The Good Life

The other day I asked Stan what he thought about me painting a list on our entry-way walls. For some reason, I love the idea of hand-painted words framing our living space; it seems different than the vinyl stickers available in stories. After I brought the idea up, he reliably countered with the practicalities of dripping paint over our smooth beige walls.

“It would be hard to cover up if you got tired of it… I guess you’d have to sand it all down. Remind me, again, what’s wrong with a canvas?”

I think we’ve had some version of this conversation at least 14 times before. At this point in our exchange I usually admit it’s probably not a good idea. It suddenly strikes me as tiresome, what with sanding and all. I’ll decide to write whatever phrase has caught my imagination in my journal instead, or maybe on a piece of paper and tape it to the wall. Of course, I never get around to doing either and a few months later we repeat the whole scenario.
My latest wall-painting proposal was inspired by a trip to the library. Even though I walk there at least once a week I often leave feeling amazed, like a kid who finds a half-eaten box of smarties under the couch cushions.

Stan always tells me, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,”, suspicious that I might sign up for a trip to Vegas through some junk-mail voucher one day.* This may be good advice, but it doesn’t hold water when it comes to libraries. Especially ones with online ordering services. In a few clicks of the mouse I can choose enough books that I’ll need my backpack with the hip belt when I go to pick them up.

I am especially fond of my librarians and feel particularly flattered when they go out of their way to make recommendations based on their observations of my reading taste. It’s comforting to think we’ve become intimate friends despite conversations consisting of “I”ll take your card now”; “Some books came in for you today”; or “Would you like to pay your fines now or later?”

Tonight, I take Belén and Susanna to chose some books for themselves. I pick out a few from the browser’s shelf for myself and then let the girls know it’s time to leave. They slowly move toward me with their heads bent low, hair brushing the pages. I shuffle to the check-out counter and they catch up to me before we reach it. Instead of moving forward, we lose momentum and fall back into our reading, forming a silent clot in the middle of the library. A few pages later I remember we are leaving and revive my entranced companions.

When we come home I tell them they have a choice: extra reading time before bed or a chance to talk for a bit after the lights are out. For once, they agree on something…


The list I started this post with–the list that never got written or painted–is titled, The Good Life. As you may have guessed, library within walking distance is the first entry.

Enjoy your weekend,


*Does this ring a bell, anyone?


7 thoughts on “The Good Life

  1. OH I love this … too often we find something at a store that resonates with us, but actually stopping, reflecting, paying attention to our own life and how the good life is all around us … now THAT I like!! Looking forward to seeing pics of the wall AND to getting some of those great book recommendations thrown my way!

  2. I was going to peel carrots for supper but I would rather catch up here, so frozen veggies it is! Great post, I also really love that candlelit picture. And was just thinking this week it’s time for a library visit! Thanks for the extra nudge!

  3. How blessed you are to have a library within walking distance. Libraries are not common in small towns here in Italy where I live. We have more books in our home than our tiny library has! I too am looking forward to seeing the wall-painting as that’s an idea I’ve toyed with for a long time. The problem is that my husband sounds a lot like yours and I always get talked out of it! Now you got me to thinking again! 🙂

    • It’s so interesting to read your comment and get a glimpse of life in another corner of the world. When we lived in Bolivia we had a small cabinet of books on our porch that we shared with our neighbours. It sure made me see libraries in a different light. Good luck with the wall painting… let’s see who goes first!

      • I have a feeling you may beat me to that wall painting! We travel a lot for ministry and when home it seems I’m always catching up on visiting with friends & neighbors, laundry & ironing (no clothes dryer), gardening, time with the grandchildren, housework and last, but not least, blogging. I guess my husband “might” be right when he says “I’m not sure that’s a good idea”. But you never know, maybe one day…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s