Chart Number 219

June 10, 2016

By Ekta R. Garg

(Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!)

In the last few months, Nine and I have exchanged friendly jibes about how is a true bookworm and who loves books more. Nine has claimed more than once that there’s no way I could love books more than she does. I reminded her that I have something she doesn’t: more years of life. Living longer has allowed for books to be bonded that more closely with my soul.

It wasn’t until we moved into our new home, though, that the final verdict came down.

Now that the girls are older, they’ve offered to help with unpacking. In our new house we have space for all of our books. A nice set of bookshelves built to last. On the second or third day in the house, the kids asked what they could do to give me a hand. I suggested they start emptying the boxes of books we’d lugged from our old house, almost a dozen in all.

Nine and Seven started early in the afternoon. They helped each other handle my husband’s heavy medical textbooks and the paperbacks I’ve read so many times that the spines have cracked. They dug out the books they’ve relished time and again and the tomes waiting for them to get a little older.

Then they started putting the books on the shelves.

By the end of the first day they’d emptied most of the books. All of us grownups—my husband, their grandfather, and I—urged the girls to just take a break for the day. They did for a little while and then went back to it.

“Do you know how many books you have?” Seven asked me. “We’re getting sick of Mary Higgins Clark!”

“Yeah, and these Robert Jordan books,” Nine added.

“Well, I’m a bookworm,” I said with a grin.

“Okay, I’m not a bookworm anymore,” Nine declared. “I don’t love books!”

“But, Di-Di, I thought you love to read,” Seven asked her sister in all seriousness.

“I do love to read,” Nine affirmed. “I just don’t like books.”

There you go. If you want to be a bookworm lifer, you have to know how to go hardcore. It takes heart and muscle…to lug all those books around, that is.


On the second day of the book project, we all sat down to eat dinner. Seven flopped into her chair at the dining table.

“We’re never moving again,” she said with finality.

“But what about our plan to move to Montana?” my husband asked, reminding her about his not-so-secret desire to live in the middle of the mountains and natural space.

Both kids stared at him for a moment.

“Yeah, why don’t you go ahead and get started on that?” Seven quipped.

“We need time to pack, right, girls?” I said.

“Yeah,” Nine said. “Why don’t you go ahead and go to Montana, and we’ll take about, um, thirty or forty years to get everything put away and follow you there?”

Even the best sports have their limits in unpacking.


This week the girls attended their first week of summer camp. As we’ve driven from our new neighborhood to their school, the kids have noted the “Lost Cat” signs hanging on sign posts on a few of the streets.

“That’s so sad,” Nine said. “That family lost their cat.”

“Maybe they didn’t care about the cat,” Seven said bluntly. “Maybe they weren’t responsible about it.”

“If they didn’t care about the cat, they wouldn’t have put up signs to get it back,” Nine pointed out.

“True,” Seven said. “I hope they find it.”

Even though I’m not a pet person, I hope the family finds the cat too.