Thursday, March 24, 2011

I've Been Seeing Beth, In All the Most Surprising Places

"I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places ...."  
"I'll Be Seeing You" ~ Frank Sinatra (and others)

I had reached my breaking point, a truce, with all the magazines in this house. There were simply too many, and they needed to go into the recycling.  Immediately. 

I knew this. 

I also knew that one of the things that slowed me down was my compulsion to look through them because I might miss something or because I might need something or because I paid good money for this magazine and never read it.   But time is money too, and so the other day I gave myself permission to just toss them all out, unread.  I did just that, with stacks and stacks of O Magazines, most of them 7, 8, 9 - and yes, some that were even 10 years old!   (I should not have unread magazines in this house that are older than my kids, that still bear the address stickers of three houses ago.) 

Then, it was onto the pile of Real Simple magazines.  This would prove harder, because I really like the recipes in Real Simple.  So I allowed myself to bend the rules, to just take a quick cursory glance by paging through the food sections and the food sections ONLY.

And when I opened the June/July 2003 issue of Real Simple (I know ... two thousand and three!), it fell open to the personal essay pictured above, one written by my friend and author Beth Kephart.  I didn't remember seeing this before, and so I sat and read.  See? I thought triumphantly to myself.  This is why I need to read through these magazines.  I might miss something ... and I nearly did. 

Two days later, I was at our local AAUW book sale. I wasn't going to stop at the "Local Interest" table because, quite frankly, I had already purchased more than enough books.  But resistance is futile at book sales, and after promising myself I would just take a "quick look," Beth appeared again, this time in the form of her memoir Ghosts in the Garden.  I picked it up immediately, knowing that my very dear friend Jini had lent her copy to a friend who never returned it.  This would make a nice surprise for her, perhaps for a significant birthday coming up (which was Tuesday and the book is still sitting here, a belated gift).

I don't know what it means, these little serendipitious moments of Beth (and, by extension, Jini). Maybe it means nothing. 

Or maybe - like friendship - it means everything.

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Jini Loos said...

Melissa, By happenstance, next Thursday I will be going to a "Mom's Night Out" at the Willows, a fundraiser for the Radnor Scholarship Fund ~ AND, Beth will be speaking there!
So I too will be seeing Beth in a most surprising place as well...
So the circle continues ~

Jini Loos said...

By happenstance, next Thursday I will be going to a "Mom's Night Out" at the Willows (a fund raiser for the Radnor Scholarship Fund) ~ and Beth will be speaking there...
so I too will be seeing Beth in a most surprising place!
and so the circle continues!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Cue the Twilight Zone theme middle child (the reluctant reader) just picked out our next book to read together and it is Beth Kephart's The Heart is Not a Size :):)

I'm so glad I'm not the only magazine freak :)

Beth Kephart said...

oh my GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!

You have made my night.

I might have to repost this tomorrow.

Although maybe that will seem egotistical.

But gosh, I love this.

Thank you.

bermudaonion said...

What a lovely post! I think your sightings of Beth mean a lot - you must have her on your mind.

Sherry said...

Love this. Thanks for posting. It's important to take notice of wonderful surprise gifts that make our days happy.

Beth F said...

Awesome! Isn't it wonderful to spot a friend in surprising places?

Wendy said...

I love this post, Melissa - I so believe in serendipity and the meaning of these small life moments. I have always believed that we are here on this earth for only one reason - to touch the lives of others...and it is these kind of moments that remind us of that. Thanks for sharing!

P.S. I am like you with magazines - I can't bear to toss them until I've looked through them - fearful I might miss something REALLY good *laughs*

Elizabeth said...

I do the exact same thing with magazines, or, rather, feel the same way. You have inspired me to go through them, though, and discard. Hopefully, I won't "miss" anything.

--love Beth Kephart!