I've just finished opening up and sorting bags and boxes of donated books. Must have been a couple of hundred. I had just finished dispersing a double-sided, three-shelf truck of books the last day I worked before vacation.

I could barely get into my office for all the books. I'm not complaining, though. Well, not too much anyway. There were four big bags of what we'd call Texana books. They are all about people and places: cowboys, Texas Rangers and ranching in this region. This is an excellent collection in fine condition.

I don't know who gave them, but it was due to the death of the owner. I'll likely forward most of them to the Texas History collection at Central. Thank you, whoever you are for thinking of our branch as the recipient of what I'm sure were some well-loved books.

There must be a medical explanation for what happens to me when I finally stop working for more than a day or two. I planned to undecorate the first three days of my vacation and then leave for Louisiana on Jan. 3.

By Tuesday, I had a morning sore throat and a horrible runny nose. Do they make corks for noses? I needed one. My doctor was able to see me Tuesday afternoon and it was off to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled. By late Wednesday afternoon, I didn't have enough energy to pack my suitcase and called the relatives to tell them we'd be delayed at least for a day. I didn't even feel like working on a quilt on Thursday but did get the bag packed and we were on the road Friday morning.

I had a good visit with my aunts and uncles and met my cousin's wife and their 3-year-old son for the first time. For some strange reason, when I told Howard about the alligators and water moccasins in the bayou below the trailer we were staying in, he didn't have a peaceful night's sleep.

I really didn't mean to scare him, just giving him some south Louisiana information. I started with an awful cough on Friday. My ribs still hurt from all the coughing.

Unfortunately I didn't get to see my grand nephew. He's subject to infections, so I'll have to go again sometime later on after baseball season. I did make it to a great quilt shop that was going out of business and left with a bag of coordinated fabrics to make three quilts and three baby blankets. It was so heavy I could barely carry it.

The City Public Arts Committee will be hosting a reception for Ed and Cornelia Gates Jan. 26 at 2 to 4 pm. They received the commission to create the ceramic bird murals on the outside of our building.

Please feel free to come by and look at the murals and meet them. They are a friendly couple and are wonderful to work with.

We feel very fortunate to have had them as the artists for our building's public art and I know that what they did will be enjoyed by the public for the life of this branch.

Lynda Whitton is the head librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.