Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Bunny in the Rock Wall

For a few years, my now eight-year old granddaughter and I kept track of a bunny we'd see out back by the barn, hiding in the garden or hopping around and then disappearing in the rock wall. My granddaughter always felt the bunny was no ordinary bunny. She was convinced it was the Easter Bunny.

When she was five we never saw the bunny during the summer, fall or winter. But the following spring when her little brother was here for an overnight, we both saw the bunny by the rock wall. We were so excited. I'd thought the worst had happened but the bunny proved me wrong. Adding to the excitement of seeing bunny, I'm certain I saw a few little ones scampering along beside her.

Just before Easter that year, on a beautiful spring evening with geese flying and the sun setting over the fields, I went out back for a walk. I didn't get very far. As I came up the incline near the rock wall, I was astonished to find colorful, decorated Easter eggs lying in the grass. They were beautiful-sparkling-magical under the glow of the sun disappearing. Something told me those eggs were not your ordinary Easter eggs. Slowly, I bent down and touched one. It was a little wet. At that moment, I heard a scurrying by the rock wall. I turned, and out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a white, puffy tail. I knew it was our bunny.

That's when I realized my granddaughter was right. Our bunny really is the Easter Bunny and our bunny was getting ready to go hippity hoppity down the Bunny trail. Bunny had painted and decorated the eggs and put them in the grass to dry. I was certain she had more eggs and tons and tons of candy packed and ready to go.

**Moral of this Easter Tale: When you believe like a child believes, even a little bunny living out back in the rock wall really, really can be the Easter Bunny. Happy Easter!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Playing with Books

Books on shelves were always present when I was growing up. My mother's father built her a pine bookcase. It sat in our living room full of my mother's favorite reads. Most of them were novels set in the South when women wore those long, flowing Scarlett O'Hara type dresses and they lived on sprawling plantations and spent much of their time fanning themselves. My grandmother's living room also had a bookcase full of books. Those books offered more of a variety. But variety wasn't important to me or my cousin. The books themselves were the attraction. They were the reason we loved to play library and bookstore. Sometimes I'd play library or bookstore all by myself when I was home. It didn't matter that I was alone because playing with the books was so much fun and I had many imaginary friends and customers playing right along with me.

When playing library, books were put out on display. Whether playing with my cousin or by myself, there were pretend library cards and a pretend stamper and slips in the back of the books to mark the books. Advice was free. Recommending certain books to check out was taken seriously. There were no computers in our libraries so we had to do all the referrals and answering of questions. After all, being a librarian came with great responsibility. But then, so did being the owner of a bookstore.

Any bookstore I imagined when playing was modeled after a real little bookstore inside a department store in our downtown. Even though that bookstore was small, it was jam packed with books. Bestsellers were displayed on a table in the middle of the store. I'd go to that bookstore with my mother. She'd take her time at that table. I loved watching her among all those new, untouched books. She never walked out of that store without a bag of finely printed, brand new books with beautifully illustrated covers of those times of Scarlett and Rhett. I can remember being fascinated by the window displays and a ceiling fan in that bookstore as well as the wonderful smell of so many books gathered together in one place. So because of that bookstore, any bookstore I imagined myself owning where I'd build displays and cash out my happy customers and discuss the new titles sitting on a table in the middle of my store was actually that real little bookstore.

When I think back to those pretend bookstores and pretend libraries, I'm in good company because in my home on bookshelves are most of my mother's Scarlett and Rhett books bought from that real little bookstore. Besides those treasured books, I am blessed to have the simple pine bookcase my grandfather made in my home as well. The only difference now is that it's my grandchildren playing with the books. And that is the way it's supposed to be-from one generation to the next.