Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ring Toss

Not unexpectedly, son-in-law John gave me grief about both of my last posts. Since I believe him to be one of my two "followers", I'll forgive him and try to clear up any misconceptions about how important my writing least to anyone but me.

I seem to have set to high a bar for my little musings as being "worthwhile". I suppose that worth must certainly be in the eye of the beholder, and John did not think my panning of "Netherland" to be in that category. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Opinions are subjective things, and mine was probably a bit too emotionally based. I might do better in the future. I'm not a book critic, though, only a casual observer.

We had the whole family at the lake last weekend. Sarah and Ned were home for a too short week. If we are all flexible, we can all bunk in the same house at the lake, and it's fun, at least for a few days.

Walker was unusually sociable during the weekend. I don't think he had the television set on even once, although he did devote some time to sorting his Polaroids. But the new thing was having him take part in some of the competitive jockeying for Ace of the Ring Toss game. This game is basically a stainless steel ring with a string attached so that if you arc it just right, it will grab a hook on the wall. Some friends gave it to us recently, and I've found it somewhat difficult. Not Walker, though. I gaped at the number of hits he had, with his percentage being somewhat higher than all the other adults. "Well, I was champion of the ring toss at MARC Camp," he told me with a sassy hand on his hip. MARC camp has not existed for about fifteen years. The kid can remember stuff.

Eventually, Walker hit a dry streak, and couldn't make the thing hook for nothin. "Sweet Niblets!"

Seems that Hannah Montana says something like that, and he muttered that and other pseudo curse words every time he missed for a while. Then he got over it.

The first couple of days at the lake, Walker absolutely refused to go outside in the daylight as the result of a somewhat nasty sunburn at some point. Finally, Molly convinced him, and I promised him, that he wouldn't get burned with her sun block. He didn't.

I'm glad Walker wanted to play with us. I hope he remembers that happy time just as he does MARC Camp. I know I will. Hope I get better at ring toss and that my posts are worthwhile. I'll be out of town for a while at a family wedding, but I'll bet I'm back soon.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Thoughts Netherland

I was beginning to believe that my ability to discriminate between books was lost. I seemed to like everything I read for a long stretch there. Then I decided to read Netherland because Barack said that was his current read, and I was curious. I can't imagine why he was reading it, and wonder whether he actually finished it. I did, but just barely. I guess it was kind of typical of life. Sometimes there can be a huge build up to something that kind of fizzles, but I didn't really appreciate the long journey to not much of anywhere. I had even splurged to get a hardback before the paperback was released. I read an article soon after I placed my order that they were releasing the paperback early, in response to increased demand. I guess some others were curious about the kind of book our president might read.

I didn't even like Netherland well enough to pass it on, although I probably will, just so I'll have someone to talk about it with.

I hope there are always books for me to read, one of my favorite luxuries of life. I hope I like The Book Thief better.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Wicked and Good

My vow not to write anything unless it seemed to be worthwhile has given me a little slack to catch up on some family things, get a bit more exercise in the pool, and read.

I’ve been reading a lot, screening books for our book group for next year. The ones I’ve read and just couldn’t put down are “Wicked”, “Four Spirits”, “March”, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, and “The Help”. I still have several on my list, but these are my favorites so far this summer. (All these are readily available on by typing in the titles, so I’m not going to go hunt up the authors right now.)

The biggest surprise for me was how much I loved “Wicked”. My girls gave me tickets for the touring production that we’ll go see together in July. Katie provided me a CD so I’d get familiar with the music, which I’ve really enjoyed. But the book...oh MY!

I generally don’t like fantasy or allegories or fables, especially those with important underlying themes, because I spend half my time trying out to figure out who the characters really represent. I’ll have to admit that I did some mental gymnastics with “Wicked” too, but it was so worth it. It’s a beautifully written book with just the right blend of familiar and unfamiliar for me. I can’t wait to see how they edit the story, and am already imagining the costumes and sets.

I worry about being wicked a lot, because I’m not naturally very good. I eat too much, talk too much, watch too much mindless television. I fail to call or write people when I should too often to be comfortable with. I don’t pull the weeds or stop to pick the flowers that bloom. My closet is the main evidence of my slovenly streak. I HATE exercise.

Last weekend, I had an overnight at the lake with Molly’s family, plus little John (Becket was otherwise engaged.) and the highlight of my weekend was after most everyone went home, but John and William stayed on with the Walkers and me. When William and John asked for a snack, I rummaged around and found fruit snacks for William, and John asked for potato chips. A few minutes later, William requested chips too.


“Grammy, you always say yes!”

I like to say yes, to others and even to myself. I hope I’ll do more good in the coming months, but I hope my friends and family will forgive me when I’m wicked...God too.