Monday, December 15, 2014

Farewell to Old French (along with Russian, Italian, etc.)

Yesterday we finally finished eradicating the chaos in our house that came about through having painting done and all the floors refinished. The last task was moving the two huge bookshelves out of my study and back to their home in the upper hallway. With my study restored, I should be able to get some serious work done. I don't do well outside of calm, orderly environments, which is why this autumn was a real challenge for me.

In moving books back onto their shelves, I had to stop to reflect. As a medievalist, 35 years ago, I had to know a fair number of languages. Am I ever really going to open the Old French dictionary again? How about that fat Welsh dictionary -- am I going to read the Mabinogion again? And my short detour into Russian -- what was that about? Do svidaniya!

So I got out some reusable grocery bags and started filling them up. I kept all the gardening and craft books, figuring I would use them in retirement. But the dictionaries, language readers ... into the bags they went. Seriously, what am I going to do with 201 Italian Verbs? Into the bag!

Next step: off I went, with my six bags of books, to the Better World Books donation box I had seen in the shopping center. Surprise: it was gone! Perhaps they moved it -- I cruised around for a few minutes, before sensibly googling box locations on my phone.  Aha! Another one was two miles away.

So there I was, at dusk, inserting my books into the drop-slot. Farewell, Old French! It's time to put away childish things, I guess, and get on with life less encumbered.

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