Tuesday, July 05, 2005


I don't comment much on my books anymore, since I created a book blog to contain the madness. But I'm reading this book, Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi, and it's rambling around in my brain. And I couldn't sleep well last night, so I must get some of these thoughts out.

Yesterday, I had an almost perfect day. Started out with waking up with my family, donuts, and then a trip to Starbucks by myself. Very needed, because I am an introvert, and although I may seem like the socialite (ha ha), I need some down time to recharge. I spent an hour there with my book and my latte. Worked wonders. Then I came home to play with my family in the pool, and then our lifegroup plus some other friends came over to celebrate the fourth with a bbq and a swim. We had a good time. I felt very blessed to have my life full of friends who feel like family. Also, I was more relaxed thanks to a great sermon on Sunday from Jason (thanks for your wisdom!) on hospitality. I didn't rush around cleaning at the last minute like I normally do, and my kitchen is actually cleaner now than it was before everyone got here yesterday (thanks, Michelle!) And Stuart made some of the best ribs I've had - very yummy.

So I ended my day with some more reading from my book, which is about a small town in Germany at the beginning of WWII. It's so sad. I know some history - I know how the story will end - but the characters in the book still don't realize the horror of the Nazi killing machine. They still think the work camps are for working. They are full of guilt that they let things get so bad, but they are unable to pinpoint the place where they should have done something different. And they are paralyzed by the thought that even if they had taken a stand, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. It's haunting. And so, after a near perfect day, I was almost overwhelmed with gratitude that I have such a comfortable, safe life. One of the themes of the book is the individual - the main character is a woman who is a dwarf, and her difference defines her - and the author frequently alludes to the idea that the problems started when the state stopped valuing the individual. (For example, families got monetary incentives to have more children, and women were honored for having lots and lots of kids, so the single woman with no kids had no value.) So these thoughts are running around my head on our Independence Day, where in our country, we almost worship the concept of the individual. That excess has some consequences, too. I wonder what our great-grandkids will think of that.

Well, as my good friends know, my housework will be ignored until I finish this book. I think one of my friends actually said that my house "suffers" until I finish my latest book. It's true, but I don't care. I'd rather be well-read and have some cobwebs and dust bunnies around than have the cleanest house and the emptiest mind.


jaymarie said...

I have read that one. I didn't recognize your description at first, possibly because I have read so many WWII stories, but when you mentioned the dwarf (zwerg?), it all came back to me. We'll have to compare ideas.
What I think is funny, though, it the thought that you could ever posess an empty mind, "oh yes, that is my friend Sheila. She is such a great housekeeper, but a bit vapid and fluffy when it comes to mental prowess. So sweet though."


(i love it that your house isn't perfect, but comfortable and tidy. it is just right for feeling at home in.)

Juliabohemian said...

I keep my house neat and I'm not vapid...

Sherry C said...

I love that I have a friend who could be described, even mockingly, as "a bit vapid and fluffy."

I also love that I have an e-friend who can use both "vapid" and "fluffy" back to back in the same sentence. Rock on, JM.

Sheila said...

I hope I never hear my name and the phrase "a great housekeeper" in the same sentence. Yikes! I had a friend tell me that she is able to have friends over without cleaning now after she's been over to my house several times. I took it as a compliment. I'm freeing people from the burden of trying to have a perfect home!

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

pls cnt you git more pictures of your children?

It's been three whole days!

thnk u

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