Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Green Year

Sometimes, some years, someone finds just the right present for me for Christmas. This year, my brother and my sister in law who was also my best friend in high school hit the jack pot. They mailed me a book from their Christmas tree farm in Oregon.

SIL Flower and I have a penchant for reading nature books. More than ten years ago she found a book in her small town library, checked it out and read it, called me and said, "You've got to read this book!" My library in a small town on the other side of metropolitan Portland didn't have the book, so Flower checked out her library's copy again and loaned it to me. I read it and called her and said, "I want to own this book so I can reread it whenever I want!"
But, alas, as these stories often go, we couldn't find another copy of the book anywhere. Not even at Powell's. So Flower asked the librarian if she could buy the book from the library.
The library lady pulled up the check out history on the book and told her, "We can't sell the book because it has been checked out within the past seven years."
"But, I'm the only person who has ever checked it out, and I'm the only one who wants it!"
"No, sorry," was the answer.
Flower and I talked about the book occasionally and looked in used bookstores when and where ever we traveled. No book.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Flower.
"You're going to love your present!" she wrote. "What's your new address?"
The package came on the 23rd. I put it intact by the other gifts, didn't even take the gifts out of the mailing envelope. I knew if I once started the opening process, I wouldn't stop and wait for Christmas morning.
9:00am December 25th: The phone rings. It's the Brother and Flower calling to wish us Merry Christmas.
"Do you like your present?"
"I haven't opened it yet. We're waiting for the Boy to wake up."
"Open it NOW!"
So I handed the phone to The Professor and he reported my reaction to them.
"She's jumping up and down, clutching the book and hugging it."
The perfect gift.
The Green Year by Barbara Webster. 1956. First edition.
The story of Barbara and her husband Ed's green year, the year they 'took off' to be home, to just BE.
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose!
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Andrew Marvell


Anonymous said...

Now, that is a wonderful Christmas surprise! And one I'm sure you'll treasure. :-)

violetlady said...

Nothing is so special than a gift of that one cherished book. Belated Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I came over from VioletLady. So glad I did. It sounds like you got the PERFECT gift! I just love receiving gifts like that--the ones that makes you squeal with joy like you were a kid again. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Beatriz said...

A book is such a wonderful gift...I received Pretty Birds from my supervisor. It's been on my reading list for a while. A belated Merry Christmas to you and the Professor!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

A book can be a life long friend - I'm so happy that you received a good friend for Christmas! It sounds like a wonderful book; I think I'll look for a copy at the library!

Kiti said...

Some day, you'll write your own book. And then, people who receive the book for Christmas will jump up and down and squeal with delight. I hope you'll autograph my copy of your book.

Word verification:
bmbukk: Related to bamboo?

Lisa's Blessed A Latte said...

What a treasured gift...I love it when someones surprises me with something I've always wanted.

roxie said...

Squeeeee! Hooray for the perfect gift!

(Verification word - gpeduk: sneakers for a large clam)

Kylee Baumle said...

Oh how wonderful! I'd be jumping up and down, too! I love reading and books are some of my most prized possessions, so I feel your joy! :-)

Bethany said...

How fabulous!!!! Those are the kinds of gifts that I love... so special and meaningful!!

kate said...

Now that is just plain cool. I think you are a lucky woman - not only to have received a treasured book, but also because you have a SIL who remembered!