Leafing the Library

This hasn’t been a great season for fall colors in SE Missouri. It was too hot and too dry for the trees to put on a great show for more than a couple of days. I drove around trying to get excited, but there was too much brown for my taste.

If you’re wondering why I’m just getting around to writing about Fall when Spring isn’t far off (Please, please, please), it’s because the framework that drives the blog has been having Old Age issues.

Shaking out the bedbugs

Kid Matt has worked some magic that has given it a new look that’s going to take some getting used to, but will also, hopefully, shake out the bedbugs. By the way, you can click on the photos to make them larger, just like in the old version.

Trees were by the Cape Library

I stopped by the Cape Public Library to swap out some audio books and music CDs. On the way back to the car, the late afternoon set the trees on fire.

Is ‘Librarian Hell’ a real place?

I discovered the old Carnegie Library when it was on the Common Pleas Courthouse lawn. I must have been about 12 when I convinced the librarians that I really COULD read adult books. From then on, I would walk out with a stack of books on Saturday, then swap them out the next weekend.

The new library is one of the nicest I’ve been in. What makes it special for me is that I can wander the stacks and still find books I read half a century ago.

(How do I know? I may go to Librarian Hell for this confession, but I would write my initials very, very small print in the back of the book so I could tell if I had read it before. Some of them are still in circulation.)

The ‘good’ books

Debate partner Pat Sommers had a part-time job at the library, so we used his key to get in to do research when the facility was closed.

Not only did we have access to all the books and periodicals we needed for debate, but Pat knew where the “good” books were that were hidden from public view unless you were (a) an adult and (b) weren’t too embarrassed to ask for them.

Not just books

When I signed up for my library card, I was given a booklet that gave all the rules and regulations, plus a list of things you could check out. 

Take a look at some of things you can borrow: telescopes, WiFi hotspots,  audiobooks (they have a great selection, by the way), and cake pans. Yes, you read that right: cake pans.

It has an inviting kid area and lots of computers. Cape should be proud of its library. (I’d like to find out where they keep the “good” books, but Pat doesn’t work there anymore.)

 

Raised on Raisin Bread

We Steinhoff boys were raised on cinnamon sugar peanut butter toast made with raisin bread bought at the “used bread store.” Mother would go to the Bunny Bread outlet and buy loaves of the stuff, and turn out a dozen or so slices every morning.

Sounds as much as taste

What I remember more than the taste of the gooey stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth concoction was the sounds of its making.

It would start out with the squeak of the springs in the oven door being pulled down. Then there was a clatter and crashing when Mother removed all the heavy pots and pans stored in the oven. That would be followed by a tinny sliding sound when she took out the warped and bent cookie sheet.

She’d butter up as many slices of bread as the sheet would hold, then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them, and stick them in the oven. Just as the sugar was beginning to bubble and, hopefully, before the toast would start to burn, she’d snatch it out of the stove and put a dollop of Peter Pan crunchy peanut butter on it. (I always liked a thin coating of the butter on mine. I didn’t like big globs of the stuff.)

Peach milk shakes

When peaches were in season, she throw some fresh peaches in the blender, along with ice cream and a little milk. Because I was scrawny in grade and high school, she might pitch a couple raw eggs in my shake. Little did we know the delayed effect of that. It took about 35 years for them to add more than the desired bulk.

I don’t do peach milk shakes in the morning, but I DO like a smoothie in the evening. Since I had some fresh strawberries and blueberries for my smoothie, I thought I’d try them on my morning toast. They added an interesting taste change, and looked pretty darned colorful. (The picture was taken with my Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge smart phone. I’m always amazed at the quality it produces. Click on the photo to make it larger.)

For what it’s worth, I’ve found the raisin bread sold at Sam’s Clubs is some of the best around: it’s very dense and has a gazillion raisins. Wife Lila said she likes it with some cream cheese spread on top.

(That’s Son Matt and Grandson Malcolm. Malcolm is sneaking up on his teen years now, but he’s still not crazy about being stuffed into funny shirts.)