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July 23, 2021: Book Sorting 101

I was on the fence about accompanying Pete, Pat (Pete’s brother), and Nan to the Palmer recycling center; the question being, to assist or not to assist in sorting. Some time ago, the then executive director told me that I was prohibited from coming on-site. I took what he said quite seriously and since have not stepped foot on the VCRS premises. Best, I thought, to lay low.

Bill and Pete had begun sorting on Saturdays. I came up with an analogy. Being left home felt like being a kid again, one who was bedridden with the measles. I recalled listening to others play, while I continued to lay in bed. I felt bereft then, and I felt bereft the past few months.

Nan sorting at VCRS

I decided this morning (after considerable deliberation) to join Pete, Pat, and Nan in sorting. I asked Pete and Pat what I should do – essentially, both indicated that this was my decision. So I gave up a morning and afternoon of horseback riding in order to sort books.

I walked into the recycling center – I was greeted with considerable enthusiasm by one employee, and with no enthusiasm by another. I subsequently went downstairs and began sorting. There were considerable books, as always. Many of them were faith based, and so we saved about one third of them.

I felt relief, in resuming one of my favorite past-times. I am not going to make sorting a weekly occurrence because now others are willing to do this.

We next took the truckload of books and a newspaper box to the Meeting House. The knit pickers, Pastor Sarah Welton and her friend Marty, were there. The guys usually leave the boxes in the library room, but this time, I instead had them put the boxes in the front room, where Nan and I began sorting them. We both pulled forth fiction and set aside the kid’s boxes. This, so that I could fill the shelves at Vagabond Blues and also have enough books on hand for the Palmer Senior Center. This was planning ahead – now I don’t have much to do before Tuesday.

Marty walked into the Meeting House sorting area and remarked that she could not keep herself away. (She had been knitting in the other room.) She said some very astute things to Nan and me as she stood in the doorway. She, for example, remarked that she appreciated the fact that we were respecting the books, and also that she liked being around people who liked books. Her remarks made me feel good. I am going to make it a point to continue, on Fridays, to drop in on the knit pickers.

Nan left after a bit, leaving me with the rest of the sorting to do. Done, I put several boxes of books into DGNPNY and the drove over to Vagabond Blues, where I loaded up the shelves. There I talked for a while with Mariah, Carol McNamara’s daughter. Mariah recently purchased a 1971 Volkswagen van and is going to turn it into a bookmobile.

I said I’d give her an assist if she needs it. Next week, have to get thank you cards addressed for a wide variety of people.

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