"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Salon, October 23rd

Weather: Overcast with sunbreaks. I do hope to run outside for a quick walk with the dog and to pull up the impatiens which got a bit soggy looking this past week. They are done for the year.

Curled up in a metaphorical ball: Almost a month ago my father-in-law died very suddenly. As is often the case, we were unprepared for his passing. Last night I had a stomach ache as I was preparing for bed. As I laid in the dark holding my stomach I thought of how these physical symptoms were mimicking my life right now. The pain and sorrow from grief have left me feeling like just curling up in a ball.

Last week-end we held a memorial service in Chet's honor and we helped host a social event afterwards so that family members could be together to swap stories and share the love. My father-in-law and his wife lived in Eastern Oregon (about five hours from our home) so we had to travel and spend several nights in a hotel. We were able to route our daughter, who is attending graduate school in New York, through the Pasco, Washington airport which was an easy half hour drive to pick her up so she could join us for the weekend. Everything about the event and the whole weekend was good. Don and I both spoke at the service and our son-in-law participated in the portion of the ceremony conducted by the Masons. We were together as a family. Don was able to be with his uncles and cousins he doesn't often see. He and his brother were together in their grief. Everyone helped support Chet's widow. As we drove home last Sunday I had a positive feeling about the time we all spent together.

After: But after we got home and brought in the seven boxes of family photos and paraphernalia we need to go through, after we collected the dog from the kennel, after we drove Carly back to the airport for her return trip to NYC, after we went back to work on Tuesday to our demanding jobs... the grief remains. It is a grief which is just percolating under the surface at all times ready to swamp us at a moment's notice. For a month I feel like I have been curled up in a ball nurturing this grief. Shockingly, the one thing that has really seemed to go by the wayside is my desire to read and to blog. I don't have the attention span for either of these activities. This weekend I had signed up to participate in a blog event: a 24-hour readathon. It seemed like a good idea at the time but even with this impetus behind me I can barely make myself read and when I do my reading is very slow, which is not like me. But one book I am finding which has provided some relief is a poetry book called Leading from Within. Poetry always seems to speak to me when other forms of communication can't get through.

Let Me Remember...a poem which reminds me of our transitory lives here on earth but of an eternity to look forward to.

Let me remember, by Winston O. Abbott




beyond forgetting —
let me remember always
for my spirit is often shrouded in the mists
let me remember beyond forgetting
that my life is not a solitary thing
it is a bit of the rushing tide
a leaf of the bending tree
a kernel of grain the golden wheat fields
a whisper of wind about the mountaintop
a reflection of sunlight upon the shining waters
it is fleeting
it is of the moment
it is timeless
it is of eternity.

24-hour read-a-thon, my progress:
  • Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen, 81%
  • Leading From Within, 70%
  • Winter, an audiobook, track 15 of 21 which I think is about 67%
  • Railhead, 63%  Can I finish them all before days end? Unlikely but I'll give it a shot.


  1. Let go of your goals, and be kind to yourself in your grief, my friend. Do what feels right and uplifting. Love you!

    1. Thanks, friend. I know you understand far more than I about the this process.

  2. After the sudden loss of his younger brother three years ago, my husband found great comfort in the book Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief. It has 365 short entries, one for each day of the year, each with a quote and then a paragraph or two of interpretation. He still opens it every morning. _Nancy N

    1. I will look for that book. I find comfort in books like that but my husband has never been one to pick up daily devotionals.

  3. I hope your ride through grief is a safe and short one.

  4. So sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. It sounds like you were able to have some good times with family. Out of Africa, as I recall, is a good book for a grief-filled time. I hope it's a comfort. Take care!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I just finished Out of Africa and cried for the last two or three chapters. I am not sure if I was crying for the people in the book or for us.

  5. Oh, Anne - I am so sorry for your family's loss. As you know, I lost my dad last summer. I still miss him every day. The grief does ease and become less intense, but I still think of him constantly and so wish I could just pick up the phone and call him.

    Be gentle with yourselves - enjoy all those photos (we have a similar haul from moving my FIL out here 2 years ago!) & let memories of good times spent together comfort you.

    Thinking of you -


    Book By Book

  6. I'm so sorry, Anne. Thank you for sharing the poem.


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