If I’m upstairs, I find I’ve left my glasses downstairs. If I’m in the basement, I discover I’ve left them upstairs. It’s always a rush to find them—glad they aren’t gone forever and relieved to realize I haven’t lost my mind regarding remembering where I left them.
I have at least ten reading glasses. Some are in pristine condition. Others have one eye glass missing or a bent arm or a repaired hinge. Each comes in handy when needed. The odd thing is I can remember WHERE I lost some of my glasses. Once at a diner, my glasses fell off the table, but not I nor the waitress or anyone else could find them. Wherever they landed, they must still be there. On another occasion, I was checking the mailbox by our driveway, and the glasses which were propped on top of my head—where I generally place them when not in use---, fell off when I leaned over to open the box. They fell into the rain drain, which is located almost directly under our mailbox although it shouldn’t be. Which begs the question: which came first, the rain drain or the mailbox? Who knows? Neighbors may have though us weird, when they saw my husband and me both with fishing poles trying to fish from the rain drain. We never could catch those glasses. Eventually they probably got washed into Cedar Creek and down the eighty-six mile stretch of the St. Joe River into Lake Erie.
I have a friend who swears she has twenty-two reading glasses. That’s like the little old woman who lived in a shoe and had so many children; she didn’t know what to do. Keeping track of one’s glasses can be time consuming and exasperating. But oh, how wonderful it is to be able to slip them on and read!
I think how desperate reading conditions were for many people before old Ben Franklin invented the bifocals in the mid- 1700s. The process of grinding glasses to magnifiers dates back to around the year 1000 in Northern Italy. The oldest pair of glasses, I learned from Wikipedia, was discovered in a catholic nunnery in Germany. They are dated circa 1400, and referred to as the Wienhausen glasses. They had no temples or ear stems but were kept on the face by clamping the nose between two lenses. The information includes the sentence, “With the advent of the printing press in 1450, the demand for vision correction was exponentially increasing as books became available to the general public.”
So, as mentioned, April is a capricious month when it comes to weather. On a sunny day, one may eschew the inside library, but on a cold, wind- whipped or rainy day, I suggest there can not be a better thing to do than to put on one’s glasses and read. Whether it is a nursery rhyme or a treatise about the renovation of the Sistine Chapel, reading provides insight, entertainment, and information. In this time of technology and visuals, there is nothing like a book. Emily Dickinson may have said it best, “There is no frigate like a book/ To take us Lands away.” Incidentally, April is National Poetry Month, as designated by the Academy of American Poets.