Investigating the book drop

While waiting for the library to open today, I observed a curious 6 year old who appeared fascinated with the two outside drops for library materials.
His investigation got underway with prying open the metal door and peeking inside.
An older woman, arms loaded with books, asked him to “help” her with returning her reads. He smiled and pulled at the handle. One by one the volumes disappeared from sight.
He asked me what each drop was for. One was for adults, I said and spelled out the letters. The other, I said, was just for people his size to return books and DVD’s.
That seemed to make sense. We both peered through the drops and I told him that the books/materials plunge into a box.
“Then what happens?” he asked.
“Then the librarian comes and checks the books in so more children and adults can check them out.”
Oh. That explanation satisfied him and he ran over to his parent to share the exciting news with them.
I went my way, smiling.

(C) 2017 by Mary Louise Van Dyke. All Rights Reserved. For more information contact the writer at

Measuring a relationship

How do you measure the relationship between you and another person?
In the light of the third anniversary of my friend Beth’s passing, I am pondering that question.
There are times when we are closer — and times of being disconnected from those people who are bright lights to us.
Times where the confidences flow swift and sure because there’s so much you want to say. Other times when silence presses down like a humid day and stifles.
Times where hanging out in the same room feels further apart than being emotionally and mentally connected via social media.
Times of misunderstanding and grumbled words snapped out in moments of exhaustion — and times of loving, “I’m here for you”, “let’s get together today for coffee/tea” thoughts delivered at just the right moment!
Friends, family members are individuals you carry with you as you trudge through through a dozen “have to’ get done’s” day.
Even when the connection between you seems to dim and fray, the cord of caring is still hanging in there.
You carry their pain in your heart. You hope that they find their way over the huge boulders. You cheer them on to reach their goal line. You joy with them and you want the best for them.
And you love them. That’s all. So simple. You love.
–Mary Louise Van Dyke
(C) 2017. All Rights Reserved. For more information contact the writer at