Considering that Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, and I am humbled by the sacrifices so many have made willingly in defense of basic freedoms especially those who died in battle, I cannot help but also revel every year when it is on my calendar.
It is the "unofficial" start of summer for most of us - for me it has moved to my personal official start. It means that it is time for less clothes, more time at the beach and vacations. It also means it is time for more reading. I am a voracious reader but it is in summer at the beach often that I can actually plow through books rather than snippets in my daily life at home.
I spent the weekend reading from a book called The One and Only to Wonder. They could not have been more different in every aspect yet I really enjoyed having the time to lose myself in both. Lose myself - I mean I tend to tune out when I am deep in a book. I also find a book really good if I close it and spend time thinking about what happened to the characters next . The One and Only was total "chic lit" - feminist though I proudly am, I proudly wear my choice to also like books that are appealing mostly to women. It never is great literature but it is always a good story. This one had it all the mix, a romance with obstacles (obstacles is a understatement), a sad element but it also dealt with an issue of domestic violence. No spoilers if you are going to read it but let's say this was no damsel in distress - it dealt with it in a way that I think is pretty realistic. However, I will say that it is not as easily resolved in real life - rarely is the abuser that swiftly thwarted. Maybe though it takes some "chic lit" to tell women that it is never just you - and it is never what you did or did not do - that is one subject that is too hard to cover as part of a blog rather than be given it's own time. This book overall though is not heavy or sad, recently a friend of mine wanted to know why do I so often gravitate to such difficult subjects in books - maybe it's cause often the writing is better with those subjects, but rather it is just enough of a mix to have kept me at it until it was done in a day.
Wonder, my other read, was a book my 4th grader read with his class. As he kept coming home and telling me bits of it and wanting to discuss more I thought it would be perfect for us to have as discussion - what better way to raise readers than to have them see you reading and to share books that you read together. I just really liked this book. It reminded me to be grateful, to be kind and most of all to accept flaws and imperfections not only in others but in myself. This story of a child with a severe facial anomaly is about how to find the beauty in life. The main character never becomes the swan but he sure flies away with every heart that reads this book.
My virtual bff, that's what happens when you live far away yet feel a strong friendship with someone you share the friendship through the ether, and I usually try to have a summer book list. Along with the smell of the ocean, the lazy days of summer weekends and both of us loving every moment of sun and warmth (especially after the brutal winters we had) we share our love of full book immersion and then PhD worthy dissertations on the books we read, KLM what's next?
It was a good long weekend - much like my other favorite reason for summer - full of doing nothing but enjoying the time with my boys, the sun and things like art shows in the park along with walks to the ice cream parlor (dangerous when the ice cream is amazing and the walk not far enough to our place to burn off more than the first 2 licks). These weekends put on pause the "add it on" pace that usually happens when it is every season but summer - no sports events for the boys, no food shopping on the weekend, and mostly being away to a place where the ocean air lulls me to sleep while I read my books. For me there is no place that makes me think better, leave it all behind like the white sands and the sound of the surf. I love the city but having a house on the beach, like right on the beach, like the one that was in As Good As It Gets (hey when I dream I dream with infinite funds), is my ideal. However, for now our place may not be that grand but it sure is awesome.
Since it was a long weekend - and Tuesday is this week's Monday - this blog was written on the fly - maybe without as much editing but with just as much enjoyment - summer here I come....