A Perfect Sunday before Memorial Day

Today was the day I took all of Josh’s dorm room bedding and my queen comforter to the laundromat.  My washer and dryer couldn’t have handled the volume.  I enjoyed doing this little task – it gave me time to read more of “War and Peace.”  I’m hoping I’ll finish the novel sometime in the next couple of years … 🙂

When I got home I went down to the basement to get some Diet Snapple to put into the fridge.  Buddy followed me because he wanted to go outside.  So I let him out and decided to sit with him for a few minutes.  And then I noticed all of the weeds and the edging that needed to be done.  I donned my garden gloves and grass trimmers and started clipping away.  It was hot and a bit humid.  I was sweating.

I got half a brown lawn bag full of weeds and grass clippings by the time I was done.  Buddy sat patiently by the door waiting to go inside and cool down.  As I carried him up the stairs (he’s getting older and has arthritis in his right front leg) I remembered the Snapple.  I finally got a few bottles in the fridge.

Then I listened to a song Jamie wants to learn for the Deer Creek Fiddler’s Convention and tried to learn the chords on the guitar.  And then I listened to “The Scarlet Tide” from the movie “Cold Mountain.”  It would be cool to play that song too.

I tackled a few things in the garage afterward, like taking the bottle holder off my bike (it’s too close when I dismount) and straightening some things up.  Then paying bills and listening to Lady Gaga songs on iTunes.  Sitting outside again with Buddy and taking more photos of the birds in the backyard.  The driving range with Jamie after he got off work.  Steaks on the grill.  A bottle of wine.  “Criminal Minds” marathon on A&E.

What a perfect day, don’t you think?

“My Reading Life” by Pat Conroy

"My Reading Life"

"My Reading Life"

I can’t say enough about audio books.  I finished Pat Conroy’s MY READING LIFE during my last trip to Vermont to pickup my son for the summer.  I have to hand it to Mr. Conroy – he piques interest in books I never thought I’d be interested in reading.  So what did I do the moment I got home from Vermont?  I ordered WAR AND PEACE for my Kindle.

They say that in order to be a writer one has to read.  I get it.  I totally get it.  When I saw MY READING LIFE setting in a hurt books bin at work, I picked it up and read the back of the box.  I immediately knew it was something I wanted to read.  I mean, if you’ve got someone like Pat Conroy (THE GREAT SANTINI, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, SOUTH OF BROAD, THE WATER IS WIDE, BEACH MUSIC – just to name some of his novels) recommending the great books he has personally read, how can you go wrong?  So what is on his list of “must reads” …

WAR AND PEACE, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Thomas Wolfe, James Dickey, and many more …

His story – his autobiography – and the way he tells it is amazing.  The people he met – Joan Baez, Michael Jackson – it’s a great list.  But what truly inspired me was his telling of his relationship with his English teacher.  I could fully relate to how a teacher can inspire and change a kid’s life.

I like his style.  He’s an extrovert who knows how to strike up a conversation no matter where he is.  Mr. Conroy is witty and charming, helpful when someone needs assistance, and apparently brutally honest when honesty is called for.  He’s a no-nonsense person.  I am grateful that he read his book instead of someone who wouldn’t have given it the nuance it needs.

If I can learn to write a small fraction as well as someone like Mr. Conroy does, and learn by reading some of the great novels of our time – well, I’ll be a happy person.

Thanks, Mr. Conroy.