Boxes of Blessings

It is the time of year when families gather, and, as Dylan Thomas observed about Christmas, there are always uncles. So Uncle Blogsy is here with his annual counting of the blessings. Yes, I know I could do this on Wednesday, which is closer to Thanksgiving, but I am planning to spend Wednesday’s blog thanking you for not dropping off any books over the Thanksgiving holidays. It’s what’s known as a pre-emptive strike. Part of an American tradition is that you can’t give thanks for the one thing of most immediate moment—that Thanksgiving was not the total disaster you feared—until it’s all over.

But we’re not up to Wednesday yet, so we can proceed with the heart-warming portion of the program. These are a few of the things I am thankful for in 2012.

I am thankful for the books that carry unsuspected delight. Why, just on Saturday, I picked up a book stamped “Property of Ligature. Do Not Cut.” I opened the next book eagerly, expecting it to say “Property of Tourniquet. Do Not Remove.”

I am grateful for those volunteers, family members, and friends who were considerate enough NOT to die this year. (Another rough season in the neighborhood, friends.)

I am thankful for the people who are still interested in what gets donated to this little book-and-pony show—even when it doesn’t. (I renew my promise to the lady who asked if I ever get bottles of sherry: you will have first shot at the first bottle that comes in.)

I am grateful for the people who donate amazing and wonderful things, even when they don’t. A lady mentioned a fur coat she was giving away, and I remarked that I’d be glad to take it. “We haven’t had a fur coat come in since the 90s,” I said. “You wouldn’t want this ratty old thing. I used it as a cushion when I went to events where the seats were hard,” she told me, “And who’d pay for anything I’ve been sitting on?”

I am thankful that I did not answer that question.

I am grateful for the many boxes of children’s books given to me by parents who clean out the books their children have outgrown. Until we run out of children, we will not run out of a demand for the books.

I am thankful for the children who show up in July to buy back the books they really haven’t outgrown yet.

I am grateful for the people who drop off those books-on-CD once they’re done listening to them in the car during long commutes.

I am even more thankful for the people who remember to take the last CD out of the car CD player and put it back in the box before they donate the set.

I am grateful, no matter whatever else I say, for a job which guarantees every day at least one surprise, at least one person it’s a pleasure to thank for a donation, at least one person who will go into raptures over what somebody else got rid of, and at least one banana box’s worth of fun.

I hope your heart is warmed. You may now resume your regularly scheduled Monday.

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