Musings for July

Another short rain storm this morning, the 26th, and I needed an umbrella to walk Kaja. I simply can not believe that we can absorb so much rain and so much heat. We are going to vaporize in the sun or melt in the rain. It is just too much! I believe that we are caught in a time warp and the cycle just keeps repeating itself. How can we stand it? I don’t think we can much longer. If something doesn’t break, we will disappear.

That is the way I feel about this constant heat and rain. I wish we could alter the weather somehow, but I know we can’t. I know we need to learn to adapt, live with it and do our best, but sometimes it’s is truly overwhelming, and I want to pack my bags and leave. If I could I would. I would leave my house, move to a moderate climate and live a more pleasant, moderate life. Extremes get to me as I age and I just don’t want to deal with them. But what is my choice? Stop griping, do my best under the circumstances and stay inside in air conditioning as much as possible. So that’s what I will try to do.

I did get out of town a couple weeks ago, and it was wonderful. I went to a District Women’s Conference at Pilgrim Park which is up by Bureau. It was a fabulous weekend and I reconnected with many old friends and made many new ones. I truly needed to get away and being with other women has always been one of the best ways to do it. We had interesting workshops, spiritual worship services, and much fun in between. I was able to get some new books, because we always have both a book sale and a white elephant sale.

They are great because this is a group of thinking, caring women, and the books they bring are the kind I read.

Another good thing about the experience is that we totally missed the horrid weather here including the tornado that hit Elmwood. We had rain and wind, but being in a large building made the storm seem minor. And it was compared to Peoria. We kind of drowned out the storm with our fun and games which are a big part of our evenings. A plus for the time was that the staff at the Center were vey helpful and kind and the food was very good, and we didn’t have to do a thing for ourselves.

We’ve started Kid’s Kamp at The Center, and that is different and enjoyable. We hold the Kamp just three afternoons a week, but it is great fun, and the children have a wonderful time. We have a really stupendous bunch of kids this year. They are respectful, engaging, helpful and respectful to one another. It is a joy to work with them.

I have been reading what I brought home from the Conference and because I can’t get out much. I picked up Good Harbor by Anita Diament which is a touching and realistic look at women’s friendship. I had read the author’s Red Tent years ago and knew I would enjoy this new one. I also read Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons, who is yet another favorite author. I’ve read many of hers. This was a love story or perhaps two love stories with a twist at the end. Against Medical Advice by James Patterson and Hal Friedman was a book given to me by my friend, Carlette. It was a moving struggle written in first person of a young man with Tourettes as well as other medical problems. Friendmasn was Cory’s father, and it was a story of unimaginable support and love within a family as well as a story of an incredible condition that seems as if no one could survive it.

I finished up my reading this month with a light-hearted cat book by Lillian Jackson Braun called The Cat Who Robbed a Bank. I had read most of hers thru the years, but this book caught my eye, and I discovered I had not read this title. Her books are just pure fun to read of an elderly gentleman named Qwilleran and his two cats Koko and Yum Yum, who always seem to be involved in the mysteries their master gets involved with and helps solve them.

This book brought back memories of my family because I had a sister-in-law who had read all of Braun’s books, and when I went to Albuquerque where they lived for the last time in 2000 for my brother’s funeral I brought back many of her books. She was one of the few people I knew who read as much as I do, and it was a bond between us.

One of the reasons I love the books by Braun are that they take place in a small town where the author introduces you to all of Qwillerans’s friends and the merchants in the town along with the simplicity of living and old fashioned ways that permeate the story. They remind me of the goodness and purity of James McCall’s #1 Women’s Detective Agency titles and his other books. Read one of these or one by Braun or one in the Mitford Series to recall a quieter, less stressful time.

Joanne Fought



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