Over and out. For four days this past week I made my way to the library to finish up and fulfill my added contract hours before I was willing to say I was fully retired. On Thursday I spent four hours with the new librarian going over everything I could think she'd need to know to make her start-up as easy as possible. I am pretty sure all I accomplished was scaring her to death. Right before I locked up the library for the last time I took a telephone call from an angry parent about a fine. And when I say angry, I mean off-the-charts angry. As I reflected on it later, I couldn't believe that my last parental interaction was so awful, one of the worst I've ever encountered in my 37 years of teaching. I think there was a subliminal message in it probably. Something like, "this is one of the reasons you are leaving." Sigh. Anyway, I made it. I cleaned up my spaces, turned in my keys and school credit card. I am done. Retired! Over and out.
Sunburned: On my first day (Friday) of full retirement, after an early morning dental appointment, I decided to lay in the sun for ten minutes, just to gt a little color on my cheeks. Instead, I fell asleep and when I awoke my head fortunately was in the shadows of a tree but not my feet. First day of retirement and I burned my feet. Oh brother.
Whistler: We just arrived at Whistler, BC for a week of happy vacationing and communing with nature. We love it here. The place is so gorgeous, surrounded by mountains and lakes, with bike trails, golf courses, and lots of things to do. Our eldest daughter is joining us for a few days. She just called after having her car battery die on the trip up, so she is a bit delayed.
Reading: I realized this week how deeply I was affected by my impending retirement the past month. A sort of malaise descended on me and I was just drained emotionally, crying at a drop in the hat. This really impacted my reading time. I just didn't have the attention span to read much more than a few poems at night before going to bed. This week the cloud of malaise lifted and I found my way back to books and was even able to finish a few of them.
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor---a favorite author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. This book is the first book in a new series set in a magical land of Gods and monsters and one really precious person, Strange the Dreamer. The book ends on a cliff-hanger so I don't recommend it until the second book of the duology is published. Audiobook.
- Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin---another blogger recommended this book to me and it has been sitting on my bedside table literally all school year. I finally finished it in time to turn it in with my school laptop and iPad. I had to return everything. Finally I had the incentive to finish the book and enjoyed it quite a lot. I hope to review it soon. Print.
- The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking---what makes Danes the happiest people on earth? Why hygge, of course. This book tells the reader all about it. Though the point was belabored I did enjoy it and the concept of making one's life and interactions more cozy and comfortable. Print.
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur---a book of poetic prose about sexual abuse and learning to love oneself. Very touching. 90% complete. Print.
- The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez---I downloaded this book last summer as part of the free audiobook summer giveaway at SYNC Audiobooks. I am finally getting to it. 20% complete. Audiobook.
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead---This Pulitzer Prize winner came available on my library account so I had to jump or go back in the queue for another long wait to listen to it. Don and I started it today for our trip to Canada. 35%. Audiobook.
In my book bag as possible reads for the week. Now that I don't have an iPad, I am back to print or audio books only, no ebooks. I stuffed a laughable number of books in a bag this morning to see what fits my fancy this week:
- The Four Things that Matter Most by Ira Byock, MD.---my mother just gave me and my siblings this book and wants us to read it. It really touched her.
- A Girl Called Vincent by Krystyna Goddu--- a junior book about the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay
- American Street by Ibi Zoboi--- one of my student readers highly recommended this book to me. Thought I should honor her and read it.
- Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre edited by Traci Chevalier--- I like reading short stories on vacation.
- Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy---this coming month's book club selection.
- The Dead Inside: a True Story by Cyndy Etler--- a new memoir about the horrors of the drug treatment program called Straight, Inc. I read these types of books with horrified fascination.
Go ahead and laugh. Even I didn't realize how many books I brought until I started listing them here.
I'm off to make spaghetti dinner, a vacation staple.