Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not totally serious--yet

Zing, zing, zing. Seems like this year, there goes my summer. That’s probably true every summer, but this one, times three. So, here goes on what I trust (cross my fingers) is the last update on the ongoing melodrama of Trilla’s personal life—in the next few months, it’ll be more about Trilla’s book life.
Foster is happy to be home with his
own food bowl. "Feed me!"
Ginger doesn't mind being an
only cat again. Not on bit.
            The doctor told Kate to stay with us two months. That lasted about two-and-a-half weeks.  She’s back at work, but still can’t put weight on left leg at all, and so this means we’re still helping out lots, but we’re all easier on our own turfs. Happiest of all with the arrangement? No surprise—Foster Cat.
So my “reading just for fun days” have slowed and I’m turning to other books, but still reading lots and lots and lots and lots. And I’m not totally serious yet. I had a great fling, and a good transition with Susan Wittag Albert’s Widow’s Tears.  (  A great story, particularly if you, like I am, a longtime friend of China and Ruby.  But it’s more than just a story. Albert packs lots in there.  Not really escapism, and it’s set in the beautiful countryside around Round Top, Texas—a place I love.  Indeed, I recommend it.
            Then being a reviewer for Story Circle Book brought me just what I needed! Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America appeared at the front door as if on cue. I’ve been journaller about as long as I can remember. A one-year diary showed up under the Christmas tree every year with the same dependability as the doll at top of the red stocking, and continued even after the dolls went away. I made my most recent entry this morning. Part of my life. I was ready, ready for this book.
Joan Wehlen Morrison was a greater journaller than I. What’s more, while I assume “no one’s ever going to care about these” and store them helter-skelter and here-and-there, Joan wrote thinking that her journals would be read, stored them carefully, and made sure her writer daughter knew where they were.  That daughter, Susan Morrison has turned these journals into a story of both her mother’s life from when she turned 14 in December of 1936 to 1943 when she met her future husband of 66 years. But Morrison has done more. She’s captured a slice, a small slice but an important one, of American history. This is an important book.
Well read now, and I'll be reading it again.
            And inspirational to me. My next get-organized is not going to be the mess under the kitchen counter that’s on the schedule now. No. I’m going to take those boxes of disorganized mixed-up journals and diaries and get them in chronological order, and then, I’m going to read them.  It may be that some do indeed need discarding—I’ll do it now, and I’ll be the one to do it. But others I’ll keep and who know, while likely they will never be published, someday great or great-great grandchild may enjoy knowing what twentieth-century life was like in the Panhandle of Texas.
            Thank you Morrisons.
            More to the moment, I’m thinking about my weekend reading. Young Joan reported hearing and puzzling over the stance of Charles Lindburg in the time leading up to the war. I knew Kate  read and enjoyed the fictional account of Anne Morrow Lindburg’s life, Aviator’s Wife. I knew it was lying on her bedside table.  Yesterday when I visited Foster, I nabbed the book. Now it’s on my bedside table with the first two chapters consumed—and it is not the weekend yet.
Waiting for bedtime and Chapter 3, maybe 4.

(This entry is also posted at


Linda Hicks said...

Thank you so much for these recommendations. I am so grateful I want to thank you before I even look them up! Of course there is no place like home for cats or grown ups and certainly no place like the routine and quiet of one's own empty nest as cat and adults are often finding out these days.

Alice said...

Like Linda, I love your recommendations for books. But how to find the time to do all the reading I want to do? By the way, I am currently in a "Wallace Stegner" kick of reading. I've not LOVED all of his books, but I particularly liked CROSSING TO SAFETY. Enjoyed BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN somewhat less--if I'd been his editor, there are sections I'd have cut--but even so, am now reading its sequel RECAPITULATION. This one has a rather clunky way of handling flashbacks that seems rather amateurish, but even so, I continue to read because I like the protagonist so much! Years ago I read and loved his masterpiece, ANGLE OF REPOSE.

Trilla said...

Wait 'til after your birthday to buy books!

Nancy M said...

I have enjoyed Susan Albert's Beatrix Potter books. And I too have journals scattered hither and yon. I wrote many journals while living in Egypt in the 90's, and I consider them pretty interesting, but I don't have any daughters who might be interested in saving them. I know neither of my sons, nor their sons will be interested.
I regret to say.