Thursday, August 22, 2019


The big birthday came and went. I'm now officially fifty years old. I think that moves me from vintage to antique, but I'm not sure.

So many people remembered me on my birthday.
 Flowers from siblings and friends
 Beautiful writing stuff--I need to find the perfect theme for that new leather notebook
Can't wait to fill it
Hyrum surprised me with this medallion. He asked me if I could tell what it was, and when I couldn't, he explained that he had hammered a quarter until it was unrecognizable, then drilled it with an awl. It's really pretty cool, and I love it.

Karli made me this gorgeous cake (snagged this pic from Lily's Instagram story). I pinned it on Facebook a few weeks ago and promptly forgot it. She remembered and spent the entire day slaving away, making it from scratch. Love me some blueberry lemon cake, that's for sure.
My sister brought me presents from my parents--my dad's favorite lead rope and curry comb, and two books from my mom. One was a book of fairy tales I didn't recognize, but the second, an antique missing its cover and first ten pages, took me back to my childhood immediately, and tears welled in my eyes.
This dilapidated book is part of my childhood, firmly interwoven in my memory with rainbow belts, bell bottoms, and the acrid stinging smells of home permanents and horse pastures.

I remember when my mom trusted me with her childhood copy of fairy tales. She handed it to me, pointing out in the table of contents her favorite tales. I devoured this book, reading and rereading and ultimately shredding this copy. The cover eventually tore apart, and then the first and last pages fell off, but the book only increased in value the longer it was in my possession, there alongside Mom's copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri on the petite light green bookshelf that had also been hers. I felt so close to my mom as I read her books, falling deeper and deeper in love with fairy tales. Her favorites became my favorites--The Blue Light, The Coat of Many Skins, The White Snake.

I was so enamored with Rumplestiltskin that I re-enacted it with my friend Jennifer Condie for my third grade class, my imagination indulged by my teacher, Mrs. Vandenbark. This is where I first read of a beast whose deference and kindness to Beauty led to romance and marriage. Disney never got it the same, and I never forgave them.

But my favorite was Mom's favorite--the story of a wandering soldier who solved the mystery of the twelve dancing princesses. I used to wish for ball gowns and matching dancing shoes with delicate soles to wear out dancing all night with handsome princes.
Eve quickly commandeered the larger, newer copy of fairy tales, and it now sits beside her bed, just as this smaller one filled my mind before I dozed off decades ago. I don't remember when Mom removed it from my shelf, but she kept it safe for decades, and now it once again belongs to me. My sister watched as I read the enclosed note, not fully understanding my emotion. This book is a treasure of memory, a physical manifestation linking the imaginations of two young girls, a lifetime apart. Me and my mom.

What a gift.

Thanks, Mom. For remembering me on my birthday, and for instilling in your daughter a love for reading all things beautiful, imaginary, and wonderful.

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