I inherited my mother’s house, which is in an RV Resort in Ft. Myers, FL. Every year, I travel there at Christmastime to perform in each year’s original Cantata, composed by a very talented woman, Ruth Rodgers, and her husband, Dr. Ted Rodgers. I directed the orchestra, sang, played the trumpet and thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. Sadly, 2017 was the final cantata.
That meant, however, that this past Christmas, I could fully participate in the park’s holiday potluck dinner. A gift exchange takes place every year—you know, the kind where everyone gets a number and as each number is called, that person selects a gift. The fun part is, they may keep the gift they chose or trade for one another person has already selected. Some gifts are traded (grabbed!) repeatedly until the numbers finally run out.
I decided to take the collection of my “Don’t” series books (Don’t Call Me Turtle, Don’t Make Me Fly, and Don’t Make Me Rattle) as my gift. I also took along some Southwestern-themed wrapping paper and tape since I didn’t know what supplies were in the house. I brought some yummy Tortuga rum cakes from my travels to the Cayman Islands. I was ready.
Cold feet struck that afternoon. Was bringing my own books the right thing to do? Geez, maybe I should have brought something more appropriate. I searched the house for something I could substitute, but there was nothing. Fate determined the “Don’t” series books would be my gift.
One of my neighbors greeted me at the door that evening . “Is this one of the books you’ve written?”
I confessed it was.
His reply? “I know what gift I’m choosing.”
Sure enough, his number was called and he selected my gift. I was honored and delighted that he wanted my books.
His number was called early, but his possession of the books was short lived. A few numbers later, a woman took the books from him. Then a few more numbers, and another woman selected the books—and so on!
My books were one of the most desired gifts of the evening. It was both engaging and rewarding to know that my efforts to make science education fun are working. I hope to inspire many future scientists by creating books written in rhyme, filled with scientific facts, that children and their parents truly enjoy reading.
Happy new year to all!