Best laid plans

2 Feb

After a year at home, everyday feels the same. I get up at the same time, and follow the same schedule. I live, teach, and relax in my living room. I take Richard to the park at the same time everyday. That’s why any change to the schedule feels almost celebratory.

Despite the sameness of every, I use my school planner religiously. I was thrilled last week to see “10:00 Library pick-up” written in Friday’s planner cell. I looked forward to it all week. Because I only go out when necessary, I try to consolidate trips out. I added to Friday’s to do list:

mail packages @ USPS
get groceries
pick-up library holds

I left home and ticked off the first two items without at hitch. I timed everything perfectly and arrived at the library a few minutes before it opened. A few people were in line, and by the time I arrived to join them, standing on the designated spots, the doors had opened. As always, the line moved quickly and soon, I was at the doors.

“Last name is Gillespie,” I said, smiling behind my mask.

Behind the table in the lobby, the librarian scanned her clipboard. She flipped to the next page. And the next.

“Did you say Gillespie?” she asked. I don’t see it here.

Suddenly, doubt stabbed my heart. The appointment was in my planner, but had I actually made it, I wondered. It’s amazing how many thoughts can pass through you mind in an instant. I remember thinking about making the appointment, weighing the pros and cons of each option, wondering if I should wait until more books were ready for pick-up. Had I written it in my planner, but not made the appointment?

“It’s not a problem,” continued the librarian. “We can check those out to you today. I’ll be back in a moment.”

I stepped out of line for the next person to give their name, and raked through my memories again. Beofre long, the librarian was back with my stack.

“I’m so sorry,” I said as she placed my book on the tray used to pass the books from librarian to patron. ” I guess I thought about making the appointment, but didn’t actually schedule it.

“We’d rather the books were going out instead of just sitting there,” she replied with a cheery smile in her eyes.

I thanked her and left, still wondering about my error.

Yesterday, I received a holds notice from the library. I scanned the appointment options, considering the most convenient time. I scheduled a pick-up time, and recorded it in my planner. I also saved the email message confirming my appointment.

8 Responses to “Best laid plans”

  1. Lakshmi Bhat February 2, 2021 at 8:07 am #

    It happens. What type of books do you like ? Regards

    • Adrienne February 2, 2021 at 8:08 am #

      I like most everything. I especially like nonfiction. I read a lot of middle grade and young adult lit for work.

      • Lakshmi Bhat February 2, 2021 at 8:14 am #

        I too love reading, fiction and non-fiction. Recently I read a book called Indica, it is the geological history of India. It was fascinating. The author, Pranay Lal has done a wonderful job.

      • Adrienne February 2, 2021 at 8:15 am #

        I will see if my library has it.

  2. arjeha February 2, 2021 at 10:15 am #

    Yes, sometimes we think we have made appointments that we didn’t actually follow through and make. We have all done that. I do like the philosophy of the librarian, though. It is much better to have books in the hands of readers than to have them sitting on a shelf.

  3. jumpofffindwings February 2, 2021 at 10:42 am #

    Rather safe than sorry…I live for those holds to come to me. That librarian has the right philosophy though: the books do no one any good sitting on the shelf (unless you’re someone who fantasizes about characters emerging from pages in the dark of after hours). As nervous as it made me to watch books disappear from my classroom shelves, some never to return, I knew it was the price worth paying to cultivate readers.

  4. jennieb February 2, 2021 at 11:55 am #

    Thank goodness you were able to get the books anyway! That would have been very disappointing. You have a great library and librarians!

  5. Lisa Corbett February 2, 2021 at 4:35 pm #

    I do this sort of thing often. I have no idea why, but it happens when my days are all blending together. I’m glad you could get the books anyway! Our library is only open for pre-ordered books but I can’t get myself together to make an order.

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