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A Lover of Words

For as long as I can remember, I have been a collector and lover of words.

As a young child, I remember sitting captivated at my dad’s feet as he read to my siblings and me the book, Casey at the Bat. It wasn’t so much the story, as much as it was hearing his deep voice reading the beautiful poetry of the words to us that left me mesmerized.

My grandfather was a wonderful storyteller, as was my granny too. I could listen to them and my parents for hours, as they told and retold stories from their childhoods and their lives. But it was my grandfather who would have us on the edge of our seats as he told us exciting and amazing adventure stories from growing up in Poland, emigrating to America at 17, becoming a lumberjack in Northern Wisconsin when the once prolific giant white pines covered the north woods, marrying my granny, clearing rocky formidable land and turning it into farmland, surviving the Great Depression, raising a family of 7 children, and so many more stories from his life. Such a rich and lasting legacy they each left me and my entire family with these stories and their words.

Along with this love of words came a love for reading too. A favorite childhood memory is spending hours at my town’s public library, generally on a Saturday afternoon when morning chores were done. I can still remember breathing in that distinctive one-of-a-kind library and book smell, and how I would take my time carefully choosing the books I would carry home for the week. Oftentimes I would choose the same treasured books over and over again.

Words continued to captivate me in high school. No surprise that anything English was always a favorite subject of mine. I recently discovered a gift from a friend in a basement box. It was a book of quotes and poetry, and was perfectly entitled: The Treasure Chest, edited by Charles L. Wallis. It contained a plethora of thought-provoking and beautiful words that gifted me with hours of reading enjoyment.

Still to this day I collect words. I save —

  • Extra special cards and letters that have been sent to me.
  • Emails that have touched me.
  • Texts that have made me laugh or cry or just feel loved.
  • Voicemails that have warmed my heart.
  • Words that have been torn out and maybe tucked or buried in a drawer, a folder, a box, or a paper pile waiting for the right moment or person or reason to do something with them.

I just realized that in every room of my house, I have words. Come on, I’ll take you on a tour and share some of them with you.

Irish Blessing from Beaver Island

Irish Blessing from Beaver Island

  • In the kitchen, I have a framed print in my coffee bar area that reads: FRESH ROASTED COFFEE SERVED HERE. On my bookshelf is a boxed reminder to LIVE SIMPLY and my Scrabble refrigerator magnets spell out the word EUCHARISTEO.
  • My chalkboard door still has the scribbled words of love my daughter left the last time she was home. They remind me daily of her love.
  • In my living room is the word, LAUGH. A sparkly WISH sits on my piano and a framed PEACE TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE greets visitors who come in the front door.
  • Above the hallway bookshelf are framed words from a sisters’ weekend gift exchange, FAITH FAMILY FRIENDS.
  • Even in my bathroom there is a sister gift of window tiles that spell out: LOVE.
  • In my bedroom, a wooden Irish blessing hangs over my bed. Above my closet is the word, PEACE. It is the first word that greets me every morning when I wake up, and next to my dresser is a favorite reminder word and goal, SIMPLIFY.
  • Not surprisingly, my studio has the most words. Besides the countless bound versions of both my words and others’, I have words that are framed and engraved on mugs and tacked onto my bulletin board. Other favorite words and verses I have hand lettered, mostly on post-it notes and I have them posted along the window frame. These words continue to inspire and encourage and motivate me. They also remind me to smile or take myself less seriously, and sometimes can even make me laugh out loud. A brick with the word GRACE sits quietly on the bookshelf.

As you can see, I really am a lover of words. I’m thinking there’s a pretty good chance that you are one too. And although the list above is a pretty good sampling of some of my favorite words, there just isn’t enough space or time to list all of them. So for now, I’ll just share a few of them with you…HUGS, BLESSINGS, and PEACE.

Hallmark Peace by Marjorlein Bastin

Hallmark Peace by Marjorlein Bastin


2 comments on “A Lover of Words

  1. Joan
    March 3, 2013

    I love this post. I know I keep saying that but it’s true. This is so you!!!!

    • spencedaniel2012
      March 7, 2013

      Thank you, Joan. Comments like yours encourage me to keep writing. Keep them coming!

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