It's the first day of summer vacation, and already my daughter has complained - tearfully, even - that no one will do anything with her, and that she doesn't have anyone to play with. "You had sisters to play with," she said. After reminding her she will be going to band camp in about a week and a half, I said, "It's not my responsibility to keep you occupied all day, every day of summer vacation."
That got me to thinking about summer vacations when I was growing up. One of the things we had that Lily doesn't was the library's bookmobile. Once a month (I think), one of the area libraries would send out a truck sort of vehicle to the rural communities, stocked with all kinds of books. We could check out (I think) five books, which wasn't a lot to last a month, but back then, the twelve miles to town for the library is a lot longer than it is now, so we were pleased to have something different to read.
I can still remember some of the books from the bookmobile and even where in the bookmobile they were located. There was the little book called Let's Make Doll Furniture, which told how to use matchboxes, spools, and contact paper to make doll furniture that I thought was really cool. I checked out that book several times, and I think it was in the non-fiction section in the end of the truck above the checkout desk. I think the bookmobile was also my first exposure to Pioneer Breed, which was influential enough that I remembered it and hunted it down 25 years later. It was in the adult fiction section along one of the walls. Finally, the children's books were near the floor, including over the wheel well, which made a great place to sit while trying to make a decision about what books should be included in the five.
One of the other reasons we so enjoyed going to the bookmobile, possibly, was that sometimes we would stop at the local general store for a yellow, banana-flavored popscicle. They cost six cents at the time. Those are still my favorite frozen treat!
Maybe I'll load the kids up tomorrow morning and take them to the library in town. It's not the same as the bookmobile, but maybe Lily can find some literary "friends" to hang out with for a while. And maybe we'll stop at the store for a banana popscicle - they still have them, although they aren't six cents anymore...