I know that most people count New Year’s Eve celebrations, and of course January, as the start of a new year and a new beginning.
However, because I have been a student and then a teacher for most of my life, autumn has always been the time for me to take stock and renew my efforts to achieve my goals for the year.
Soon after Thanksgiving comes our family’s annual Pumpkin Carving Day, a splendid occasion where I insist on surgical precision in carving and design, and my brothers and husband scoff and produce the simplistic, albeit classic "three triangle plus toothy smile," which always results in laughter at my expense. We also revel in the giant, communal leaf pile my husband lovingly creates for the neighbourhood children.
Simply put, autumn is a time for joy.
Another joyful tradition is our annual community book swap, which will be held once again this year on Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jonathan Toews Community Centre, located at 1188 Dakota St. What started nine years ago as a modest effort to promote literacy in the community, attended by about 75 people, has grown in popularity and reached an all-time high of over 600 attendees last year!
The concept is simple: look around your home for books you would like to donate (remember: decluttering bestows calm!) and bring them to the swap. Then, browse through the books and pick up anything that is of interest to you, at no cost. That’s correct — I said totally free. We will donate any remaining books at the end of the day to the Children’s Hospital Book Market, the proceeds of which go to helping sick children. Can you think of a better reason to attend than that?
If you are unable to attend but would like to donate books, please bring them by my constituency office at H-1631 St. Mary’s Rd. or call 204-255-7840 for more information. We are always particularly interested in children’s books. Also please note, because the Children’s Hospital Book Market does not accept reference books like encyclopedias, we cannot accept them either.
It must be said that fall and winter are the best times to cuddle up with a great book. I look forward to seeing you on Oct. 26, so we can all stock up!