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Shared penchant for books an example of ubiquitous ties

I’ve never met Lynn.

I don’t know Lynn’s gender, age, appearance, personal style, political leanings, favorite color, motivations or annoyances. Lynn may be single, a spouse, a parent, a bank president (or all of the preceding), or retired.

I know nothing about Lynn Chandler, except that Lynn lives in Spokane Valley.

However, in an odd way, I feel a real affinity with Lynn, because we both frequently use the library and share a love of reading. Lynn seems to request library book holds as much as I do and when I pick up my books, Lynn’s are usually right next to mine on the pickup shelf.

Chan, Chandler, year after year.

I’ve wondered about Lynn over the years. But I’m proud to say I’ve never violated any privacy by sneaking a peek at the Chandler book holds; I may be curious, but I’m not a snoop. Therefore, in addition to all I don’t know about the things I’ve mentioned, I’m ignorant of Lynn’s reading preferences. Maybe someday we’ll reach for our books at the same time and I’ll find out. Maybe we’ll sit down for a few minutes and chat.

The Chan/Chandler books on the shelf make me think of all the connections I’ve made living close to 2 1/2 decades in the Spokane area –connections with people I don’t really know, but with whom I regularly interact. Some have been with the same business establishments a long time, some for as long as I’ve lived here. I enjoy people, the familiarity of longtime acquaintance, and continuity that brings a feeling of community.

There are so many people I’ve come to know in a casual way – retail associates, postal carriers, medical providers, jewelers, pharmacists, booksellers, writers – people with whom I’ve worked on projects, causes and church efforts. Sometimes I develop low-key friendships with such people that make my life more pleasurable.

A fellow Vocal Point writer and I have a fun e-mail friendship; I particularly enjoy having a writing friend. Using quirky nicknames, we have both zany and honestly intense discussions. The curious thing is … we’ve never met in person, even though we live within a few miles of each other. Someday, I hope we’ll put on our royal tiaras and meet for high tea.

Of course, there’s that small group of close friends with whom I journey one-on-one through life, as we change and grow together. These beloved people keep me real and urge me toward new ventures. Long-term friendship-love and loyalty weaves a safety net from which no one falls. Because life is uncertain, I’m learning to say “I love you” directly to them, because I want them to know I treasure them.

Such connections, light or deep, have given me roots here, weaving me into our community’s tapestry. It’s a highlight of living here.

Someday, I just might meet you, Lynn Chandler, and I hope I do. Until then, it’s nice bumping books with you.

Deborah Chan lives in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at