Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Collection of Old Books and Memories

Do you ever come across something that triggers a whole flood of memories? 

Growing up I loved going to Baltimore to visit my Nana and Grandfather. They lived in a beautiful white painted brick house in Towson, Md that looked so small from the outside but was full of delightful nooks and crannies that went on forever inside. And fit their large brood of 7 children with their spouses and 12 offspring in a comfortably cramped kind of way.
1217 was their last home, the home they lived in after their 7 children had grown up and moved out of the big granite house on the hill at 217 Edgvale Rd. 
I always thought it was wonderful how they'd bought a house number just 1 more than their last. 

One of my favorite rooms in their home was the library/study. It was by no means a vast grand library like the one in Beauty and the Beast with a ladder and multiple stories of book shelves. Or the one I heard about so often that had been in the 217 house. It was just a small room, the 1st on the left down the hall from the main living/family room, that had an extra long (longer than today's XL twins) twin bed, a roll top desk with dark green leather top work surface and 1 wall of book shelves full of old musty books and little treasures. Oh, and a huge bay window that looked over the back garden!

As I got older, I became an avid reader and I loved nothing more than to spend a rainy afternoon in that room lying propped up by a bunch of pillows on the bed by the big window deep into a good story.  It was also a favored napping spot for many in the Holljes clan, myself included. I loved running my fingers over the new and old books spines, reading the beautiful gold leaf print that was embossed on the spines. Books on Medicine and Art (my grandfather was a physician and in his retired years a painter), books on the History of Vikings and Viking Sagas, books of poetry, philosophy, music, mythology and even some old school books that my Dad and his siblings used to carry to school. 

It's where I found an old crumbling copy of one of my favorite books, A Little Princess, and after asking my Grandfather's permission, took it home with me. 

So when I was visiting my Aunt and Uncles in St. Augustine, I couldn't help but be taken back when I walked into their office/ spare room with the wall of book shelves and a collection of some of those very same books I'd seen so often as a child. 

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