Sunday nights my parents always called my grandparents when they were alive and they caught up on the week. True to family tradition I punched Kyle’s number on my cell phone last night. I drove on a summer evening between fields of corn and beans and patches of woods and we talked. He told be about his weekend with his new bride. He described the church they are visiting and the pastor’s message and he filled me in on their weekend.
On Saturday morning they visited Rockford, Michigan. Rockford has a restored downtown with a couple dozen cozy shops, and a river runs through it. In the village the Rouge River runs over a dam and it makes a nice place to stroll. On summer and autumn weekends there is a busy farmer’s market on the edge of the village. They have a famous Coney Island restaurant there, too. Just outside of town is a nice fly-fishing shop full of great books, beautiful outdoor artwork, and what seems like millions of dollars worth of fly-fishing paraphernalia. If you ever get there look up Ben Hunting and have a chat with him. That’s what we always do. Let him know we sent you.
When we lived in West Michigan we would drive to Rockford with the family on Saturday mornings sometimes. We would get some coffee and stroll along the river and Kyle would always say, “When I am married, I am going to bring my wife here.” Saturday morning he did.
In the village there is a coffee shop that sells huge, fresh pecan rolls on Saturday mornings and the best gourmet coffee I have ever had. They got a roll and coffee and enjoyed the shops and the Farm Market, and the path down to the river and over the dam. Picturing them there made my heart smile.
I said, “What are you doing right now?” He said, “I’m just here with Elizabeth and we are reading. When we got married we made a decision. We are not going to watch TV or videos for the first year of our marriage.”
Growing up we watched an occasional video but did not have a regular TV. When the Buckeyes played Michigan we usually hooked up a TV or had a friend record the game, and once when the Chicago Bulls were running we pulled some lead-in wire up an old TV antenna tower and watched the games for a week or so, but other than that we raised the kids without a TV. As a result they read a lot by default. I will always be grateful for those who inspired me to live without the ubiquitous blare of the TV and the unwelcome company that invades the sacred family circle as a result of it. I did wonder if the kids would go out a buy a TV the moment they married and gather around it every night trying to make up for the missing years. But Kyle and Elizabeth didn’t do that. They plan to especially concentrate on each other in their first year of marriage and do a lot of reading.
I think it’s a great idea. Turn off the electronic stuff and get to know each other. Pick up a book. Paint. Draw. Play the guitar, piano, or harmonica. Go for a walk. Don’t let the TV or the computer run your life. Life is bursting with opportunity. I agree. The world is happening all around me, I don’t want to squander my life watching people on TV pretending to live.
Riverfront Character Inn
1 August 2005
Here is an essay by Holly that reveals her feelings on the subject:
The Selover Library
By Holly Pierpont
The Selover library was a small red brick building. It sat close to the road that wound down through the small town of Chesterville and led to my home only a few miles away. It was a very simple place but this was my favorite spot. I was eight years old and this was a big part of my small world.
Lazy summer afternoons on the porch or long cold winter evenings in the family room, I was always ready for another good book. I would ask Dad countless times if he could bring me back to the Selover library. He was always more than eager to take me. I think it was his favorite spot too. I can still remember the road we traveled and old bridge we crossed to get there. That trip was so familiar to me.
Slowly peering through those shelves that held so many good titles, I developed a real love for books and reading. They had all the good classics and many Christian books, cookbooks, and even had the “Christy” movies based on the book by Catherine Marshall. Loading my arms full of books to return we would make our way back, to my small corner in the world.
Finding a stack of good books to read I would bring them up to the small desk. The ladies behind the desk knew me well and were always very friendly and nice. “2323” I would recite my library card number to them. As we continued talking my receipt printed from the printer on the desk.
While some would often say that this library was my life, in a teasing way, I didn’t really mind at all. Dad took advantage of my eager mind and heart at that important time in my young life. I am glad he did.
Now that I am getting older and around a little more I see that my library was a very unique place in the world. Not all libraries hold so many Christian books as Selover library did. I see that I was very privileged at that time in my life to have such a place. I see now what my Dad realized then.
Some girls have memories of locking themselves in their rooms and talking all day on the phone to friends. Some remember playing video games, watching movies, listening to music while trying to figure out who they are supposed to be.
Today I have a great love for books, reading and writing. I also have a wonderful memory that will last in my heart forever. That memory goes back to a simple, redbrick building in the small town of Chesterville, Ohio.