protocol to a tee. He constantly grumbles to himself and seems to be in a constant state of grumpiness. I have volunteered at the library from time to time over the years and, working with him in the office, I found him to be no less grumpy and bothered. I'll put it this way:  if I found myself on fire, I wouldn't ask him where I could find an extinguisher. I would just work it out myself.

The library website didn't have a picture of him, but here are some suitable alternatives:

I was never planning on talking to Burt. In fact, he had a lady cohort in the circulation boat they sit in and I thought I'd try her instead. When I walked over, though, I found her on the phone. I walked around for a minute and came back only to find Burt sitting there scowling and her talking to a lady in person. I started to walk off and just leave when Burt said to my back, "did you need something, m'am?" Oh, fiddlesticks!

"Um...yeah. A friend recommended a book and I'm not sure of the author, or title, or, really, anything. I think it's called the "mmm-ford" series?" I actually fluttered my hand in front of my mouth as I said it and mumbled the name. Bracing myself for a lecture on how one should know book titles and speak up, etcetera, I was shocked when his eyes lit up and his mouth bent itself into a smile.

"Oh!" he exclaimed, "you mean the Mitford Series by Jan Karon! It's one of my favorites! Oh, I was just talking about these books earlier today. Of course you couldn't have known that. Follow me."

As we wound ourselves through the library and into the foreign-to-me fiction section (I'm a NF gal), he turned and asked if I had read any of them. As I was saying, 'uh, no. No, I haven't." he continued about how wonderful this series is, how it's a game changer, how he felt a warmth surging through his body as he thought about it. It got weird there for a moment, I won't lie.

We reached the shelf that holds these books and he lovingly ran his finger along their spines. Then he pulled one, then another, until he was holding all of them. I think I caught him sniffing them at one point. I finally agreed to take just the first one, which seemed to adequately please him. I thanked him for his time and help and started off on my way. He called after me, "um, enjoy those. I think you will."

So, I'm alternating now between this

and Hannah Coulter. So, that's my story. Thanks for the recommendation. I am enjoying meeting the folks of MITFORD."

By the way, our Book Club just finished Hannah Coulter, by Wendell Berry, and we collectively adored it. And if you haven't read the Mitford series by Jan Karon, you MUST, I strongly insist, beginning with At Home in Mitford.


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