Heap On More Wood: The Wind is Chill | Page 9 | Newberry

Heap On More Wood: The Wind is Chill

Oh, I wish I had bet somebody money on it.

I sort of had an idea I would not be seeing any donations on Monday, when we were threatened with record cold on top of a solid snowstorm. And that part of it was correct. (Yes, I was at the library on Monday. Tried to stay away and it just didn’t feel right and, besides, if you HAD donated books, I wanted to be able to blog about it firsthand.)

However, today, when the wind chills dropped off to a mere twenty below and the actual temperature zoomed up to 2, we had two donations: four shopping bags at the dock and one through the front door. It was just like that grand old Groundhog’s Day snowstorm, when the Library had to shut down for one day because the parking lot was one huge drift, but, sure enough, a lady and her granddaughter came by with a donation the next day. As then, I could only admire such grit and determination and murmur a quiet little compliment like, “What are ya, nuts?”

But it’s no more than I would have expected of the gang who dropped off two banana boxes and about thirty garbage bags loaded with books while I was out of town. (I tried to apologize to the people who hauled these in while I was out. “I blog and I blog and I blog, and what good does it do?” I said. “Maybe I should just go in for full-time songwriting instead.” They growled something about a marshmallow world, which at least means THEY pay attention to what I write.)

You dropped off two more boxes of quilting books and magazines. I expect these came from the same source that sent us all those quilting magazines in Japanese last year, but this year so far it was just a stack of magazines on contemporary quilting in new Zealand and Australia. The same donor also sent us a boxful of books on felting, which I didn’t even know was a word. This is a craft in which you make your own felt, and then make things out of the felt. It all feeds into our basic plot, which is to offer you stuff you can’t get on Kindles, Nooks, or Noodles.

Speaking of crafts, somebody brought in a letter holder built around a genuine 1836 medallion in honor of the coronation of Empress Maria Anna Augusta. I did some research into this and I believe that most of the strikes of this medallion were tucked away for a hundred and thirty years by the empress’s advisers. “You come off looking kinda funny-looking, your imperial majesty,” they said, “But one day, people will want to MAKE things out of this piece of brass.”

There are collapsible cups, silent butlers, jars, bowls, magnifying glasses, napkin holders, trays, bottle openers, letter openers, and coaster covers for sale online, each with that same medallion set into them. Oh, several sellers claim theirs is merely a reproduction medallion, but I do not believe this for a second. Alas, how fleeting is fame! One moment you’re an empress and the next, somebody is using your coronation medallion to open a bottle of cane sugar Coca-Cola to pour into a glass which also has your medallion on it. (If you’re wondering, Maria was Empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, wife of the unfortunate Ferdinand I, who is remembered for having uttered only one command during his twelve year reign, stating that as he was emperor, he could have apricot dumplings even if apricots WERE out of season.)

Felting and Ferdinand. It seems to me that we start 2014 in full Book Fair mode. Happy New Year!

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