Today's fortune: Your whole family are well.
The family baby shower for my brother Marty and sister-in-law Sarah was this afternoon, and the whole family is in town to celebrate. And yes, in fact, they are well.
Marty and Sarah are preparing to bring new life into the universe and expanding their happy little family, and it makes me think back to another family that got started over thirty years ago.
When my brother and I were little, one of my parents' favorite things to do was read to us. They would read Sesame Street books, Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Bearenstein Bears, but my dad would also read to us whatever novel he happened to be reading at the moment, or whatever magazine was lying next to his chair. He just read. And we listened with an open mind.
Two of our favorites were "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. And recently, Marty dropped a pretty obvious hint that he wanted copies of those books to read to his child.
Back about nine years go, I worked a newspaper internship at the Hannibal Courier-Post in Hannibal, Missouri - Mark Twain's hometown (in fact, Twain worked for that newspaper). My then-girlfriend (currently my wife of eight years) bought me a gift on my last day there: special edition copies of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
Each has several full-color illustrations by Norman Rockwell.
The books have been prized possessions ever since and have held a special place on my bookshelf. And today I gave them to my brother. One I inscribed to Marty and Sarah, the other to "Baby Kelsey."
"My whole family are well." And now our whole family is a little bigger and tons happier.