Monday, January 02, 2017

June in January?

An absolutely perfect day. Mid-afternoon, and I’m at my desk with the French doors wide open. Sophie wanders in and out but mostly suns herself on the patio. Even the squirrels are quiet though Sophie did rouse to give half-hearted chase a few minutes ago. Tomorrow the temperature heads downhill, reaching bitter cold late in the week.

I had the sweetest caretaker last night on the 11-7 shift. Through a series of misunderstandings, Jordan took the duty, sleeping on the couch. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my best night—up three times in rapid succession early in the night. Towards morning I achieved a couple of blocks of solid sleeping time. When I felt like my body would be permanently stiff in one position, I called Jordan to please get me up. She did, made me tea, and parked me at my desk while she went back to bed. It’s wonderful to have someone you love as caretaker—when they reach for you, you can feel the love in their arms.

She is also the daytime caretaker today, so she’s working in the family room of the house, directly across the small bit of yard from the window at my desk. We wave at each other. Although the kids have made it a firm rule I not be left alone, it’s okay to leave me like that, with Jordan two steps away. I’m impressed enough by all this business, I won’t do anything foolish, like transferring from wheelchair to bed or potty chair without someone around to “spot” me. I laugh in retrospect at how resistant I’ve been every step of the way: when the surgeon asked me if I was interested in quitting drinking, I assured him I was not (I have since done it); when Colin bought a potty chair for my bedroom, I assured him I would not use it and I didn’t want the smelly thing in my bedroom. It’s been a godsend. Late in life lesson in following the rules.

Don’t you love it when you get hooked on a book and can’t wait to get back to it each time life forces you to set it down? That’s how I’ve been today with The Queen’s Accomplice. I have a friend, also a mystery writer, who says what I call for reading for pleasure is really work—we sharpen and hone our style, sense of plot and character and crafts when we read works by others. I’m fully prepared to use that rationale in this case, although I had promised myself I’d finish this before moving on to the next project.

I’m not much intrigued by thrillers, and the element of possible danger is strong in this, as is the gruesome side with the Jack the Ripper murders. But the WWII setting is so true, the characters so real that I am turning pages as rapidly as I can read. I felt my mention last night was a half-hearted endorsement and I didn’t mean it to be. This is one good book in a really good series.

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