52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Beginnings

The beginnings of love affairs are always revisited, recounted, and remembered. Over 65 years ago, I experienced the beginnings of such an affair. To this day, I remain in love. This love has grown to a vastness all its own.

It all began when I was a toddler. There was something magical that lived right in our home with me. I was curious as I longed to discover what was hidden inside my toy chest. My mother treated those treasures with respect as they were carefully laid in the top of the chest. When they came out at bedtime, they were glorious in holding my attention. Excitedly, I looked forward to each nightly visit. I was in love! They were picture books whose story lines and illustrations cast a spell over me. The objects of my affection were Mike Mulligan who had a steam shovel named Mary Anne…that was my name, too. My other new love was a bull named Ferdinand, who was a peaceful soul. When my mother presented these stories to me, she was cracking a code called reading. I could not wait to be able to do that on my own.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel:
Virginia Lee Burton, 1939
The Story of Ferdinand:
Munro Leaf, 1936

As I grew in age, I fell deeper in love with reading. We had our own secret rendezvous spots. A favorite meeting place was my town’s library. What a sacred place that was! It was filled with the most glorious books. To add to my thrills, I received my own library card which entitled me to borrow my selected treasures…only to return them to savor more.

John Handley Library: Winchester, Virginia

Since my childhood, I have never stopped loving my books. The beginnings of my literacy journey have taken me far and filled me with the joy of reading.

One thought on “52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Beginnings

  1. Oh how I can identify with your post. Our small town library had a summer reading program with an end-of-summer fire truck ride for those who accomplished their reading goals. Your treasure box most surely included, “Make Way for Duckling” or “Millions of Cats” or “Homer Price” or “Mes. Piggle Wiggle”… Such great memories.

    Like

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