• pgracemiles

No. 29 Read a Fucking Book

“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away.”

-- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler, E.L. Konigsburg


(These words of encouragement are displayed in my bedroom as a reminder to put down my iPhone.)


I started my babysitting career at the age of 11. My charges lived across the street from our house in Maryland. One afternoon, while I was babysitting, a number of crank phone calls came in. The caller was using a lot of curse words. I called my mom and told her about it.


She came over ready to confront the caller. When the phone rang she listened and then she said to them, “Why don’t you go find a good book to read?!” Stunned silence on the caller's side and a moment later the perpetrator hangs up. I often think of that advice when I have a precious moment of boredom during the day.


With the Pacific Northwest likely engulfed in snow and freezing temperatures for the next few days, boredom has set in. I've started thinking about what I did on snow days when I was a kid. Play outside, build snow people and snow animals, wander, wander, wander.




I would also read my favorite books - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, What the Witch Left, Encyclopedia Brown books, Tales from the Crypt, and a yellow book about Haunted Houses that I regularly checked out of my school library.




I also loved to lose track of time building dollhouse furniture and Aurora Monster kits -- Dracula was my favorite because he got to stay up all night.


This week I will catch up on stories in the New Yorker, play board games and watch movies with my boyfriend, nap, cuddle with the cats, and since I was able to find it easily on my bookshelf, I will reread my original copy of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.


"What happened was: they became a team, a family of two . . . you might call it caring. You could even call it love."




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