I was up in the laundry room this evening and the joint was really hopping. I was continuing my pre-wash odyssey (I’m close) while a couple other people were laundering regular things, like underpants. After a bit, it was down to me and a pretty lady named Catherine who appeared to be in her early fifties or so. We got to chatting about what we do for a living.
Catherine has worked for many years in the children’s department of a bookstore, which means she is my new favorite person. Learning of Catherine’s job, memories of my favorite childhood books came flooding back: The Pokey Little Puppy. The Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. Anything/everything Pooh. Anything/everything Shel Silverstein. Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Phantom Tollbooth. The Secret Garden. Anne of Green Gables. It felt so good to think of those books.
And then Catherine said something that instantly changed my entire winter.
“You know what I’ve been doing recently?” she said, soft-spoken and sweet like she needs to be to fit my children’s-bookstore-lady archetype. “I’ve been listening to audio recordings of children’s classics. It’s really wonderful. Treasure Island. Black Beauty. Little Women.” She smiled at me. “I’d recommend that to anyone, especially you, if you like to listen to books while you make your quilts.”
It would’ve been rude for me to run out of the laundry room at that moment so that I could get back into my living room and load up Treasure Island, Black Beauty, Hatchet, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and other A-listers in the genre. So I didn’t do that. But they’re all cued up — and while I folded three batches of fabric, I began with Treasure Island, which I have never read. I couldn’t wait.
Guess how good Treasure Island is? It was hard to break away to sit down with my computer, to be honest. Catherine and I didn’t exchange info, so unless I see her again she won’t know how much I appreciated our conversation. Maybe I’ll just go into the laundry room around this time next week and just bellow, “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” until she comes and I can tell her she is very inspiring when she washes socks.