Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fountain of Youth

You see that picture above? That is the fountain of youth. Yes, this summer I traveled back in time, back to the summer days of my childhood when the best activity for the day (often the only activity) was to ride my bike to the library and check out as many books as I could cram into the basket strapped to my handlebars. The next stop was Mr. White's Variety Shop where every kid in town learned to add and subtract by purchasing brown bags of candy. Mary Janes, Lemon Heads, So-Pokes, Boston Baked Beans, Milk Duds, Pixie Stiks, the list goes on and on in my memory. I would race home with my haul and spend day after day on the screened porch, lost in stories long after the candy supply ran out.

This summer, those memories were pleasantly jogged when a new shop opened in town. Jolly Good Fellows is by now pretty famous for its ice cream (and justifiably so), but they also have a fab selection of old-time candy favorites. I went a bit wild, purchasing a sack full of the penny treats (okay, in today's economy 25-cent treats). Next stop: the library for a load of books. My tastes in literature can run to the juvenile just as easily as my tastes in sweets, so many of the books I chose were because they are big hits with younger readers. (As a teacher, it's perfectly acceptable for me to read "chapter books," right?)
Whatever my motivations, the outcome was a return to my ten-year-old self. Lolling away a summer afternoon with a grand story and a sticky fistful of Twizzlers and Sixlets was the best vacation I've had in years.

P.S. Favorite books I read this summer: Wonder, R. J. Palacio; Callie Be Gold, Michelle Hurwitz; Divergent, Veronica Roth; Red Kayak, Pricilla Cummings; Gulp, Mary Roach; Wild, Cheryl Strayed; The Law of Bound Hearts, Anne LeClaire