Monday, August 17, 2009

You CAN Go Home Again

The building was different. It was just a few feet from the one I remembered, but it was still the Auburn Public Library and it was where I got my first library card.

You had to be able to write your full name, first and last, to get that coveted library card. And you had to be six. I can remember standing in front of the children's librarian's desk; I can even remember exactly what the form looked like. And then I got it. I listened dutifully to the rules-of-the-card as Mrs. Barnhardt slowly handed it to me.

And last Tuesday, I was back at that library with my first published book, ready to share Also Known as Harper with the teen writing group. Or so I thought.

As I was walking in, a woman behind me had her hands full and dropped one of her books. I pointed her out to my husband. "Let's go help her." And when the woman looked up, it was someone I hadn't seen since I was in high school. An old neighbor and friend of my mom's. I thought running into her was just a coincidence as my mom passed away over ten years ago.

...Until all the other people started walking in. The first woman stood very still and smiled at me.

"You don't know who I am, do you?"

Let me just say, I am not a crybaby. It takes a lot to get my tears flowing. But it was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Kelly.

And then came my third grade teacher, Mrs. Henderson. And the principal of my old elementary school, Mr. Kuhlman. And my junior high English teacher, Miss Olsson. And another teacher, Miss Mielke, and a high school teacher and more friends of my mother's.

"I tried to get ahold of your sixth grade teacher, but she must be out of town," Mr. Kuhlman said.

So I read from my book. I read to the people who had taught me how to read and how to write. It doesn't get any better than that.

There's more, but I must save it for another blog.
Don't pay any attention to the old saying, because you definitely can go home again.


Lynnea said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I love anything that makes me cry. (In a good way, I mean.)

Michelle said...

That is awesome! I love it when life comes full circle like that.

Unknown said...

How amazing is that! I have goosebumps.

Penny said...

Grrr. You made me all goosebumpy. I'll get you for that!

Tim Haywood said...

I remember, back in the seventies, the Auburn Public Library doubled as a candy store. We'd go read candy and eat books. So fun.