"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, January 13, 2019

Sunday Salon, January 13th

Indoor spring garden
Weather: Sunny. Don is actually taking this moment in time when it isn't raining to get up on the house to remove the Christmas lights.

Ordinary time: (Ordinary time is the time on the church calendar that begins on epiphany, January 6th, and ends at the beginning of lent.) It is good to know that things will be ordinary now after a period of extraordinary events that occurred during the advent season. Dad has been gone now over a month. He died on December 3rd. The time between his death and his memorial service on December 27th certainly felt extraordinary with the grief and planning mingled together. The memorial service was especially special (is that redundant to say?) with the family gathered, the music sung, the scriptures read, the eulogies spoken, and the friends greeted. My sister Kathy said we were on scared ground during the service and afterwards. It certainly felt that way. A few days prior to Dad's service, we learned of the tragic deaths of our son-in-law Daniel's grandmother and aunt. They were killed in Washington, DC. While crossing at a crosswalk they were hit by a tour bus and died. Their deaths and the shock waves on his family hit us all very hard. No memorial services, at least that I know about, have been planned leaving us to grieve on our own. Thank goodness it is now ordinary time, so we can have a period of time for healing.

And yet: Is it really ordinary time? Just this week I learned that two of my friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Yesterday I learned about the suicide death of an acquaintance, a father of two teenage girls. This past month two friends signed divorce papers. One was married to his spouse for over twenty five years, the other was married for forty-five years before things came to an end. And our government. What can I say except I can't believe that our president is willing to shut down the government for over 20 days so far just because no one is willing to fund his wall? Argh. Hopefully none of these events will ever become normal.

Spring around the corner: Don's sweet cousin sent me a beautiful basket of spring bulbs which have started to bloom indoors. They hyacinths smell heavenly and the tete-a-tetes just opned their blossoms last night. Thank you, Diane, for the gift of "spring-to-come". The yard is full of signs of the upcoming season. The pussy-willows are ready to pop. The roses and hydrangeas had buds. A frog is often heard croaking nearby. Thank goodness for the ordinary turning the seasons.
Please read my essay about grief: In My Winter Garden With Grief.

The puzzle and the assignment
A puzzle and an assignment: Yesterday, while Don was attending a day-long conference, I worked on a new puzzle. (See photo.) He helped me finish it when he got home. As I worked, I contemplated the answers to questions that each book presented. I decided to not dig too deep or think too hard. I would just name the first book that came to mind in reference to the books on the puzzle. Join in. You try it and let me know your responses. Here are mine:

UNFORGETTABLE BOOK: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
BOOK MY BEST FRIEND GAVE ME: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Eric Larson
BOOK THAT GIVES ME HAPPY TEARS: Going Bovine by Libba Bray
BOOK I READ AGAIN AND AGAIN: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
BOOK I WOULD GRAB IF THE HOUSE IS BURNING: My Bible (the one I've marked in)
BEST BOOK I EVER READ: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
CHILDHOOD FAVORITE: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
BOOK THAT MAKES ME LOOK SMART: The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham
BOOK THAT MAKES ME LAUGH OUT LOUD: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
SUPER FANTASTIC BOOK: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
BOOK I NEVER FINISHED: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

What does the Lord require of you?: Dad's favorite scripture was Micah 6:8. The scripture answers the question what God requires---to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Last week in church we sang a song which I had sung many times be before, but for the first time the chorus really hit me and I couldn't finish for the song for the tears. The song made me think of Dad, based on the words to the chorus: "We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly, we are called to serve one another; to walk humbly with God." Grief is like that--suddenly overwhelming me, yet I do treasure moments that remind me of Dad.

Currently reading: Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Hockey is the metaphor for life. This book is something else! Love it. Up next: I Have a Right To by Chessy Prout.

Current audiobook: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Set in Alaska in the 1970s. Lots of references to period pieces like waffle stompers and Gremlins. Ha! Up next: Becoming by Michelle Obama.



  1. What a heavy couple of months you're having. I am glad you have Don, your faith, and your community to support you. The president seems to have completely lost it. He's such a baby yet he is destroying people's lives. Ugh.

  2. I am so sorry you've had such a tough couple of months.
    I don't even want to talk about the president - I think it's just ridiculous.

  3. That is a long list of not-so-wonderful happenings but you are a caring and supportive person(as I know) and will be there for those struggling people. I'd like to read The Great Alone for BC as well as Becoming. Hope we choose them at our next get together!

  4. I’m so sorry about all the loss you are experiencing. Know you have many friends around the world who are lifting you and your family and friends up in prayer.


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