Comfort and Joy

Some things have been added to my home this week - some very important things that add another dimension to my level of contentment. BookshelvesMy bookshelves arrived, and I've been happily unpacking and arranging the books I brought with me so far. I realized this is the first time in my life that all my books are together in one place. For years they've been scattered haphazardly throughout the house. And although I could pinpoint in my mind's eye where each volume was, it's ever so much nicer  having them arranged all neat and orderly on the shelves. I also have a comfy chair, a reading lamp, and a warm blanket in case of a chill.

Plus, you can see there is ample room for additions to the library.

That makes me very happy indeed.

Still basking in this bookish glow, another exciting arrival brought even more joy this week.

pianoSince we moved here, I've been without a piano in the house (for the first time in 50 years!)  I decided against bringing the grand piano, and instead moved this pretty little console that was my birthday present back in 1962. It's still in beautiful condition, and with a good tuning it will serve my purposes just fine.

So now our cozy basement is a haven for all my favorite things, and I have especially enjoyed it on this cold and snowy Friday.

Having these two all-important portions of my life settled into place reminds me to honor what  makes life interesting for me. It's never changed much, since I was a little girl just embarking on a lifelong love of books and music. My parents bought the piano for me (after much wheedling and whining, I might add) on a pure leap of faith, unsure whether I would stick with it. After all, the whims of a six year old are not known for their reliability over the long haul. But when we were moving it the other day, my mother recalled the day it was delivered as "one of the happiest days of her life." She remembered my excitement, but she also remembered my grandmother sitting down and playing her favorite hymns. "I thought to myself, what could be better than this?" she said fondly.

I can still recall with exact precision of feeling the jaw-dropping wonder I felt when I came home from school and saw it sitting in my living room. I started playing that day, and haven't stopped.

And books - well, books and stories soothed me through childhood illness, kept me company during lonely times, taught me about life and educated me on the ways of the world. As we were assembling the bookshelves last weekend, I was remembering a little two-shelf bookcase I requested one Christmas when I was about eight  years old. It matched my maple bedroom set, and when it was delivered I filled it up with my Nancy Drew's, Trixie Belden's and Little House books.

Then I took a permanent marker and wrote in the appropriate Dewey Decimal numbers right on the surface of the shelf.


But no one scolded me for it. My (very forgiving) parents realized that I had a plan, and were wise and kind enough to let me play it out the way I wanted.

I think we all need certain things in our lives that bring us comfort and joy. I was lucky enough to find mine very early on, and they have stood me in good stead for more than half a century now.

I hope you have yours close at hand on this winter's day.