Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Treasure

--Can't let Valentine's Day pass without writing about my Valentine treasure.
--Without any discussion between my husband and myself, I chose the word "treasure" for my OLW this year, and about the same time, he decided to build all the grandchildren small treasure chests this year. Odd timing. He never did read that post about my OLW.
--Valentine's Day arrived, and on the kitchen table this morning was a card and an old wooden recipe file box, cleaned up, and varnished anew. I knew my husband hadn't actually made the box because it was made with tongue and groove wood construction. Why would he clean up an old box and give it to me? The answer awaited inside the treasure box.
--Inside, a 3 x 5 card said, "This may look like a treasure box for you, but it is really my treasure box--thought you might like to see inside." Under the card was a picture of him and me sharing a peck in 2007, his wedding band which he hasn't worn for so long (not a ring person), and a lapel American flag pin. I knew it was a last minute endeavor the night before, but what an impact!
--Message understood.
--You never know how your treasures will present themselves!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Kindle Story

--Here's to reading any way you can get it!
--Before Christmas, I finally decided to take another step in the name of progress and to keep up on current web-related gadgets--again!!! Never has life brought on so many new concepts so rapidly in my lifetime! I finally bought the Kindle Fire. I decided it was a good price for reading books in the dark if I had to and for email, Facebook, music, amongst other things. However, I swore the Kindle would never replace the feel/touch/readability of a real book, but I was ready to experience what the web and its cloud held for me.
--I ordered a couple of Kindle books at very reasonable prices along with my book club selection. I was excited that I need not wait any longer for my local library to find my books from other libraries that participated in the Evergreen connection in my state. A request for a book could take up to 2 weeks to get, and my club read a book every month. All problems I thought were now solved.
--I was excited to sit in my favorite chair and read from a lighted screen in poor lighting near the Christmas tree. The font was naturally larger, and the ease in turning pages was great. I could even put my finger tip on a word to acquire a pop-up definition! Not all definitions presented themselves, but it was enough to lighten the burden of some unknown words. This Grandma was cool! At book club, I could even look up books on Amazon on my Kindle to see the reviews and summaries of books we might add to our future selections. Life with the Kindle was great. Why had I waited so long?!
--I must admit I did miss going back to look at the cover of a bound book, noticing things I never noticed before, sometimes thinking if I would change the book cover itself. I also enjoyed reading the back side of the cover, along with the inside flaps with information about the author and also the book. Sometimes there would be discussion questions for book clubs which I missed reading since these questions brought up some missed details in my reading. I did miss the actual book, especially the friendliness that comes with a paperback.
--I then hooked up with my local library to borrow Kindle books from them for two weeks at a time, and then it would be electronically removed. Two weeks was not the best amount of time for me, but it was workable, and I could attempt to get it again if it was available. I typed in the name of our next book club selection--Moloka'i by Alan Brennert. The book was not available for the Kindle from the library. Mmmm, never thought of that angle.
--Okay, I will go to Amazon and buy the Kindle version. It was about $9, so I ordered it. I opened the book only to find the cover and no other pages! I went to Amazon and selected Help from the menu and started to chat. I ended up talking to 3 people before the Kindle "expert" could be found to help me. The first person just wanted to refund my money. Refund?? This is space age technology! The next two experts actually tried to download it again with no avail. The last rep admitted all glitches are not worked out yet, and a refund would be the only route. Oh, well, nothing is perfect.
--I went back to Amazon and decided to buy the paperback for about $9, but then decided why not get a used paperback for about $4. I ordered that and since it did not come from Amazon, it cost me about $5 in shipping, so it was back to $9.
--I was actually excited once again to get an actual book in the mail!! I could feel it and read the cover over and over. Lo and behold--guess where the book in good condition was found?--the Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin--Madison!!! Wow, I should check my local Goodwill store next time and avoid the latest in technology!!
--I am now reading the "book," and enjoying its feel, the cover, and the discussion questions. But when I put my finger tip on a word, no definition pops up. I won't be able to read Moloka'i in the car at night or in the dark when everyone is sleeping. I can't check my email for a break in my reading. I also have three books waiting for my return on my Kindle bookshelf. My Kindle has been in my book bag for a week, and now I miss it, too.
--If there is a moral to this story, it has changed many times since I began telling it. What I do know for a fact is that reading will never go out of style!!