A Romance Among Books

Nearly every time I am at my wife’s childhood home, I look for something to read – and that is because my in-laws are magnificent reading people.  I was extremely lucky to have found my wife and her family, and one of the best things about them is their home.

Connie and Mike 2013

Whether it is the latest magazine and the most interesting book (new or old) or the latest column on the web – my wife’s parents know about it and love to share it.  They subscribe to everything with a word or sentence in it and will entertain a new book at the drop of a hat.  Who do you know that reads Sound & VisionArchitectural DigestFamily Handyman, AND Oxford American?  I know someone and it is them (and why they are this week’s special photo above)!

I remember early in our dating life together when I would be invited over for dinner or to watch a college football game or assist in moving a piece of furniture or just stopping by to pick up their daughter for a date – and the books!  You wouldn’t believe it.  Every topic of every kind hidden within the pages of old, new, tattered, classic, big, little, hardback and softback books; beautiful works with spines covered in colors and titles and drawings that practically asked me to pull every single one of them from the shelves (and made me nearly late for romantic dates and exciting football games and abundant family dinners).

And the way in which their books are used – it is as though this family believes that books are much more than books – they are for display and decoration and art as much as they are for reading.  The built-in bookshelves surround the fireplace and the walls and provide the backdrop for the sofas and recliners, while other rooms include desks and end tables with just the right amount of space for special books that have lived with the family for generations.  The books themselves might be standing up straight with their spines facing outward, while others are casually leaning up against an antique clock or stacked diagonally over and under one another.  There are always new and interesting books on the coffee table and even a variety of magazines pouring out of a big woven basket near the recliners.  More than 20 years later, it never fails to amaze me that I can enter this great home a hundred times throughout the year and find something new to read every single time.

It is no secret that I fell in love with my wife and her family in those early days of our life together, and that marvelous house full of books and words and columns and conversation remains the icing on the cake.

Decorate Books

‘The Favorite Color’ – Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico

*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. The backstory can be found here. Below is the very first story I told our first daughter about Baby Frederico, more than 16 years ago. Enjoy!

BF colors

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn…and ice-cube popsicles.  Here is his story:

Baby Frederico was ready for his big day, for this was the morning that he would find his favorite color!  What color do you think he’ll choose?

– As he stepped outside on this bright August morning, he saw a big yellow sun smiling down at him.

– He walked quietly through the brown woods just behind his home and found a beautiful stream of blue, sparkling water.

– The glimmering orange colors of several lost goldfish who found their way into the stream caught his eye.

– His best green buddy, Grenelda the Grasshopper, was waiting for him and sat on a gray rock on the opposite bank of the little blue stream.

So many colors!  What would Baby Frederico do?

– Grenelda waved to him with a big white ribbon that she won at a recent cello contest at school.

– Baby Frederico waved back with a big purple ribbon that he won at a recent running contest at school.

Little drops of rain began to fall and Baby Frederico and Grenelda decide to head for home.  As they came out of the brown woods, the white clouds in the blue sky cleared, the rain stopped, and the friends looked up to see Baby Frederico’s favorite color.  Can you guess what it was?