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24 November 2010

Gratitude, Books on First Style

Read about one of Brenda's favs
I write this today, as you all know we have limited access to internet.  "Limited" includes time, space, inclination, money, and other resources, although there is the philosophical argument that none that I have named are resources.

Thank you, Kelly Dunphy, for continuing to keep us in the loop on family, friends, and even what's happening in Dixon & environs.  I thank her for all those years ago nonchalantly giving us a used KitchenAid mixer (ostensibly because she got a new one) with three attachments (of which I use one extensively), so that I have been able to bake.  Baking has given me a sense of organization, peace and purpose that is rare in the world (are those resources?).  The exercise has also given Larry and me a lot of carbs, albeit delicious ones.  I am not good enough a baker to go commercial, so the only cookies or teabread (un)lucky Books on First customers would be able to have are free (and sometimes burnt) offerings.

Thank you, Larry's siblings and cousins, especially Bridget Barry, Pat Dunphy, SC ("Young Charlie") Dunphy,  Mike Blackburn and James Romeo Blackburn, for helping us out at the farmette and for keeping us in the loop on the other end of the Dunphy family, and thus, keeping Carolyn Chin feeling like she's in the Dunphy family.  Larry is not the most reliable conduit of relaying what's happening, but I have the good feeling most of the time and that's what counts.  We still have a freshly killed and dressed heritage (Spanish Black) turkey for sale if anyone's interested.

Thank you, All the Customers of Books on First, but especially some -- too numerous and in some cases, too shy, to be named, in Dixon, Amboy, Sterling, Polo, Grand Detour, Centralia, Franklin Grove, DeKalb, Rockford, Chicago, Oregon (the town and the state), Iowa, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Germany,  Ireland, Kenya, and beyond -- who have supported us even as factories closed and taxpayers voted down school budgets.  I have always maintained that wonderfully brewed coffee and professionally made lattes with delicious baked treats -- some imported from Chicago (e.g., Swedish Bakery in Andersonville, D'Amato's on Grand & May, Middle Eastern Bakery on Foster) are affordable luxuries, and it is gratifying that so many of you agree.  BUT most of all, BOOKS are Everything that anyone can want (or give) in Entertainment, Enlightenment, Enjoyment, Education, Engagement, but to name a few.  We happen to sell the printed, bound kind and will continue to promote reading in all its forms (especially if you buy it from Books on First).

Thank you, Authors, Researchers, Poets, Illustrators and Other Writers and Artists, for continuing to do what you do, for whatever motivations.  We must include established book publishers in our appreciation, however misguided they have been on how to sell a book, because history will show that writing is extremely important for preserving history, documenting ideas, sharing experiences, fueling imagination, but writing is nowhere without being published.  And, a hardcopy printed bound book still beats out when there's no clear line of sight for the satellite dish, when the power runs out, when you're hunting down an old favorite read to give to your favorite reader, when you want to stretch out in the bathtub or the beach, or when Books on First with free wi-fi for its customers is closed.  
 
Thank you, All you other creative types, finding solutions to fit this world so that there will be a world for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  My question has always been why don't we take care of situations before they reach crisis proportions?  (Yes, yes, I know the answer: when weighing cost-benefit, we're not at the tipping point yet!)   Take the nutria, for example.  Using this rodent's fur for fashion (again) as we attempt to eradicate the swamp rat only makes sense, from popularity in our grandparents' time to being "Righteous Fur."  I'm hoping it can totally replace sable from the geographic area of Russia/Mongolia which remains one of the few animals whose fur is prized yet is unable to be raised in captivity. Or, the "Asian Carp" (actually 8 kinds of fish, but mainly, the silver carp, rebranded silverfin) which has been taking over rivers and canals in the United States, and our response when DNA had been found near (and thus, threatening) Lake Michigan, has been poison, dynamite, electrocution, wringing our hands, and appointing a czar to wring our hands for us.   It seems like catching, cooking and serving the fish as food (actually raised in aquafarms in Vietnam and elsewhere) is a natural solution.  In a different, but related vein, is a new kind of aquafarm cum hydroponic vegetable farm, growing lake perch and arugula energy efficiently and water sustainably. So much creative solutions to our world which is growing both in population and demands on the environment.  Especially here in the United States of America, with Manifest Destiny, we should and will be the ones to pioneer forth and shape our own future for the better.

Thank you for reading (and thanks to Sinead O'Connor for this great song which I have heard numerous times while participating in NIA.  Happy Thanksgiving.

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