Thursday was 5 years since my father died.  It struck me as I was driving that the anniversary passed two days ago, without my realizing it.  It sure doesn’t seem like it’s been 5 years already.

On Father’s Day I wrote about the time he tried to teach me to swim, which went badly.  Today, I think I’ll mention something that went reasonably well, and had as much a long term effect as the swimming pool incident, but with positive results.

For my 12th birthday, my parents bought me a set of books.  They included Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Black Beauty, Tales from the Arabian Nights, and a couple of others.  I still have several of them, sitting on a bookshelf in my bedroom.  A couple have managed to disappear in the intervening years, but five have managed to survive.  I don’t recall if those books sparked my haunting of the school and public libraries for the next decade, or if the gift of the books were a result of my enjoyment of reading.  Either way, they began a life long love of reading.  Now it’s possible to read books on a pad, or on the computer.  I’m not sure I like reading that way, though.  I read a couple of short novella length books on my iPhone, and it’s not really a good way to enjoy a book.  The iPad might be different, as it’s a bigger screen, and the Kindle and similar devices might be good, too.  Guess I’ll have to try one out, someday.

Of course, that creates a situation a bit like the scene in Men in Black, where K says “looks like I’ll have to buy the White Album again”.  It’s a bit odd paying for a book you already own, just to have it handy on an electronic device.  Perhaps it’s worth it.

At any rate, back to the 12 year old and his birthday present.  Dad brought the box in, and even though he might not have been the one to have selected the present, or suggested the titles, he did carry it in and give it to me.  That’s one of the good memories that have held on about him.

Five years.  That’s still a bit odd to consider.  Time marches on.

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