Again, I have to admit something right off the bat. I'm a herd animal. I can't, even after all these years, seem to be able to summons the nerve to go somewhere new without at least one other person there to accompany me. Please forgive me if you ever invite me over and I beg off. It's just my nature!
I mention this now because time has progressed as it will, and my herd has thinned from growing up or moving away or (sigh) passing on, I find myself getting out less and less. I'm blessed to still be in relatively good health, so I've only got myself to blame.
I'm clearing the air about all this because I really regret not visiting our local library sooner!
Growing up on the farm, my sisters and I were always big readers. In those years it was still radio and literature that ruled the entertainment roost and I would like to think that we spent 75% of our time reading and 25% of our time tuned in with our ears. My dad used to like to quip that he didn't need to bother picking up Louisa May Alcott's classic "Little Women" because he lived in a house full of little women! Books were a hot commodity in our household and I'll admit that some roughhousing amongst sisters might have happened if two parties were interested in the same book.
As I grew older and had children of my own, I always pushed them towards reading. When they entered school I always encouraged them to check a book out once every two weeks from the school library. Plenty of time for studying with just enough time for reading, I thought.
We visited the various incarnations of the Decorah Public Library throughout the years during the summers, but my little herd grew up and moved away. After the last one left, I found myself buying books more and more. My late husband used to say I was the only person he knew that thought the term "waste and space" was a positive thing!
After he passed I found myself wanting to de-clutter a little bit. My shelves and shelve of books were one of the first things to go. But what to do without anything to read?!
I knew that the library had experienced tremendous renovations sometime in the mid to late 1990's. Everybody I knew that visited there raved about it. One morning, after coffee, I took a deep breath, steeled myself and headed in.
After climbing the stairs I was greeted by a woman around my age working the counter named Pat. (A wonderful woman, recently retired. Good for her!) I thought to myself: Not only is she here, she WORKS here! Within in no time I had my library number and off I went.
Since then I've come to appreciate the staff, selection and layout more and more. They have enough mysteries to keep me occupied and guessing for many years to come.
The Genealogy/Historical Society in the basement is a regular favorite too. So many names and places come rushing back to me. I have to be careful; I could literally end up spending all day there. I know I wouldn't mind.
I've been told the library's website has a lot of fantastic options as well. I've been entertaining the thought of trying out the language lessons that are offered on there. It might be a hoot to surprise my grandchildren with a little Espanol!
I noticed that I've ran long on this entry, so I'll let you go. Take care and maybe we'll run into each other at the library sometime soon!