The Best Gift Ever

This is the best thing that I have received from anyone ever. Actually, I now realize that it is the two best gifts I ever received. I'll explain. First, my sister, Lisa gave me this picture out of the blue one day, no birthday, holiday, or special occasion. That is always the most wonderful way to get a gift. She found the picture and framed it for me. What is amazing is that I have seen this photo on and off all my life, but I had never looked at it. It's a piece of art! Look at the shading, the intensity of our faces, the joy of sharing a book together. My dad took this and I'll always be grateful to him for capturing this special moment.

The second reason that it is my best gift ever is that it portrays the love of reading my mom taught me. I have a deep passion for books. I easily get lost in bookstores and libraries (Brad covers my eyes if we pass a bookstore). I read cookbooks cover to cover. My book club is one of my greatest joys, for the friendship as well as the books. I adore those crazy inspiration books by Sark, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, The Art of Doing Nothing by Veronique Vienne, and A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen. I try to read every night for as long as I can. It adds a richness and depth beyond what I can personally experience, so I get the pleasure and it becomes part of me and my life knowledge. I can never repay my mother for all that joy. Help someone to love reading.

So here are two ideas for you. One, search out an old picture of someone you care about. If you want to keep one for yourself, go to one of those kiosks at every grocery, drug, and supercenter photo departments and make a copy. Find a frame, it doesn't need to be fancy, maybe you have one or could pick one up at the thrift store. You could give someone their best gift ever.

And two, find your local library website! Unbelievable wealth available to everyone. I cruise through the search site often. Just type in a subject and everything that's in any library in the county system comes up. I find it very helpful to change the order to most recent books first, if your website does that. It makes it so easy to find the new releases in any category. I regularly search for CDs, DVDs, cookbooks, gardening and landscape ideas. If someone recommends a good book, I add it to my reserve list. Our library even has a drive-up window, you hand them your card and they hand you a stack of books--heaven!

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