Well, wouldn’t you know it. We are having ourselves a proper snow day. A book reading, snowshoeing, stuffed cabbage rolling, chai brewing, granola bar making kind of snow day. Hallelujah.
It’s been nearly springlike weather around here and aside from one modest snowfall, we haven’t seen much of winter this year. I haven’t really been paying attention to the forecast either. The fact that I can spend time outside on most days wearing a simple wool sweater, no jacket required, has kept my attention away from checking on any impending storms. As for today's storm, it was a mere six inches that was predicted, but we've got a foot and counting so there you go. A taste of winter.
A few months ago I found a copy of This Is My Best at a local antique shop and immediately thought it would make the perfect Solstice gift for Adam. Indeed, he loved it. It seems not too many people know about this book, but those that do agree it is quite an addition to any library. If you ever come across it, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.
"Over 150 self-chosen and complete masterpieces, together with their reasons for their selections by America's 93 Greatest Living Authors."
Isn't that an incredible concept? Published in 1942, the authors included represent that time period in American writing.
Adam has been reading a selection each morning which seems like a much better way to start the day than checking email (although he's never one for computers in the morning), and it's quickly become a real highlight of his day. The old style of writing is something to treasure, for sure. And even more so, to read what the authors themselves believe to be their very best, and why, is a deeply intimate reading experience.
With Emily under the weather for the past week, she’s had a lot of time on her hands. Too much time really, and not enough energy to make much use of it. She was getting bored and cabin fever set in, yet she was so exhausted there was nothing to really be done about it. So Adam resurrected a tried and true family tradition of read aloud (not something we do too much these days, having an 18 year old and all). He pulled out This Is My Best, and started reading. She was half listening, half drifting off to sleep. He finished, then left her room. I went in to see how she was doing and asked, “What did Dad read to you?” She replied in that slightly feverish, soft and drifty tone, “Hemingway. It was a really nice story. The wife killed her husband on a hunting trip.”
How's that for a bedtime story?
Oh, man. I kept my composure and did not bust out laughing as I felt so compelled to do. But let it be known, in case you ever wondered... the warm-fuzzy-sweet-gentle quota in this household is entirely fulfilled by me. Those two, they are two peas in a pod.
Anyway, it's a great book. Best enjoyed with a big mug of chai... on a snow day.