Monday, June 17, 2013

Instant Breakfast

If you want my copy, just say so. I mean it.

          A few years ago when I complained I had nothing to read, Norm inquired quite reasonably “So what are all these books in the house for?”  It started me thinking: what indeed?  Years ago, one reason for keeping every book was the chance that a kid might be interested and pick it up.  But now, unless I may want to read it again, why keep it? So I’m going through the shelves, with stacks of discards and a sign reading
                      BOOK SALE $0. 
 Son Avi, who has a degree in Economics,  suggested last summer that I'd get rid of more with a sign reading:
           “Book Sale $1…two for 75 cents…3/.50…4/.25 …5 free.”
Take more than five and I suppose I’d have to pay you.
          I’ve placed a lot for adoption already, and the rest go to the library book sale.  Meanwhile, I’m getting visitors to pull down volumes that have lived up by the ceiling for half a century.  Lots of memories.  This morning I came across “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”.  Just had to go back and find one scene that stayed with me from more than 75 years ago.
          Yes, here it is.  The aunts with whom Rebecca lives are laid up with “feverish headaches,” some traveling missionaries are overnight guests, and Rebecca,  who is 13 or 14,  wakes before 6 a.m. and sets about making breakfast.  Aunt Miranda struggles down to the kitchen and surprise!
          The shades were up, and there was a roaring fire in the stove; the teakettle was singing and bubbling…The coffee pot was scalding, the coffee was measured out in a bowl and broken eggshells for the settling process were standing near.  The cold potatoes and corned beef were in the wooden tray…[with] the chopping knife.  The brown loaf was out, the white loaf was out, the toast rack was out, the doughnuts were out, the milk was skimmed, the butter had been brought from the dairy.
          Yes, as I remembered, it was an impressive amount of work, building the fire, milking the cow (?), chopping the potatoes, and nothing even mentioned about setting the table.  But re-reading today, I find myself analyzing that 1903 menu.  A bit strong on the carbohydrates, wouldn’t you say?  There’s some protein in the hash that’s ready for frying, but not a bit of fruit or vegetable in sight.
          Okay, I’m done with it.  If you’d like my copy, please let me know.  I really mean it.  Take four more and they’re all FREE!!


  1. Dibs on Rebecca! I have the sequel, but my old copy of the original has all but fallen apart! And yes, I will take four more, because I will not be able to help myself.

  2. I'll bring Lisa and Meg over to help out when Meg comes to Upstate for our triple birthday celebration in August. We all enjoyed our visit last year immensely--and not just for the books, but for their owner!

  3. Here's an odd coincidence: I needed several bread crates to carry model railway accessories when we take our layout to RIT in the fall. I looked all over to buy some and finally settled on an ad on Craigslist. On offer, 2000 books--in bread crates. I have everything from Danielle Steele to childrens' classics which I need to get rid of. Two days ago I was thinking, 'why not put up a table out front with a sign saying 1 book, one dollar; two books, 50c and ten books, free. I also considered paying anyone taking large quantities. Great minds think alike!