For a girl who dreams of faraway places I have a rather patriotic birthday. No, it’s not on or around Independence Day, but it is the day before Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, and just a few days away from George Washington’s birthday. Add that it is the birthday of one of our favorite inventors, Thomas Edison, and it must be agreed that I am in patriotic company, indeed. Therefore, it seemed fitting that I spent the day reading some of the great American writers…Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, and Toni Morrison. A quiet birthday, while the rest of the world worked and went about its business, but I was grateful to sit before my thick Heath Anthology, eat cake for breakfast, and read.