These actually arrived yesterday but I was busy making viral a TikTok recipe and entertaining so I didn’t see the envelope containing a series of postcards of remarkable women with parts of a serial letter written on each. Who but our dear friend Helen would be so creative?
Helen, if you read this, it was an absolute delight to receive your postcards. I was able to read every word!
The other delight of the day was an email exchange with the Egg Man’s wife. She’s having some issues with her Facebook page for the farm and I offered to help her set up a blog for her photos. She wanted to see an example of WordPress so I sent her here where she found the blog post about her husband and the pumpkin and seemed delighted.
I am glad she enjoyed the post. I meant to send it to her after I wrote it, but forgot.
I think this covid shit has finally worn me down. I’ve not been visited by many delights — or maybe I have and I have not recognized them. I’ve been sad and angry many of these days, although there have been a few bright spots.
In no particular order some contenders for delights:
- Andrew and Alex joined us for Superbowl Sunday and a chili dinner (and a Zoom chat with Alex’s folks)
- I’ve had some nice chats with Clare
- We met with some friendly folks from a landscaping company about our backyard.
- The temperature got to 50° one day
- The snow was pretty one day with 2-inch flakes
- I think I am starting to like tofu
- Orange Blossom
- Old Fashioned
- Netflix binges:
- Emily in Paris
- Firefly Lane
While my sleep score was not as good as a few nights ago, I did sleep through the night last night and woke up refreshed. That’s a delight.
Trying to read my extant books as well as past book group reads that I didn’t read when they were chosen, I started reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog again. I think I prefer the audio version to the e-book, but whatever gets the job done is fine with me. I’m finding bits of it delightful.
After finishing A Constellation of Vital Phenomena on Saturday I needed a new book to listen to. Again I looked at my very long list of unread/unfinished audio books and decided I’d try the oldest book on my unfinished list: A River Runs Through It.
Eight or so years ago when Clare and I drove cross-country to move her to Olympia, WA I bought the audio version of A River Runs Through It. I was not really a fan of the movie, and could barely remember what it was about, but I knew that it took place in or around Missoula, MT where we were going to stay for a night. Clare and I didn’t get far in the book, it was just too relaxing for a long drive. I’ve since tried to listen to it and it was not until this morning that I finally started enjoying it. Interestingly, the narrator, Ivan Doig was the author of a bookgroup read (The Whistling Season) I only barely liked. I like his voice though.
What is it about our penchant to enjoy something at one point but to not enjoy it at another? Mood? Age? Experiences?
The photo at the top of the page is the Clark Fork River in Missoula. It’s the “river that runs through it”.
Karen from book group chose A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra as her book choice for our September 2017 discussion. I tried to read it, but it didn’t appeal to me. While I understood the writing was beautiful, I couldn’t get past the violence. It was set in Chechnya during the first and second Chechen wars and really terrible things happened during that time.
Determined to read it, I picked it up again about a year later. I started over and didn’t get much farther than I got the first time, but this time I didn’t just understand that it was beautifully written, but saw that it was.
Not too long ago I was again determined to finish it. It sat there in my Kindle and Audible libraries looking at me with contempt because I’d abandoned it twice. This time I didn’t start over, but picked up where I left off. I alternately read and listened to it, finding it easy to switch between formats. I was surprised that I remembered what I’d read in the past and only a few times had to look back to remember who a character was. I finished it this evening and said aloud to no one, “what a beautiful and terribly sad book that was.”
The book Karen (again!) has chosen for her book discussion next month is Have You Seen Luis Velez by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I borrowed it from Amazon Prime Reading as soon as my tears stopped after finishing A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I loved it right away.
The first day of the year is always full of promise. This year more than ever. Hopefully we’ll be able to travel again (at least domestically) after we receive our covid-19 vaccinations. The US will have sane, if not perfect, leadership that, if we are lucky, will be able to at least begin to fix the many setbacks that happened during the trumpet administration.
On a personal level, I am more than ever determined to get out of my inactive, bordering on suicidal reclusiveness. My kids are worried about me. I guess I should be too.
Other delights of the day were reading blog posts by Lali, Mali and Helen. Talking to Clare for over an hour while we did our own things. Finally seeing the film, Moonlight. Beginning Braiding Sweetgrass. I think I am going to love that book.
I’ve been a recorded books fan for at least thirty years. I remember getting cassette tapes from the library for my long commute to work when I was a teacher. I went through many Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat novels on that commute.
I went through a period of not listening to recorded books much, but I am back to listening to them now, thanks to Audible. I share an account with my daughter, my son, and his partner. Together we have 127 audio books in our shared library. We have similar tastes, so we often read each other’s selections.
What’s delightful is when a particular narrator is perfect for the book. Often, for me, it is the author. Trevor Noah reading his memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood might be the best book I have listened to in years. Back when I respected Neil Gaiman I enjoyed listening to him read his books. The latest narrator I find delightful is Joan Walker who is narrating My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, the book I am listening to and reading at the moment. She’s talented at making the characters’ voices resemble their personalities.