It’s already the last day of May. I have notes on three more posts to write about reading Chekhov, and on the first post I plan to write about June’s reading. The holiday weekend with family was incredible — but now I’ll be posting about May’s reading well into the first week of June.
Working on the final May posts was NOT the first thing I sat down to do this morning (after getting the kids to school and the miniature schnauzer to the groomer’s). Instead I tried to catch up on my reading of Other People’s Blogs. That wasn’t entirely successful either. My husband has taken a couple of days off work, and his idea of “time off” means going berserk on yard work and other man-chores. Every time he came through the kitchen, where I was at the laptop reading, I felt guilty because I wasn’t folding the backload of laundry or weeding and mulching in the garden or buying tomato plants before it’s too late to get them in at all this year.
Looking at the overwhelming volume of short story reviews on my very small number of bookmarked book blogs led me to a thought about fractals. My husband, whose bachelor’s degree was in astrophysics, has a very good book about fractals with beautiful pictures. I tried to read this book once, but I never even took geometry in high school (and no math in college at all) so I got stuck in Chapter Two and had to “finish” the book by just looking at the pretty pictures. But I wanted the book badly, to see if the thought about fractals was worth pursuing for another blog post. I cornered my husband while he was cleaning out my vehicle (why does he do that?) and asked about it. He said that he still had the book, and that it was up in his office.
My husband and I have very different ideas about organizing books. I have the soul of a librarian, and have to force myself not to look up the Library of Congress call numbers for my books so I can put little stickers on them. My husband’s office has two walls lined with huge oak bookshelves, on which the books are organized by size rather than subject. This makes me crazy. He has the entire Master and Commander series shelved with books on Chinese naval doctrine, Civil War military history, and stray cookbooks that didn’t make it onto our cookbook shelf. There are books on Japanese gardens alongside science fiction, coffee table books of historic houses, and travel guides.
I didn’t find the book on fractals, but did locate the copy of 501 Russian Verbs that I desperately wanted two weeks ago and for which I spent an hour unsuccessfully searching his shelves. It must have been there all along. I also found a book on herbs that I wanted last week, and my copy of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. My husband will probably show up with the fractal book in a few days, right around bedtime when I’m too sleepy to make sense of the first sentence — let alone to think further about that post I want to write.
Now my desk is a wreck, the groomer just called to say that the dog is washed and shorn, and my father-in-law is inbound to pick something up. By the time I get back with the dog, it will be time for my scheduled volunteer work at the boys’ schools.
But these are the reasons that we’ll never run out of short stories to read. Life is infinite and varied; much happens even in these smallest of chores; there are great writers out there crafting the happenings into beautiful stories that allow us to reflect back on life.
I look forward to getting back to reading and writing about them!