I developed a brand new respect for military families this past Memorial Day weekend.

I've always had a respect for the families of those serving in harm's way, but had no real experience to compare it with.

When my husband was serving in the military, I was in junior high and my parents wouldn't let me date that young. I didn't meet my husband until after he was back after serving four years of active duty in the Navy, so I had no real experience with the anxiety and fear that military families can have.

My husband was part of the Gaza relief flotilla that was attacked Memorial Day weekend. I was in a chat room with people on one of the ships when everything stopped about 9 p.m. Saturday. I then started getting emails from others that one of the ships had been attacked.

The numbers of fatalities kept growing and I was up all hours of the night trying to find out what I could about which ship my husband was on and if he was OK.

I finally called the State Department Sunday evening and was told no American was killed, but I still didn't know where he was or if he had been hurt.

From Saturday night until Tuesday morning I had no idea if he was in jail, if he was hurt or even if he was coming home.

It felt very good to finally hear his voice Tuesday morning telling me he was in New Jersey and on his way home.

It was a very long, scary weekend, and it gave me a teeny, tiny taste of what military families must go through when they hear the news about battles or accidents in the area where their family is serving.

All this is to say that I have a brand-new, huge respect for the families of those who chose to serve in the military. Thank you to the military men and women who serve in harm's way and a thank you to the families that stay behind.

Our summer reading "Catch the Reading Express" is in full bloom and, when your children tell you that they don't have anything to do, come to the library and join us for our many free programs.

We have a birding class on Mondays at 2:30 p.m.

We have crafts on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. (each of the sessions will have a different craft and we supply the materials).

On Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. we will have special visitors from different walks of life come talk to the children.

We will have drug/bomb dogs, archaeologists, touch tanks and a Ranger from the Padre Island National Seashore.

On Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. we will have storytime for you working families.

On Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 11 a.m. we will have storytime geared for preschoolers.

On Thursday mornings at 10:15 a.m. we will have a very short storytime geared for toddlers and babies.

On Wednesday afternoons we will have science demonstrations, activities and visitors talking about nature, science and all different types of fun activities.

Check out our calendar in the library or go to our Web page at www.cclibraries.com and click on the calendar to see what's happening at your local library.

Come join us for a free, cool summer fun activity.

Jean Meadors is the children's librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.