Driving home on a recent Friday evening, I stopped along the Causeway Islands to gaze at this stunning sky... something I rarely do. It's been a long month, and this moment of quiet beauty did much to calm my mind.
So, November... In addition to the election and ongoing political aftermath, my 93-year-old FIL is dealing with some health issues. Following his most recent hospitalization, he was admitted to a skilled nursing rehab facility and began a two-week quarantine. Today, my sister-in-law can finally see him, but only outdoors and only for 30 minutes. He will be discharged to his independent-living unit later this week, and my SIL has arranged for support staff. Needless to say, this has been difficult for all concerned.
Meanwhile, we moved into our new house. The unpacking and organizing continues.
And Thanksgiving happened. We had two Zoom calls (one with our NYC daughters, one with my parents and siblings) and a quiet turkey dinner for three... so far from our norm.
One daughter arrived late last night and is quarantining in our now-vacant condo. She'll stay through Christmas... can't wait to hug her in another week or so! We hope our other Manhattan daughter will be able to spend time here as well.
In the midst of all this, I just realized that today is our 35th wedding anniversary!
As for reading and blogging, not much happened on either front. I missed Nonfiction November, but do plan to read your posts. I'm certain they'll provide recommendations for an entire year of fabulous nonfiction. Issues with both blogger and my computer have prevented regular blogging. I'm planning to ask Santa for a new laptop for Christmas!
by Deirdre Mask , narrated by Janina Edwards
This is the only book I managed to finish all month. An interesting listen... just wish I was able to give it my full attention.
I set aside so many titles, I lost count! Perhaps something ultra-light was in order:
What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand is the second book in her Paradise series set in the Virgin Islands. After 40%, I just didn't care about any of it and set that aside, too.
Guess it official... I'm in a reading slump.
What to do??
NYTimes Style Magazine is launching the T Book Club. Its inaugural pick, Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, will be the focus of a virtual event on December 17. I've borrowed both the ebook and audio book from the library and am ready to get started.
Last year I listened to Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk and knew I wanted to explore more of his work. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.... fingers crossed it will bust the slump! I'll keep you posted.
How was your month? What have you been reading lately?
It may take a while, but I can't wait to catch up on all of your posts!
Wow, you guys have a lot going on.ReplyDelete
Our Thanksgiving was much like yours; dinner for three, a couple of Zoom calls, including the one in which we appear in the family portrait on the face of an iPad; plus a few phone calls to friends.
Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. That whole experience is just so stressing on everyone involved that I feel for you. I hope he gets released back into his community right on schedule.
Oh, and Happy 35th! That's quite an achievement these days.
Thanks, Sam. November was pretty much a blur around here, but Zoom calls were a bright spot. Our anniversary seemed to get lost in the shuffle. We're all hoping for a less eventful December!Delete
We had a quiet Thanksgiving also - with zoom calls with the two kids who aren't local. It is strange to abandon all the usual trappings but I keep on saying that we have to do what we have to do to get through this.ReplyDelete
Sorry your FIL is struggling. The protocols for that age group are so stringent but so necessary. Everything seems hard these days.
I hope you find your reading groove again. I get such comfort from just doing something normal like reading.
Take care and stay healthy!
JaneGS - Zoom seemed to keep so many families in touch... my parents marvel at the technology. I'm hoping the Baldwin novel will get me interested in reading again.Delete
You and your family have had a difficult time. It scares my 93-year-old dad to death that he would get sick and no one could come visit with him, and it frightens me, too. I can't imagine moving at my time of life; I'd have to leave all the books (mine) and rocks (husband's) here. Your reading hasn't been very satisfactory either. Honestly, I'd say my books haven't been as satisfying as I had anticipated. I think it has a lot to do with the pandemic.ReplyDelete
Happy anniversary! Imagine that you forgot about it!
I'm glad your daughters will be able to be with you soon.
Deb - It's certainly been a tough month. My FIL, a retired physician is unhappy with the situation but understand the reason... a blessing for us.Delete
Our book collection is now at least 50% smaller. It was hard to cull so many (cookbooks, too) but we're happy to be in a more manageable house and close to the beach!
Oh JoAnn so sorry to read about your FIL in the midst of the pandemic. As I mentioned in a post (2) of us on Thanksgiving instead of 10 did make me sad but, we watched a fun movie which helped instead of football. I get the reading slump. Nothing is normal it seems. Hope you have quality time with daughters.ReplyDelete
Diane - I saw on your blog that the fun movie was Elf... we love that one, too! Thought of you today when I saw a local business with a Buddy blow-up as part of their Christmas display. :)Delete
Such a beautiful sky! It reminds me of His presence in our lives, even (especially?!) in these tremulous times.ReplyDelete
Happy Anniversary! Happy (late) Thanksgiving! And now, of course, we look forward to Christmas...already!
Meredith - Yes, that sky was certainly a reminder of His presence, and it was sorely needed that day... truly a gift!Delete
The James Baldwin book takes me back to my younger years. I am also eyeing the Hilderbrand book, which I have.ReplyDelete
I am curious about The Address Book.
Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.
Laurel-Rain Snow - I sure hope the Baldwin book will break this slump. If Beale Street Could Talk was a favorite last year, so that's a good sign.Delete
So sorry to hear about your FIL. I confess to being relieved that I have neither young children nor elders in my life during the pandemic--the two extremes are the hardest. So nice your daughter can quarantine in your condo!ReplyDelete
Amy - I'm so thankful not to have school-aged children now, but my FIL and my parents keep my worry level high. Hoping that when the first daughter's quarantine is over, the second will arrive.Delete
It's nice to hear from you! I hope your FIL's health issues start getting better soon. Glad you've been able to stay connected to family through Zoom - it has become quite an important tool!ReplyDelete
Angela - Zoom has become so important for keeping in touch... it's really helping us get through all of this.Delete
Happy anniversary to you and your husband! We celebrated 36 years last June. It's gone so fast, the time with Doug, yet it feels like we have always been together.ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear about your FIL and I hope things improve soon.
I had a reading and blogging slump for a while but after 2 months off posting/blogging I came back. The Wordpress book blog was too agravating for me after the editiing changes so, I finally started a new book blog on Blogger and am happy with it. I call it Turn the Page what do you think?
The Address Book has been on my short list to read. Loved the Tana French book that came out in October but I am a big fan of her mysteries. For 2021 I am hoping to participate in ShelleyRae's nonfiction challenge. Glad to see your post and stay safe!
Thanks, Tina. It's been quite a month...as it has been for you, too! I looked for your new blog and couldn't find it, can you please send me a link? I hate missing out ;-) I will look into ShelleyRae's nonfiction challenge.Delete
Your stunning photo was a gift to all of us! I know how difficult those hospitalizations and rehabs are for everyone; I hope your FIL is recovering well. I was home for Thanksgiving but made myself a nice tho minimal turkey dinner and Zoomed all afternoon. (It's a little too much like work but it was nice to see everyone - and all their new pandemic-inspired pets! Hope things calm down a little in the weeks ahead. We've been given extra time off around Christmas and I'm hoping to be able to read a physical book (or two or three) by then!ReplyDelete
Audrey - Where would we be without Zoom? It really made our Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed you'll be reading physical books again soon!Delete
So good to hear from you. November took a lot out of us and I am glad it is over. Go Tell It On the Mountain is an amazing novel. I look forward to your thoughts on it. I sympathize with your blogger issues. The changes there were not what we needed at this time. But if you get a new laptop out of it, that will be good.ReplyDelete
Judy - So glad to see your enthusiasm for Go Tell It On the Mountain! If Beale Street Could Talk was a favorite last year, so I'm hoping it will get me excited about reading again.Delete
Blogger has been driving me crazy! I couldn't add photos, formatting was crazy, and my patience was already compromised. Still not happy with this post, but it was the best I could do.
Love that photo! Definitely sounds like you have a lot going on. All best wishes for your father-in-law and getting settled in the aftermath of the move.ReplyDelete
Nonfiction November will absolutely make your TBR explode. I added lots of fantastic-sounding books to my Goodreads. I'm still making my way through the posts.
Melissa - Nonfiction November has been my favorite blogging event for years, so missing it was a real disappointment. Look forward to reading the posts and discovering all the books! We are cautiously optimistic about my FIL... hope he can get back to his apartment soon.Delete
You sound very busy!! I hope your FIL improves and is okay very soon. Health issues at that age can be very scary even without COVID lurking in the background.ReplyDelete
But you moved in! That is good. I hope you can get settled soon. Unpacking can be fun. Thrown on a movie and just get it done.
Ti - Yes, we finally moved in... miracle of miracles, lol! It sure took long enough. My FIL's situation makes us all nervous, but we are hoping he can get back to his own unit soon.Delete
That's a stunning photo! I would have stopped, too. I am so sorry your FIL has had health issues. It's very distressing during COVID, isn't it? I hope he continues to improve and will be able to enjoy some of your home cooking once he gets settled in his independent living unit. I hope you're enjoying your new home and beginning to feel settled. Nice to have all that remodeling behind you, right? Yes, Thanksgiving was not the typical feast and gathering. We too had Zoom and phone calls with loved ones. I have to confess, I didn't mind all the stress (and clean-up) of a traditional turkey dinner, though. Happy Anniversary!! Ours came and went without much fanfare since we couldn't go out and hadn't thought to buy cards until it was too late. I do hope you get a laptop from Santa. I've really missed your blog posts! As far as reading, I've set three books aside in November and almost added another to that discard pile, but I'm sticking it out. Ugh. Maybe December will be better? Take good care and enjoy your beautiful island. Oh, how's your ankle??ReplyDelete
Les - This has been a tough week... my FIL tested positive for COVID. Symptoms are minimal so far, but we haven't been able to see him in weeks. Not sure how much I'll be around for the rest of the month :(Delete
Oh, dear! I'm sure it's been a very stressful week. I'm so sorry your FIL has tested positive. I hope he's one of those who has very mild symptoms and recovers quickly. I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs to you and your husband. xoDelete
Les - Thankfully his symptoms still appear to be mild, but at that age it is worrisome. So sad because he was just about to be discharged back to his apartment... now who knows when/if we can see him.Delete
My daughter came home from NY (Vassar College) in time for the holiday last week and will be home until mid-February, which feels great. I hope you have a lovely time with your kids.ReplyDelete
Helen - So glad your daughter got home... and a nice long break, too. One of my daughters went to Bard, just up the road from Vassar. Enjoy your time together!Delete
Hey JoAnn: you sound ultra busy there ... and I thought I was busy but you are more. The move & everything. I just hope you have a nice month with your family. Don't worry your reading will come back in time. Not to rush. Wow the weather there & sunset is a delight. I also posted a sunset last night ... too cool. just take some down time & beach walks. hope your ankle is better.ReplyDelete
Hi Susan - Things have been wild around here. We're mostly unpacked now, but still need to buy bedroom furniture. We may keep our clothes in suitcases for a while though... no furniture shopping until this pandemic is over. Think I need to start scheduling down time!Delete
Slumps are super frustrating. Especially when it feels like reading is the solution to my unease and stress. HOW does that work?! I have If Beale Street Could Talk on my near-future tbr (but not my immediate shelf) Happy December!ReplyDelete
Care - Reading slumps are the worst, and I haven't had one like this is a couple of years. Beale Street is excellent... if you can supplement with the audio, I highly recommend it. Bahni Turpin narrates.Delete
Gosh, so much going on for you. Thank you for writing, though. I find myself exhausted just from thinking so much.ReplyDelete
Nan - It's certainly been a busy month! I miss blogging, but try to keep up with everyone as much as possible. Now if I could just get my reading groove back...Delete
Congratulations on moving in to your new home! That's exciting. And almost having one daughter to hug is exciting too :) I'm sorry about your FIL. My cousin's wife, one of my best friends, is burying her father today (covid). So, all we can do is be thankful for every day we have. This election nonsense has taken a toll on my reading and my mental health. Just wake me up on January 20th!ReplyDelete
Stacy - Thank you. We're so happy to be in at last. My FIL tested positive for covid last week, but thankfully has had minimal symptoms. Hoping we can get him back to his apartment with nursing care there. I'm sure he'd be much happier. January 20th can't come soon enough for me! Take care :)Delete
My 95 year old mother in law who is relatively in good health and feisty has really suffered and declined being in an independent living facility during Covid. We have not been able to visit her and she has not liked having hired assistance. It's a difficult time.ReplyDelete
Judee - Yes, we are having the same problem with my FIL and are hoping to get him back to his unit, with additional nursing/therapy help. My SIL also lives there independently, so at least she would be able to see him. These are such trying times.Hoping for the best for your MIL, too.Delete
Hope your FIL is settled and doing well - it's never an easy transition, made all the more difficult by the times we are in nowadays.ReplyDelete
Yay that you guys moved in to your new home! And glad that at least one of your children will be with you.
I know I'm a month late but happy wedding anniversary! I've been going through a slump of sorts and an inability to focus. So I'm just doing what I want to do at the moment and try to enjoy things.
Athira - Thank you, my FIL is back in his own apartment now, but with someone there at all times. Hope you had a good Christmas. We were happy to be together for our first Christmas in the new house. :)Delete
You have a lot going on! It looks like you've been reading some fabulous books. Merry Christmas.ReplyDelete
Laura - It's been a wild couple of months. Fingers crossed things start to slow down now. Happy New Year to you and your family!Delete
I've more than once picked up an Elin Hilderbrand in the library and then changed my mind thinking it might be too light, although I like the Maine setting. Maybe will try again. Season's Greetings!ReplyDelete
Vintage Reading - Elin Hilderbrand is about as light as I can go, but she seems to be hit or miss for me. I enjoyed her latest book, 28 Summers, very much.Delete