Of empty supermarket shelves, crowded libraries – and snowstorms

January 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm (books, Food, Library, Local interest (Baltimore-Washington))

Wednesday and Thursday

First, came the run on staples. Milk and toilet paper racing out the door – not unexpected. Then we found out that our ‘local’ had run out of ground beef. Later we heard that another area supermarket had run out of onions. Onions? Really?? Urban legend or fact, it provided some much needed amusement. Perhaps someone in the area is making a gigantic batch of French onion soup. So, may we come over and partake thereof, whoever and wherever you are? That’s assuming we  ever get dug out of here….

Onion_on_White

Th humble onion, raised to an exalted position due to a snow emergency. And doesn’t it look fetching in this photo? It was obviously ready for its close-up. No wonder there was a run on them! (Click to enlarge – it really is a most photogenic veg.)

Friday

It so happened that I was scheduled to work at the Central Branch Library from ten until two. Ordinary open hours on Friday are ten to six, but the decision was made to close at two because of the fast  approaching storm.

From the time the doors opened, the facility was filled with people. Children were present in happy abundance. DVD’s were grabbed by the fistful; by noon, the shelves were looking all but decimated.

But the happiest development concerned the large number of adults who had come in for books. Yes, those old fashioned but durable hard copies, bringers of joy, comfort, and solace. I got a reader’s advisory question right off the bat – and I must admit, it threw me initially.

The customer was quite definite: happy books, no bad stuff – and no loves stories either! That does knock out rather a lot of fiction, I thought to myself. I wonder if she’d like a book about tomatoes? (What can I say – I was in vegetable mode, with onions still on my mind.) tomatoes

Said customer then mentioned that she had enjoyed The Paying Guest by Sarah Waters. Did you really? I rejoined. I actually liked the book before that one better: The Little Stranger. Oh, really? said she. Maybe I’ll read that next. As luck would have it, we found a copy. I also gave  her a mystery by Peter Lovesey and Alexander McCall Smith’s Corduroy Mansions Trilogy, apologizing for the presence of love stories therein but assuring her that they did not monopolize the narrative. And anyway, Freddie de la Hay is a fabulous character and has a rather harrowing adventure in the second volume, The Dog Who Came In from the Cold.

Freddie de la Hay, dauntless and resourceful 'Pimlico Terrier'

Freddie de la Hay, dauntless and resourceful ‘Pimlico Terrier’

At any rate, the customer seemed satisfied, and that’s what we aim for. Lots more folks came by the Fiction/Audiovisual desk, looking for books – novels mostly – and films. At one point, a man marched up to me and without any preliminary, asked who wrote the Dortmunder books. Donald Westlake, answered I, without hesitation and without recourse to Stop!YoureKillingMe. Truly, I do love it when I can do that.

The late, much missed Donald Westlake 1933-2008

The late, much missed Donald Westlake 1933-2008

It was great to see lines at checkout – just like the old days. It transpired later that the “door count” for yesterday was slightly over one thousand. No wonder it felt as though the place were full to bursting!

Ah,well, but all good things must come to end. I went home, to husband and cat, to await the inevitable. It started snowing in earnest at around four o’clock. And this morning, we woke to world that was aggressively, ferociously white – and  getting whiter by the minute:

IMG_1739-X2

 

IMG_1745-X2

IMG_1747-X2

IMG_1748-X2

 

 

2 Comments

  1. joangted@gmail.com said,

    Amazing, Robin.

    It’s in the high 60s here, with no sign of El Nino.

    Joan

    • Roberta Rood said,

      Oh, Dear – you poor San Diegans!! :))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: