I cannot overstate how important reading is in my life. Without it, I’d be lost. And my life would be totally boring. For example, if I didn’t know how to read, I wouldn’t know what’s on TV.
My remote has this button called Guide, and when I press it, words come up on the screen. And if I couldn’t read, there’s just no way I’d know what I wanted to watch.
Believe me, I could go on and on about how thankful I am to be able to read. And I remember the exact day it hit home with me. I’ll never forget the 4th of July, 1958.
I was eight years old, and up until then I couldn’t have cared less about reading, even the warning sign my mom handwrote and put up on the basement door that fateful morning, the sign neither one of us heeded as we entered that basement door.
My neighbor friend, Guppy Rodysill and I thought we knew everything and rules didn’t apply to us. In fact we purposely did exactly what the sign said not to do. It said ‘Do Not Slam The Door’. So what did we do? We slammed the door. Just to show how nobody was the boss of us.
We needed to rustle up a homemade fuse. Guppy had come across the biggest firecracker we’d ever seen, bigger than an M-80, way bigger. But it didn’t have a fuse. So we found some tissue in the basement and we twisted it up and sprinkled it with lighter fluid and stuck it in. Then I guess Guppy thought it would be real funny to scare me by faking like he was going to light the fuse. Except the fake-out wasn’t real funny because the fuse got lit.
So there we were, Guppy standing there holding a firecracker about the size of a stick of dynamite with our homemade fuse quickly getting shorter, and me standing there trying not to poop in my pants.
Guppy rushed to the basement door so he could throw it outside, but there was one problem. A really big problem. The door was stuck. Because we had slammed it.
Right then and there I saw the light. I promised myself that if I survived the explosion, I would forever read and heed all warning signs. Especially ones handwritten by my mom.
But first there was the surviving the explosion thing to deal with. Long story short, Guppy and I lifted the drain cover on the basement floor and tossed the grenade, I mean dynamite stick, down the drain hole and pushed a big stuffed chair over it and sat on it.
We survived, but the plumbing in our house didn’t. Plus, my mom was at the kitchen sink washing dishes at the time, and my dad was sitting on the toilet when the bomb went off. Mom ended up wearing scraps of leftovers and dirty dishwater, and Dad found himself in the bathtub at the other end of the bathroom after doing a double somersault. They were not amused.
So, ever since then, reading has been very, very important to me. And not just for heeding warnings. I also enjoy reading for the pure pleasure of it. As I hope you do, too.
And if that’s the case, I invite you to please take a look at the novel I wrote. The Legend of Butterfield Farm is a fantasy adventure splashed with humor, and it’s available in Kindle and paperback formats here at Amazon.com.
Thank you for your time, and happy reading, everyone.