Lent Letter #3

Dear Lisa,

Hi friend and fabulous librarian. I’ve been thinking about how long its been, how long we’ve known each other. In the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been that long. We met in October, 2007. Just over five years ago. I was brand new to this profession and just starting out. It was one of my first actual positions in a library. I was so nervous starting work. Everyone seemed so serious and so intelligent and I felt hopelessly inadequate.

Then I met you. You were friendly and fun and had me laughing within seconds of our introduction. Rarely have I felt such an instant connection to a friend. You are so warm, so welcoming and fun that people are drawn to you. I was drawn to you. I wanted you to teach me everything about this new job of mine.

And so you did. I think I’ve told you this story before, maybe even on the blog, but I think it bears retelling. When I first started, you and I worked the desk together often, and I was afraid of the phone. It was intimidating that a person could call and ask me anything under the sun. There was just so much I did not yet know that I was afraid to answer. And so you would answer and take the time to explain every call, every question, every answer so that I could learn from you. However, the details are not what I learned. I learned that when you are the one who knows, it is better to be generous with your information and share what you know. I learned that starting with a smile usually means you will end with a smile. I learned that being yourself makes people respond, even teenagers.

I’m sure those weren’t the lessons you intended to teach me, but I learned them nonetheless. When the day finally came that YOU thought I was ready, you stared at me steadily and told me to answer the phone. I did, and through your tutelage, I knew the answer. Just like that, my fear melted away. I began to anticipate phone calls because of the variety they could bring.

You never hesitated to take me under your wing and help me learn. I learned how to plan programs from you. I was brave enough to teach a class to the public because of you. I took on new projects because of you. And though it all, through every you taught me and everything we did together, we always had fun. I look back on that time, working with you as the very best job of my life. I miss it every day. I miss you, every day.

I know that we’ve remained friends, even though it’s been three years since we last worked together, but I don’t know if you ever fully understood what you meant to me as a mentor and a teacher and a friend. I’m very very good at what I do, Lisa, and that’s because I was meant to be a librarian and do this job. But a very large part of that is also due to you and that you took a young librarian on as your friend. I had the passion, but you gave me the experience.

Thank you for being part of my life,


(to see why I am doing this, read this)



Remember this post? About my friends and knitting.

Well, that was posted on December 5, today is December 14. In a mere 9 days, Janny has completed (at least) two pairs of wristlets (which I read are actually called wristers, wristlets are small purses – whatever – I’m too invested in wrisLETS to change now) and delivery of both.

That’s right.

Lisa received hers days ago and wears them all the time. I bet you’re wondering what her look like? I sure was. Yesterday, knowing I was getting mine, I made her send me a picture. I was hoping I’d get her face in it, but this works.

Lisa's wristlet

And I don’t know if libraries just naturally have weird lighting, but that color is a burgundy red, if I remember right. Or maybe brick red is a better description. Is that what they look like? They look brownish to me in the photo.

And now {drumroll, please} here are MY beautiful wristlets.

wristlets close

Oh my. Aren’t they so pretty? Strangely, that’s not at all the color they are. They’re more purpley, less blue, and lighter in color than they appear in the photo. Why is library lighting so odd?

You’ll notice they’re the same style, mine and Lisa’s, Jan was working off the same pattern. Mine are a bit thicker, since they were made second, and therefore subject to review. Still, I think we both lucked out that Jan is so talented and so generous.

I also got to meet some good friends for coffee (hot chocolate) and a chat on a Tuesday evening. Oh, and Lisa? This is the picture I was hoping for…


Aren’t they so cute? And don’t they look different than the picture above? Those photos were taken within seconds of one another, so the lighting didn’t change. This pic is even less representative of the true color of my wristlets, if you can believe it. They’re honestly that pretty – just not that color.

Okay, that’s enough going on about this, mmm?

JannyJanJan, thank you so very much for my gift. It means the world to me that you would do this. As I have no ability to do things like this, I’m grateful, but because you’re such a kind friend, I’m honored. Also, I’ve been wearing them all day today, and have received several compliments on them. I smile and say, “yes, they ARE awesome, my friend Jan made them”. Not many complimentors seem as amazed by that fact as I am, but there you go.

Thanks again!

Friends, Librarians, and Knitting

On Friday night, I was lucky to attend a dinner hosted by friend good friend Jan and her partner, Marie. They were gracious enough to invite me and our friend, Lisa, into their home and to cook dinner for us.

Jan and Lisa and I have been buddies since I first started working at Hennepin County. The three of us used to laugh and giggle and cause as much trouble as possible when we worked the desk. And if we weren’t working together, we were IMing each other and giggling at our respective desks.

Jan is actually directly responsible for the one and only time I lost control at work. She told me a story that was so over-the-top funny I started laughing hysterically. Hysterically is the only word that could possibly describe my laughter. Then, Jan laughed at my laughter and I laughed harder and it was a vicious circle. Our boss at that time, was the amazing Kelli, who was alerted to the mania from her office (she could hear us howling) and came out. She took one look at us, sitting in front of the door, the face of the library, doubled over in laughter, tears streaming down my face, and she said, “I am not seeing this” and went into her office and ignored us. Awesome boss.

I actually had to leave the desk and go into the back to get myself under control. J3 is a funny, funny, lady. I almost feel bad sharing that little anecdote because I am not going to tell the story that caused the fit of laughter. Sorry, but it is really not fit for public consumption. Even though we were in public¬†when she told it to me, but, whatever. You’ll have to just trust my word that it is a funny story.

Lisa is just one of those people that when you meet her, you can’t help but like her. Smart, funny, and a mentor to me when I was a lowly, new, librarian. She is the incredible children’s librarian at my former library and, honestly, I always wished I had her job.

These girls don’t work together anymore (different branches), and I am somewhere else entirely. Yet, through all this change, we’ve all stayed friends. I don’t see them as often as I’d like, but when we get together, it is always laughter and fun and good times.

This was no different. Jan made this amazing dinner (even the broccoli was good, J3) and swears up and down that I could even make it. We shall see. I will try. But for sure, I will be making the cabbage salad, I think I ate three helpings of it, it was so delicious and crisp and refreshing.

After dinner, we all retired to the living room. Jan was finishing the clean up and Marie and Lisa and I were chatting. Suddenly, Marie pulled out her knitting and started to knit. While I realize in my brain that people do this, it seemed so strange to me. Like it was an “activity” that needed to be planned out and here is Marie, just doing it in front of company. Ok, I’m certain I am not explaining this well–nothing wrong with her knitting–just that there is no way *I* could ever do that, so it struck me as strange.

I asked what she was making, it was so tiny, and she said it was a wristlet. I had no idea what that was. Lisa got all excited because it turns out she’s been looking for one. When Jan rejoined us, she immediately picked up her knitting and continued her project. I simply had to get a picture:

Yep, that’s Marie (on the left) and Jan, knitting on the couch.

I regret I didn’t get a picture of Lisa…we should have. I DO have a video of Lisa, but I’m saving that for future blackmail! All I will say about that is…C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I-C-U-T!

What’s funny about the knitting is (and if you, like me, didn’t know what a wristlet is, it is exactly like a leg warmer, but for the wrist and hands, but cut for them, with a hole for the thumb) that I was joking that someone should make ME a pair, and before you know it, Jan was offering!

She is making Lisa a pair, L got to pick the color. Then Jan asked if I wanted a set and I confirmed. She said, “purple, right?” I love her. So, at some point, I will be get a beautiful pair of purple, wool, wristlets, custom made for me.

Strangely, the next day, I visited my mother and told her this story. She popped up, out of her chair, rushed to where she keeps her knitting and showed me the wristlet she is working on! If she had shown me a few days earlier, I wouldn’t have looked ignorant…but still. It is kind of cool.

Mom wants the recipe (dammit, that is not the right word–mind is blank) for the ones Jan and Marie are making, so she can try a new way. I’ve emailed Jan to ask for it.

It’s so funny how things work out. And, after that dinner, we’ve got a tentative plan to go to Lisa’s the next time for take-out Indian food. Yay!

Thanks for a wonderful evening, girls!

Just Checking…

…to make sure you’re paying attention:

While she’s not the hottest fireman I’ve ever seen, she looks pretty good! That’s my friend Lisa at an event at the library where I used to work (and still wish I worked).

I know she reads my blog. I’m checking to see how often, as in, how long will it take her to notice there is a picture of her on my blog?

I’m guessing by 2pm tomorrow. We shall see.


UPDATE***She already saw and commented! Less than an hour after I posted it. Apparently, I’m one of her regular internet stops. I’m so proud. Also of the fact that she saw it and laughed out loud in the quiet library. I have that effect on people.