Gran's Apple Butter Blog

August 3, 2010

2/II Bookworms and Thresholds

Filed under: Books,Gran,Grandma,Threshold — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 9:10 am

Chapter 2
Excerpt from Going Home, by Mary Batson

What else can I tell you? First and foremost, Gran was a storyteller. She could weave words and magic and fairies and spinning wheels and talking trees into stories I could barely keep up with, hanging on each word as I danced in my seat with excitement. Gran said her storytelling was on account of all the books she’d read in her life, and she figured my dancing was on account of that last glass of lemonade.

You see, Gran was a self-confessed bookworm. She said it all started years earlier, on the very night she was born. At first she just preferred the taste of Dr. Seuss to that of strained peas, but she quickly learned to savor the flavor of the words over the paper itself. It had been a strange lesson for her, to learn that not everyone shared this hunger.

Gran said she had lived a vicarious life through her books over the years. She grew up on the classics, spending most of her free time at her father’s office, where he had converted a back room into a small library. She read all the fiction, she read all the facts, and then she started on the encyclopedias. She’d laugh and say she guessed in today’s terminology she grew up a geek and just never knew it. And not much had changed – she was just a little older. Now she knew she qualified as a geek – and she just didn’t care!

Gran said she’d learned a lot from her books, not the least being that she could learn more with each new book – there was always at least one Zinger, as she called ‘em. You know, the line that really GOT ya. So she’d learned to read, and live, with an open mind. To look at things from others’ perspectives. To study and learn from others’ philosophies, adapting and fitting them to what she valued and believed. She said as a youngster she’d left a reminder to herself about this, making a note that her books would take her through her life, hoping she would grow as her knowledge of others’ wisdom grew.

True to her book-worminess, Gran had accomplished one of her life dreams – she had her own library, although it wasn’t the leather arm chairs, velvet smoking jacket and bear skin rug she’d originally envisioned. No, it was much nicer than that. Homier, too. Still had the fireplace though. But now her library featured pictures of friends and family, candles here and there, neat little pieces of original artwork from friends and someday-to-be friends, birds and squirrels right outside, coming to the door to say hello, daylight streaming in. And just like she’d imagined long ago, little girls and boys like she used to be would come and visit her library, to read or play a game of checkers, to learn to see the world with widened eyes.

One of Gran’s favorite quotations went: “If he is indeed wise, he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather, leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” That’s what Gran thought good books do: They hint how things might be behind this or that door, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to step across that threshold. Gran said that’s why it was important to keep your thresholds bright and welcoming. As for hers, she preferred red and yellow.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
Download Chapter 1 or order your copy at!


1 Comment »

  1. Beautiful Mary! Gran’s Apple Butter Blog is wise & delicious! Sign me up! xooxoxo

    Comment by cece anna lee — August 4, 2010 @ 12:21 am | Reply

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