Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Memories of Childhood

Aren't there just certain things that are "stand-out" memories from childhood? They are just so sweet that you long to experience them again, even if it's just for a little while. Some people remember a doll, some - a vacation, others - a visit to Grammie's, some fondly remember playing with a childhood friend or playing a certain game.

I have a couple memories that seem to torment me because they are elusive, I can't quite grasp them again. One is a doll. I'll tell you about that another time. So far, it does not have a happy ending. The other is a book. This one is well within my reach. I can almost taste it.

When I was in the 4th grade, my teacher, Sister Raphaella, read us a chapter a day from a story book. I loved that story so much, I would race back to her classroom for the story reading time. My little girlfriends and I would rhapsodize about it on our long walk home from school. It seemed so romantic - the stuff dreams are made of.

Several years ago I began, in earnest to search for this book. I knew the title but not the author. Because I'm such an estate sale and flea market junkie, I thought for sure I would run across it. I would see a wall of old books, not in any particular order (like at the library). The wall became daunting after a few minutes of reading dusty old titles, my neck bent over sideways to see the book spines. I'd give up after five or ten minutes.

I even tried, unsuccessfully, to contact the headquarters of this particular order of nuns that Sister Raphaella was a member of, thinking, perhaps they might have a copy of the book in their libraries.

So every time I go to an estate sale where there's books, I search. When I go to flea markets, same. Antique Malls, the same. Just recently on a "girlz day out" my friend and I went to a Christmas Bazaar, then to lunch and capped off a wonderful day at an Antique Mall. I began to search again. I told my friend the story. She also searched. Then she said to me........."have you checked Amazon?" I had not. It never occurred to me to try to find an old book on Amazon.

Of course, as soon as I got home I checked Amazon......................THEY HAD IT !!!!!!!! (sorry SueR-I hope it's not too early for those !!!!!)

Have a look.....

There's a glitch. There's 4 copies and the price starts at over $300.00 !!!!!!!

Here comes the happy ending.............I googled "borrow Uncle Frank's Mary" and several libraries appeared on my screen which owned a copy of the book. One of them was the Library of Congress. I emailed them. I was told they do not lend to ordinary citizens but only to other libraries.

I went to my local library, submitted a requisition, which will first go to the main library here and they will requisition it from whichever library has it available, starting with the closest (Library of Congress).

My librarian said I will have it in my hand within 3 weeks. I am so excited. I get to be 9 years old again ♥ ♥ ♥


  1. Oh, I do hope you update after you read the book! This is so heartwarming! Book reading is a wonderful thing to do with children, I have great memories of being read to....and then reading to my girls and now my grands.

  2. I will be looking forward to your post on how the story goes...

    You have already been a blessing in my life, even though I do not know you personally. I have CAST to thank for the privilege. Thanks for always meaning to encourage.

  3. Rita, that is so cool! I wish you could have a copy of it for your very own though! Amazing to find it again...

  4. What a heartwarming story Rita, I wish you tremendous joy reading it and be 9 again...♥

  5. Awww...I'm glad you found it. I have borrowed books through interlibrary loan. It usually goes pretty smoothly and you get them faster than they say. I also have many fond memories of reading as a child. be young again.

  6. That is so cool! Can't wait to read the update once you've read the book again :)