I am enjoying a lovely morning on the deck; the wind gently rustles the leaves above me, the birds chirp and flit about. It is a bit on the cool side, 56°F, but it will warm up, eventually. I am the eternal optimist, besides I have coffee to keep me warm. The wind chime emits an occasional ‘ding.’
It’s quiet this morning. Ivy is beside me, at my feet, or was until she heard something and stalked off to investigate. B is in Ohio with her mom and dad. W is at off-season sports camp, and O is sleeping. I hope that she’ll sleep for a couple of hours and get the rest she needs. We were supposed to follow this afternoon, but we will not. We’ll need to figure another time to head over and visit. We need to.
It’s Friday the thirteenth, the first and only one of the year.
Last year, 2013, brought us two such days, and two years ago, in 2012, we had Friday the thirteenths. Next year, in case you are curious, we have three such days. Triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number thirteen. Some folks are wary of the Friday the thirteenth, and I am always cautious with the number. I never pick thirteen of anything, especially doughnuts – a baker’s dozen. That’s just too many doughnuts to consume at once.
It’s also the fourth day of summer break and the first morning I’ve been able to have a leisurely beginning to the day. Between sports camp and appointments: dental, orthodontic, medical, and veterinarian we’ve been busy. The following week will be busy as well with band camp added to the mix.
Yesterday, between appointments, I began culling my books. I am a bibliophile. I love books. My dad loved books, my mom loved books, and they passed the trait to me. I wish I could say my kids love books, but for now, I think it will skip this generation. Don’t take me wrong, they like to read and they do, they just will not walk into a bookstore and spend hours looking through the shelves as I do. It is a rare moment when I leave a bookstore empty handed. The chest beside my bed has been littered piled with books; some read, some not, for over a year. The chest needed some serious sorting and a bookshelf full beside the bed that needed attention as well. I came up with three boxes – one to hold books to keep and two to donate.
For the past several years, my recreational reading has been almost exclusively adolescent literature. It’s what I taught, it’s what I lived and breathed from late August until early June. I will still live and breathe it in the coming year, but in a different way. I’ve selected books that’ll give me a glimpse into science and US History. There’s a balance between fiction and non-fiction. The students will read Tom Sawyer by Twain and Night by Wiesel in their ELA class next year. Fortunately, I read Night when W, my son, was reading it for his English class as a freshman. It’s a tough book to read, it’s difficult to imagine that something as inhumane and vile as the Holocaust could have ever happened. Nevertheless, it did. At the end of the year, my seventh graders were listened a speaker that came to our school to speak to the seventh and eighth grades about escaping the Holocaust. Her mother left Germany in 1938 and escaped the Holocaust, when her parents sent her, at the age of twelve, to live with her aunt in Chicago. The author, Fern Schumer Chapman, has written two books: Motherland: A Mother-daughter Journey to reclaim the Past, and Is it night or day? Both are on my reading list. It seems my list keeps getting longer by the day.
Last weekend, I went north for a day and half and it was pure heaven. We will get back up there for a couple of weeks in late June and again in late July and early August before school begins. We will get a chance to dip our toes, renew friendships, play, and breathe. I cannot wait. In the meantime, there are appointments, and chores, and all the many things that are have to dos. In between, I’ll squeeze a little reading in and of course a soccer match or two and few want to dos. By the way, it’s warmed up to 59°F so far on its way to 80°F, hopefully. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one page at a time, one book at a time.
Do you make a summer reading list? What’s on it?