Many of my favorite things in life are free. For instance, I love going to the public library on my days off of work. There’s just something about the atmosphere. I attribute this habit to growing up among library culture. Before retiring my dad was an academic librarian for nearly his entire career. In addition, my mom spent a decent amount of time working in a library. Combine this with the fact that the two of them spend an enormous amount of time reading and there was clearly no escape for me. Books are in my blood, and even though my own literary habits ebb and flow, I need them to survive.
While libraries are ideal during the winter months, I often find city parks to be perfect for loitering during the summertime. Not only can one easily tote their not-so-academic reading material to the park, but there are some ideal people watching opportunities there as well. Of course these situations are available at the public library too…actually, scratch that. The people watching at the library is supreme to any other setting. In reality, if I really wanted to compose an interesting blog I would photograph and write about the marvelous characters at the library. It's important to note I'm not mocking these people. In my opinion, there are some delightfully quirky individuals out there if one can muster the patience to appreciate them.
I also want to mention it’s now acceptable to eat and drink in the public library. No longer do I have to smuggle in snacks! The days of hiding deep within the forgotten back aisles, munching on contraband, while searching for swear words and explicit sex scenes in books like, “The Clan Of The Cave Bear” are over! No, I’ve never done that…okay so yes, of course I’ve done that. In my defense it was when I was like ten years old. Also when one thinks about it, couldn’t it be argued I was merely a child prodigy researching the mating habits of cave people while enjoying an innocent treat of Teddy Grahams? Come to think of it, I don’t believe I ever fully finished my studies. I may have to pick that book up again…in the darkest corner of the library, of course.
Speaking of Teddy Grahams, my love of free things definitely extends to food. In my mind there's absolutely nothing better than free food. During my teen years there was a broken down laundry mat on main street that had vending machine. Surprisingly, despite the near derelict conditions of the business, the vending service was superb. I think it's important to mention that living in an extremely small community left few options for a kid to do. It was not unlikely that a, “go-getter,” laundry loiterer like me could score a few free bags of expired Fritos on a Thursday afternoon. Let me tell you, nothing tastes better to a foraging slacker than expired chips. Of course, that slacker grew up…into a bigger slacker with a slightly more cultured palate. Actually I joke a lot, however I have to state at home I cook constantly. Now the quality of my cooking is certainly debatable, but I figure I haven’t killed Al and I yet so…
Due to the fact I cook so frequently, I think when I get the opportunity to enjoy someone else’s cuisine, AND IT’S FREE, it’s about the best damn thing in the world! Here’s where I have to take a moment to thank one of my co-workers. This phenomenal woman uses her time and talent every day to prepare fantastic food for not only many hungry kids, but this hungry lady! Every time she hands me lunch I almost get teary eyed thinking, “Do you know how much it means to have someone cooking for me?...wait, and I don’t have to do the dishes?” All I can say is it’s a luxury I don't deserve and a much needed bright spot on some dark days.
At this point you may be wondering what this rant has to do with the above pictures. All I can say is the hat that I’m wearing was a freebie I recently acquired. While it’s not nearly as good as Karen’s food, I believe it still merits a mention. I anticipate it will keep me warm in those cold corners of the library while working on my…research..."yeah, that's the ticket."
Hat: Hand knit freebie
Necklace: (Gift from Al)