Thirteen years ago, my oldest niece Amanda started reading this book series called "Harry Potter". I knew it was about magic and wizards and had no desire to read it. However, she loved them and I wanted to be able to talk to the kids about the things they were interested in so I picked up the first book and started reading. After I finally got through the first five or ten chapters - which was the hardest part for me of these books - I was hooked. I've read all of them as well as listened to all of them read by the incredible Jim Dale. And, when the first movie came out, I went to that too.
Today, the era of Harry Potter - at least as we know it at the moment - came to an end for me. I've read the paper - 4120 pages to be exact , listened to the audiobooks - which is something like 200 hours of audio, and seen the movies. The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban DVD got me through my doctoral program - serving as a quiet background to hours of typing. I've watched these characters grow up as I've watched my own nieces and nephews grow up. And, to turn a phrase from the book a bit, I now find myself more open at the close. For all the criticism of the books as well as all the hype, what I firmly believe to be true is that J.K. Rowling kept a generation of kids reading - and brought a few adults along for the ride as well.
Gayle is hanging here for the weekend. She was kind enough to go get Lindsay from the farm on her way here last night - and got stuck on the Interstate behind an accident for the trouble. They made it here late, but both were glad to be here. We've spent some time tonight playing outside and seeing our new baby ducks!
It's good to be home with no confirmed airline flights from now until November (at the moment). Have a great rest of your weekend.