Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, Sept. 16: Wow!

What a stunning day. It is cool--just warm enough that I can stay on the deck in my almost-cold bare feet and big sweatshirt--but breezy and sunny. There's a definite tang of fall in the air. I have swept off the table so I can be outside and do things like register for CROP Walk online and link to Facebook so my family can support me with ease and facility. . . . and also update my Goodreads and my blog! So here I is.

This is a day to take a breath and be grateful, more than anything else, I think. Yesterday Andy and I drove a big load of oak from the tree harvest down to Craig and Heather's, emptied it out (or watched while it was emptied. . .), and then we carpooled over to Tap's to take him out to dinner. He is now wheelchair bound, very frail, and very hard to hear, but every so often he'd fire out a joke or give one of us that clear, interested look that was so very him when he was well, and that was great. After dinner, he started to ask Andy to take him to the airport so he could collect the shipment that was coming in. . . . but I think he had a good time most of the time and certainly knew we were there. And Craig is so amazingly patient and good with him--Craig's feet hurt him a lot so the standing and helping he does for Tap must be hard on him, but you can't tell at all. It's moving to see him with his dad--never a frustration in sight. Wow. So it was a good family visit--the four "kids" laughed a lot, and Tap had a night out, and Andy and I were home by nine,

where poor N had been stricken by his cold really taking over. He missed church today, and finally gave in to my suggestion that he have a nap ("I'm not really that tired, Mo----zzzzzzzzzzzzz") and has been sleeping for a solid hour. I bet he'll be okay to go back to school on Monday, but if he's not, he's not. At least he's taking it easy now.

And church, with the 200th b'day all celebrated last weekend, was reflective and quiet again, though happy and quite full. Henry, the blond bombshell of a 2  1/2 year old, was there flirting with all of us--what a pleasure. It really felt like our focus was warm and full today.

I have been reading Haven Kimmel's "The Solace of Leaving Early" and am afraid that I am fighting a cold--both on the brink of a busy week. The book, the weather, and the potential cold make me feel reflective. . .  so I head off to write my Goodreads review and then start my spicy chicken soup. Yum.

"All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."  Julian of Norwich

And how apropos that I should find that pretty day lily photo from this summer for a highlight, since my most recent book is. . . 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bo lent me this book and told me it was amazing, and it was--I finished it last week but didn't have time to write it up till now. I think I'd give it five stars if I had time to reread it--towards the end I was reading so fast that I know I missed some nuance.

Diffenbaugh has an assured and understated voice throughout this book, though she also employs the unfolding flashback technique that I am ambivalent about: it threatens to become trite, like the 9th graders' favorite conclusion: "And then I woke up." Still, the characters she creates and the plot that unfolds were enough so that I kept going. Granted, the male lead (oops. His name is Grant. Sorry) is a little one-dimensional, but he's attractive nonetheless, and Victoria is difficult and frustrating, but I rooted for her positive growth, too. The problem the novel highlights, of kids aging out of foster care with no support under them, is a powerful one to consider, and her group is inspiring in its efforts (though that's off track from the review. Sorry.).

While some of the events in the story and some of the characters (as mentioned) are a little awkward, overall the book is well-written, absorbing, and warm, the kind of book that leaves me at a loss when I'm finally finished and don't have that reading to look forward to anymore! Highly recommended. 

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