The Story of an Old Order Mennonite Girl

Circle Letters: The Story of an Old Order Mennonite Girl - A Memoir by Aleta M. Schrock

Monday, April 9, 2012

1000 Gifts #313-338 The Bookstore Atlas

We were walking by a bookstore in the mall and as usual my husband quickly moves to my side and attempts to nonchalantly use his body to shield me from seeing the books. He knows my passion for books and playfully pretends to be a buffer for the temptation. But his love of learning equals mine and once inside he becomes as engrossed as I do.
This bookstore happens to be a used bookstore and after browsing through the front half, we discover that the back shelves are priced at fill a bag for $2.50. My husband finds a book he wants so that means we can get an entire bagful more for free. Our eyes begin skimming along shelves and pausing to flip through a book here and there. It’s easy to see why many of these books are priced cheaply. It takes perusing past a lot of uninteresting volumes to chance upon the jewels stashed in between. But we find some and add them to our stash. We even pick up a few that look somewhat interesting but we wouldn’t have bothered to spend money on otherwise.
The bag is almost full when he comes across the atlas. It could almost fill a bag by itself. We take it to a table and open it. Memories flood the space between us as we point to places where we have been. The glory of traveling is that maps are no longer flat papers with lines and dots: The memories they evoke are three dimensional tributes to our lives.
Time looses meaning as we revisit our adventures. An hour or more later we walk out of the bookstore with our $2.50 bag of books and our hearts filled with the luxury and wonder of incredible memories. An afternoon well spent.
My List:
313. Wonderful memories.
314.Spending the afternoon with my husband browsing a used bookstore in the mall.
315. Sitting at a table in the bookstore perusing through an old atlas and reminiscing about all the places we have traveled to.
316. Sneaking across the mall hallway to buy a surprise mini-birthday cake for my husband while he and his sister are getting Subway sandwiches for lunch.
317. Seeing my sister-in-law happy with her new boyfriend and…
318. …watching his face light up as he speaks about cars, crash derbies and racing.
319. Trying on dresses for fun (in the mall) while my husband is playing a video game in the store next door.
320. My husband wanting me to buy two of the dresses.
321. The expression on the faces of the clerk and the lady behind us in line when prior to paying, my husband turns to me and asks, “Are you sure this is everything you want?”
322. Wearing spring clothes again.
323. My husband looking handsome in his new suit.
324. The clearing of my sinuses while I drink hot lemon tea with added cayenne pepper.
325. Spring break.
326. Sleeping with a fan blowing cool air from the window into our bedroom.
327. Sleeping in late.
328. Watching the house become cleaner room by room as I spring clean.
329. Cobwebs hanging onto the duster.
330. Organized cupboards.
331. Pausing to breath in the scent of a lavender lilac bush in bloom.

332. Cutting tulips to place in vases around the house.
333. The death and resurrection of Jesus… all for me… and you!
334. Being forgiven.
335. Choosing to renew my mind.
336. The peace of God in my heart and mind.
337. The stripes he took for my healing.
338. A husband who is in love with Jesus.
339.  . . .


  1. thanks for stopping by to say hi! i love used bookstores and can lose myself for hours in them also! what a lovely story!


    1. I think the draw must be the anticipation of the possibilities that used book stores contain!

  2. What sort of things have you been blessed to do in Haiti on your many travels there?

    1. Hi Katie, I would love to tell you about Haiti and SOS! I've been to Haiti about three or four times. And I became connected with SOS through my husband. I'm writing more details and I'll be in touch with you... after tax time is over!!!

  3. And how did you get connected with SOS in San Antonio? ... hehe just curious but I love finding people who love the things I do... Blessings to you!