My Many Affairs with John Steinbeck

I met John when I was in the ninth grade. He was too old and wise for me.

His Grapes of Wrath was too detailed and wordy. I only liked the “Turtle Chapter.”

Years later, I was so engrossed in the Joads’ struggles that I skipped the turtle.

We met again while I was in college. His Red Pony broke my heart.

The short story “Junius Maltby” made me a more empathetic teacher.

I read The Log from the Sea of Cortez while in graduate school.

I could smell the sea and hear the seagulls.  It was such an adventure.

An older,  fellow biologist sharing his life at sea.

“Travels with Charley” took me places I had never been while in my thirties.

I am traveling with Charley again. I have been to these places now.

My experienced eyes recognize the land and the people.

He has been a great traveling companion over the years.

Now I know, he was not some brilliant, mysterious, older man.

He was just a real person looking closely at life and recording it for the rest of us,

who were too young, inexperienced or busy to notice these things for ourselves.

I still love him,

but now we are just friends.

FLOWER

If I’m not Weeding, I’m Reading

We had some snow here today, so the weeds had to wait.

I made progress in several of the books that I am reading.

I only read non-fiction right now.

My last book of fiction made me so mad that I tossed it.

I can read books simultaneously if they are dissimilar. Otherwise, I get them confused.

Tristan Gooley’s How To Read Water is a hit with me.  It is even better than his book, The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs.

A Woman’s Place is at the Top by Hannah Kimberly is a fascinating story of the mountain climber, Annie Smith Peck.  I admire her determination, but she was not as civic-minded as my two heroes, Marianne North and Beatrix Potter.

Gretchen Rubin inspires me with her thoughtful pursuits at improvement.  I have just started Happier at Home,  but I really enjoyed her book, Better Than Before. 

Elizabeth Kolbert is a really great science writer. Do not let the “science” deter you. Her book, The Sixth Extinction is on my top ten list.

In case you are wondering what the bunnies do in wet weather, they chew on sticks.

I caught Charlotte wistfully gazing out the bottom panes of the French doors today. I know she would hate it out there in the cold, but she still wanted out.

They enjoyed eating bark off of fruitwood sticks. These are now ready to burn.

Tomorrow will be sunny, so I won’t be eating so much…I mean reading so much.

FLOWER