Food makes the evening, in many cases. Just as a hobbit would say.
I'm thinking this evening about a book that stole my heart in fifth grade. The cover was so intriguing that I insisted we started reading it right away. Mom read it aloud to me and Hannah.
I started to look for signs of hobbits on our property and on walks.
"The Hobbit" was a gift. It opened a door into a genre of writing that I had known a little of before but hadn't really explored. I was obsessed with the maps in the book, trying to see where this troupe had come from and where they were going and trying to imagine the specific places they went.
It's a story that stays with you.
I've probably blogged about Tolkien before. How I read The Fellowship when I was 12 and starting middle school. How reading LOTR and dressing up like an elve and obsessing over the movies got me through those years. How Sam's words "Well, I'm home" rounded out everything I felt about not moving to Texas. How I read "The Hobbit" to Gretchen while eating banana muffins on a plane on the way to Texas, giving everyone a different voice (though Beorn and Gandalf required such low voices that they blurred sometimes).
Last year we threw Bilbo a party. A grand one. With cake and beer and lights strung on the trees. It is colder today than it was last year. More rain and wind. But I do think of dear old Bilbo today and wish him a happy birthday. Him and Frodo. It's a world I'm grateful I have.