Rose, You Didn’t Know What You Were Involved In

So I’m driving down the highway heading home from a nice trip to NC.  And I’ve already called home to give an ETA and to have an exchange that is normal in my marriage but perhaps not yours (ME: “I picked up a 7-pound ham on the road.  Can you make some biscuits?” HE: “Which recipe?  Mixed mayo and mustard or separate”?).

I’m dreaming of ham biscuits when my eyes are drawn to a billboard announcing a book fair.  And something in me feels, “There’s something there for you.”  So I decide to deviate from my usual “make good time unless you need to stop for great photo opps” policy and check out the book fair.

As I drive along towards it, a small SUV (oxymoron) passes me, proclaiming on a professionally rendered sign that it is ferrying “Miss Preteen Shenandoah Valley.”  I slow down to see if that is indeed true.  And there she is, Miss Hailey Dawn Somebody, smiling animatedly (and cutely) from the front seat in full pageant makeup.  I’m not positive but she may have had a tiara on.  A bonus sighting, for sure.  And helpfully distracting in keeping me from hyperventilating at the thought of the Green Valley Book Fair. 

Anyway, I enter the massive warehouse practically delirious at the thought of finding some books to add to my teetering piles.  I say a quick prayer, asking for divine guidance to locate just the right tomes.  I’m a big believer in God’s guidance in everything, and I marvel at how His guidance is so personal when He clearly has planets to keep spinning and photosynthesis to oversee.  Yet time and again, I have these God-sense moments.  So I pray. About weird things.

Within a book-table-length’s walk of my prayer for guidance, another customer turns to me and says, apropos of nothing, “This book is amazing. I don’t usually like this sort of thing but I couldn’t put it down and am buying several more.”  

I say immediately, “I’ll buy it.  What’s your name?”  

“Rose,” she says.  

And I thank Rose, who then says, “If you don’t like it, don’t blame me.”  

To which I say, “If I do like it, what’ll I do?”  

She says, “Remember me.”  

I say, “I’ll buy two.”  

And I do (plus another 17 books, all for $82).

And when I started reading “Last Days of Summer” by Steve Kluger this morning, he had me at the dedication: “For my father — who never had a hero when he needed one.”  

I don’t know why I’m reading this book, cosmically speaking.  Probably there’s something I need to learn that’s in there.  Or a challenge.  Or conviction.  Or just the sheer joy of reading something good.  I don’t know.

But Rose, honey, thanks.  You never know what you’re participating in.



How I Felt about the Book Fair Haul

How I Felt about the Book Fair Haul

~ by Cary on October 20, 2008.

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