Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Reading

“I cannot live without books.”
~Thomas Jefferson

Like most of you, I suspect, I read constantly. My parents used to tell me I’d ruin my eyes if I kept reading so much. I’d say they were right, except that my brother, who doesn’t read much, has the same vision problems I do.

Anyway, my days are framed in books, morning to night, 24/7/365. I’ll read anytime, anyplace, but there is something special about summer reading. Those long, golden evenings call to me. Even more, I especially love the clear cool mornings, when I can sneak out of bed and spend an hour in my current alternative world before I have to face the demands of the day.

Which brings to mind an adventure. When I was a kid, I not only snuck out of bed, I snuck out of the house. I had a private little nook just out of sight from the house, and I’d wake at first light, tiptoe outside, and read until the neighbor let his dog out. That was my signal to slip back into bed before my household roused. To this day, I don’t believe anyone ever suspected. The memory is very sweet.

A couple years later, in a new home, I tried the same trick. It was a bit harder, because my dad had installed heavier locks after a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood. Still, the call of the early summer morning couldn’t be denied, and I hid in the dense shrubs at the back of the yard, engrossed in a book. Was it still The Black Stallion, or had I graduated to Ray Bradbury? I don’t remember.

I do, however, remember the uproar when my dad got up early and discovered the unlocked door. Alarums and excursions! Roust my siblings, scream and shout, call the cops! I stuck my finger in my book and ambled inside. Sheesh, I was right outside the door. Can’t a gal get some privacy?

Dad grounded me for a week. At thirteen, I welcomed the extra time to read, even if I had to do it in my bedroom instead of out on the grass. Oh, and I had to wash the dishes every night. Fortunately, I’d grown tall enough to prop a book on the windowsill above the sink. As I said, I’ll read anytime, anyplace. Especially in the summer.