…I bet you can’t do that with your Kindle.
Our minister read an interesting little piece from a news clipping from the far north the other day. It was just a story about what was happening with a minister working in that area who had been told by the local natives not to worry about the mercury in his fish. All he had to do was hang up your fish by the tale so the mercury would all drop to their head. We weren’t sure if it was truth or humour but the real story is in the finding of it.
The conversation after church with the woman who had retrieved the story went like this. “We found it in one of Mom’s old cook books. She was always putting things in books for safe keeping.”
My minister’s response was, “I found a flower the other day I had pressed in a book many years ago and forgotten all about.”
I wonder how many of us have put great memories in an old book. Flowers were definitely a favourite thing to put in the book. There was no thought about what the juices would do to the pages of the book but the keeping of a special flower or a corsage from a special date or event was almost sacred. Carefully taking the pins from the dress, so as not to damage the satin, the ribbons, carnations or roses would find their way between the pages of one of the bigger books in the house – Bible and Dictionary excepted – and there they would rest until retrieved months later, flat and brown but full of memories.
As we learned in this adventure from the north, news clippings were also the stuff of stuffing in books. There would be all sorts of them put here and there for safe keeping. I’m certain those who put them knew exactly where to find them and would from time to time visit the pages to have a little laugh or moment of reminiscing. The next generation would be left puzzled by the clipping because they knew neither the purpose nor the person.
Another occasion to discuss things stuffed inside books and other sundry places came up recently as I helped my cousins sort through years of memories in their parents home. My aunt had been saving greeting cards for years. When they went to heave the cards full of love, thanks or sorrow they were astonished to also find old family photos. One card had a whole host of pictures of one branch of the family and it seems I was the only person who knew who all those babies and people were.
In another cupboard we found another generation of greeting cards. These had belonged to my aunt’s mother who died about 20 years ago and had also been saved for a lifetime. Previous experience had warned we should look in each card and so we did but there weren’t as many treasures. We did find a copy of the famous Tupperware bran muffin recipe including the main ingredient, I box of bran (green box).
My own experience of storing things should have told me to be more careful in the future. When packing up my library many years ago I reluctantly let go of my prized collection of the Encyclopedia Britannica. I later remembered my husband had put three sheets of the last day run of the Canadian one dollar bill. One for each of our children. I should have been much more careful because I also recall he often stuffed money on the page of his birth year in books. I’m sure it had all been retrieved but who knows someone who opens one of my old books to page 47 may get a great gift.
So what is pressed between the pages of your books? I’d love to hear. I recall buying my daughter a book full of stories and pictures about “Pressed Fairies”. Do you have any of those in your Kindle?