Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sitting by a lake

I didn't even know this was here -- a lake by Smyrna's "Public Library." It's not really a lake, it's more like a pond but want do you want for the middle of town? (I put "Public Library" in quotes. I'll explain later.)

There is a small pond near work where I can go and read, eat, or just rest. This little pond is about 300 feet across with a water feature in it's center. (A water "feature" is just a fountain in common-speak.) It's absolutely beautiful. I don't have wireless Internet but that's just a few hundred feet away in the library itself.

Arranged around the pond are a few picnic tables, benches, and even a love-seat hanging swing. Lots of trees give the area great shade in the hot summers here. They are all marked with those cute little brass tags that tell you that the tree next to you is a "Water Oak." Hmmm, I thought all oaks liked water.

The fountain provides that constant white noise. It's thrusting 30 foot bursts rain down against the water's surface making that slapping sound. It is calming. Why is running water so relaxing?

There are fish in the pond. Occasionally I see carp jump above the water's surface and snatch a quick bug snack.

Last week I was in the library itself. Just outside it's doors is a sign that reads: Smyrna's Public Library. I didn't have my Cobb Library card but asked the guy re-loading the shelves if I could check out some books if I provided a drivers license. "Sure, no problem, but you'll pay a 25 cent penalty for not having your card." I've never been in trouble for so little a cost.

So I picked out the books I wanted, brought them to the counter, and flashed my driver's license with photo ID. I was reaching into my pocket, ready to produce the penalty, when she asked me if this was my current address. "Yeah, it is." I told her.

"Well, I'm sorry, you can't checkout books with a Cobb Country library card."

Huh? So it turns out that Smyrna's tax paying community who put the library in place, does not honor another county's library system! Who thought up this? So I said to the nice lady:

"Ah, so this is really not a Public Library then?"

Nah, I didn't dare. She didn't make up the policy. It's not her fault. She didn't make the rules. But this just smacks of backwardness. Who thinks up such silliness? One county doesn't recognize another's library card?

I did tell her that I worked just down the street and spent lots of time at my desk, almost as much time as home so it's as good a living there. But none of that logic worked.

"But you can buy a Smyrna Library card for the whole year for just $30."

No thanks, I'll just enjoy the free park.

Nothing is free anymore.

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion" -Jim Gaston