I'll explain at the end.
Ten! Not my bookstore. Dog Ears Books is (only!) 24 years old. And not me personally (and never mind about that number). No, it’s “Books in Northport” that is officially ten years old today, September 13, 2017, marking a complete decade since my first blog post.
Who would ever have imagined it a decade ago? David and I did not even have Sarah yet! It’s possible her actual birth occurred on this very day, though I use September 10 as her birthday, since when we found her at the Cherryland Humane Society and adopted her on January 10 we were told she was four months old. But the blogging bug had bitten me earlier, back at the beginning of the autumn of 2007.
In September 2007 I set out on an experiment. Looking back now, I’m glad to have taken advantage of this modest form of self-expression because, thanks to a decade of entries, I can look back not only at words but also at images from my life, from random sights I would otherwise have easily forgotten to carefully planned personal or community events. My “Books Read” lists, visiting authors and family, friends old and new, vacations, rambles (mental and physical), and more than a few rants (though belatedly I set up “Lacking a Clear Focus” for the least bookish of my opinions and other life flotsam) – all these form the log book of my journey over the past ten years. I did not, in 2007, imagine ten years of blogging. But neither did I foresee, in 1993, 24 years of bookselling. “I always wondered,” someone said to me once on a very different subject, “how it happens. And now I see. It happens one day at a time.”
A notion that fascinates me is a little pop meme going around, to the effect that each of us has a “true age” that captures our essence. You’ve heard it said of a toddler or a puppy, “She’s an ‘old spirit.’” Certain individuals seem to be born wise beyond their years – or prematurely middle-aged – while others of us retain a certain childishness (not to put too fine a point on it) clear into old age. No doubt there are self-tests one can take to determine one’s “true age,” but as soon as David and I understood the idea, we needed no tests to know that he is 14 years old and I am 10.
And now “Books in Northport” is as old as I am (or as my soul is). Back in the mid-20th century when I was born mankind knew only handwritten diaries, but guess what: these very words that you are reading now in Bookman Old Style font on your lighted screen first came into the world on the yellow pages of a legal pad, scrawled in pen, in the pre-dawn hours of a cool August morning (I was planning ahead), as a ten-year-old girl disguised as an aging woman sat on a porch light near an open window, dog by her side.
Will I ever grow up? Doubtful. Will I live forever? Impossible. But we are here now, you and I, on this beautiful, crazy, cruel, and miraculous planet, and I am glad for your company. Thank you for your company on my journey.
That horse up there at the top of the post? Well, you know, I am still a cowgirl in my dreams!
And for those who like counting, this is post #1721.