Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Little Slice of Heaven

I've been unable to keep up my daily blogging routine these days, but I'm not at all feeling guilty about it.  Instead, I've been having adventures with my hubby and grandkiddos, adventures that have been not only enjoyable, but that are creating many memories and future blog fodder.

But in the midst of all the galavanting and adventure seeking, this week I discovered a little slice of heaven, right here on earth.  In fact, it was right here in central Pennsylvania about two miles from my home.

The annual library book sale has been going on for the last four days.  And, I arrived there on the morning of the first day.  You know what that can mean - I was there for the freshest pick of the books.

Here's how it works:  at the door you are given a large heavy duty plastic shopping bag.  You stuff it full of as many books as you can wedge in there, and the price is $20.  Believe you me, I figured out the best of all the permutations and combinations of how the maximum number of books could best be arranged to fit in that bag of mine.

This year the sale was advertised to have approximately 45,000 books, all arranged in clearly marked genres on tables.  As spaces became available on the tables, workers added new books from boxes under the tables.

Although I was basking in the rays of this little piece of heaven on earth, here's how I knew I wasn't totally, really at the pearly gates - just about the time I was done shopping, dripping with sweat from schlepping this HEAVY bag of books up and down all the aisles, when my face was glistening with the high humidity and my glasses were slipping down my nose, when I was ready to go home and do my workout so I could shower, put on some makeup, and style my horribly flat bed head hair - that's when the WNEP Channel 16 television crew approached me to do an interview.  So yes, with a large microphone, a monstrous shoulder camera, and blinding lights, the film crew put me in their spotlight.

And of course, all the other shoppers stopped dead in their tracks to watch the whole thing.  The segment did run that night, and I know that, not because I was watching for it, but because friends starting facebooking that they had seen me and now wanted my celebrity autograph.


Anyway, back to the heaven part.

Here's what I'm currently reading.  Some of these titles have come from my new cache of books, and some from elsewhere.

The Early To Rise Experience, by Andy Traub

     Here's an excerpt from his introduction to the book:  "Your life has been given to you.  You're in charge of you, and yesterday was the last day you pursued average.  Today is your first day of pursuing greatness, and I believe you will achieve greatness.  The first step is simple:  rise early.  Let's learn how."

I do believe that, even though I am retired, if I were to be in the habit of getting up each morning an hour or two earlier than I do, that I would have a much more productive life, and that my family and others would benefit tremendously from this.

Have I mastered this habit yet?  Absolutely not.  Am I still trying?  Yes.  And yes, it is taking me more than 30 days.  I started the book, then was interrupted by several vacations and road trips, and now I've started again back at the beginning of the book.

I'm not giving up, though, because I do believe in this one.

The Witness Wore Red, by Rebecca Musser, with M. Bridget Cook

This is the first person account of the woman who brought polygamous cult leaders to justice.  After attending schooling in her family's Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints school, Musser became the 19th wife of her people's Prophet, 85 year old Rulon Jeffs, in her late teens.

Eventually she pulled off a daring escape, and built a new life and family.  Her later testimony revealed the horrific secrets behind the temple's closed doors, which sent many of the leaders to jail for years, and Warren Jeffs (the new Prophet) to jail for life.

The book is a revealing memoir and a fast paced courtroom drama, and is a testament to the power of one woman's decisions to help her family and ultimately change the world.

The February 2014 issue of SUCCESS magazine 

I picked this up because the cover photo of Gary Vaynerchuk boxing particularly caught my attention.

The article featuring Vaynerchuk was an exclusive excerpt from his new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook:  How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World.

I suppose I was attracted to the magazine because I am a fan of kickboxing and boxing, and because my son is a member of Team Beachbody, a network marketing fitness and nutrition business.  Caleb is way more social media savvy than I am, but I do want to learn more and understand it more.  I am convinced that modern businesses MUST learn to use social media for marketing and sales or these businesses will simply go away in time.

And finally, in my cute little purple Kindle, I'm reading The Bear, by Claire Cameron.

This fiction is by a five year old girl and her toddler brother who both have survived a bear attack while camping.  With their parents both dead they survive the best they can until found by other relatives and rescue personnel.

This scary story is based on numerous true accounts of campers having had grizzly bear incidents and attacks in the northwestern parts of Canada and Alaska.

Although I see lots of bears on our property in the mountains of central Pennsylvania, I respect their right to have their home in "my" woods, and I feel no fear of them.  What I am enjoying about this book, though, is the look into the mind of a five year old who is trying to both stay alive and take care of a baby.

So now my book sale purchase has been loaded into my book drawer.  I won't run out of good reading materials for a while.  At least for a week or two or three.

Yes, that's my little slice of heaven, right here, right now.

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