About this time two Mondays ago my brightly lit world went dark.
Super Storm Sandy made her presence known and took away our lights, the Internet and the soft glow of our 42″ flat screen tv. Oh, and lest I forget the necessities: heat, access to money or gasoline and any semblance of fresh produce.
But we survived. We had water, a decent amount of non-perishable food items and candles. Make that oodles of candles (side note: one bag of 100 tea lights will last you 9 days without power and light up to 4 rooms/day. And you’ll still have some leftover to decorate the votive holders stashed around your house. You’re welcome).
I think it started when I was young, say kindergarten, and turned into a full-blown issue at age seven or eight. I don’t know whether my parents were worried that I would ruin my eyesight or relieved that it wasn’t something worse.
Whether I was sprawled out on my bed or curled up on our rust-hued, floral print sofa, I always had my nose tucked in a book. I have memories of running away with Claudia and her little brother Jamie from E.L. Konigsberg’s The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, finding my voice with Louis from E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan and consoling Peter while I dealt with my own Fudge in Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I’d scour the Scholastic Book Club flyers tagging my selections with the hope my mom would cave and buy me the latest book du jour. Rainy afternoons spent at the public library, breathing in the scent of old books, walking up to the counter with a stack of books tucked under my chin, promising my mom I’d read every last one before the return date while she had to bargain with my brother to select just one book to read.