Tween Cousins, Bookmobiles & Endless Summers

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King, WD

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson

I’ve been officially blogging for four months, three days . .  .etc. etc.  I’m loving it!

But I’ve been an unofficial never-tried-to-be-published (really need to finish that book – see A New Year, A New You) writer for years.  It’s a part of who I am.

I fell deeply and madly in love with the written word when I was a toddler and my mom would  read to me.  My mom was, and is, an avid reader.

When I entered first grade and walked through the door of Mrs. Blake’s classroom, holding on to my mom’s hand for dear life, a whole new world opened up to me.  It was the exact same feeling I get, even now, when I open a book and smell the print and dive right in.  As much as I love my kindle, as handy as it may be, it’s just not quite the same.

I remember being in the top reading group.  Oh, you couldn’t fool us first-graders; we knew what reading group we were in.  I would go home and read the entire story of Alice, Jerry and Jip on the day we were given the first reading assignment.  I just couldn’t stop reading.

At the time, we lived in the country (three miles from town but it felt like worlds away) and mom was good friends with the county librarian.  In the summer she brought out the old bookmobile (like the batmobile but with books instead of gizmos).  And once a week she would come to our house and have lunch with mom.  After lunch, we were free to explore that library-on-wheels from top to bottom and check-out as many books as we wanted.  I thought I had died and gone to bookmobile heaven.

I remember lovingly stacking the books beside my bed.  And one by one, I would tenderly, yet eagerly, devour every word in every book.  In the pages of those books, I visited far-away places and learned about different cultures.  I solved mysteries with Nancy Drew.  I resided in that broken down old boxcar with the Boxcar Kids, and scoured Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables.  (The first time I actually flew over Prince Edward Island, I was thrilled beyond words.)  By the end of the summer I would have read every book in my age group and beyond.

When I was a tween, my cousin, Dixie, (same-age, same-grade, inseparable, sweet little cousin) while vacationing at the beach, met a boy from another state.  It was puppy-love at first site. She started “going steady” with the boy, but in all reality, going no-where.  They exchanged addresses (sadly OR gladly, this was before computer, email, texting, etc.) and vowed their love would last forever and they would write to each other daily.  Uh huh, yeah, right.

It wasn’t long before my cousin put in a desperate rotary-dialed plea of help (to me and anyone else who dared to listen in on my party line).  She couldn’t think of anything to write.  She hated writing.  Math was her thing.  She was almost in tears.  Her fairy-tale love story was about to come to a screeching halt before it had barely taken flight.  And that’s where I stepped in.  I did love to write.  I wrote long, poetic, love drenched letters to a guy that frankly, I had never met.  My cousin would share letters from her far-away first love and I would read them and reply.  Oh, the things we do for the ones we love.

I spent the rest of that summer writing love letters, until, as all good things must come to an end, all parties involved became bored and the letters finally dwindled down to a trickle before stopping all together.  School started back and all that was left of that summer romance was the sweet memories of the up-all-night sleepovers filled with giggles, the Mystery Date Game, secrets and conspiracies of two tween cousins.

I write this with a smile on my lips and a mind swirling with child-hood memories.  And as much as I love writing, I will try my best to never bore you or inundate you with too many posts.  So, for now, I’m trying to limit my posts to three times a week – sometimes more, sometimes less.  And I seriously need to work on that book.  It’s not going to write itself, now is it?

Endless Summers


‘Cause the things we write in the summer sand,
The I love yous and the future plans,
Disappear, slip right through your hand,
Like this warm, soft bed of summer sand. ~Tony Orlando & Dawn



About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. You instilled the love of reading in us. For the boys read aloud, I am reading the Boxcar Children to them. I loved that series when I was little and I hope they will too.

    • I love, love, love the Boxcar Children! I used to imagine living with them! And I’m so glad that my children (well, most of them) love to read!

  2. Look at you as a tween!! Love the pic…and the dress! Oh, and the long brown hair, I love it.

    • I was wondering if maybe I didn’t own a brush – lol – but I think it was probably Au Naturale! But, thanks for the sweet comment!


  1. […] you remember my cousin, Dixie?  I wrote about her here in my Tween Cousins, Bookmobiles & Endless Summers post.  I also mentioned her in The Help , […]

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