I love this time of year. Drizzly days, beautiful colors everywhere, a feeling of everything relaxing, hunkering down, readying for the cold days of winter. And yet, the very next day can arrive with brilliant blue skies, warm sunshine, and a pleasant breeze, it truly is a time of transition.
Yesterday we had most of the family over, daughter Emily and son-in-law Brad were missing as they both were working, but all nine grandchildren, our other children and their spouses were over for a Sunday meal. It was a rainy, windy, day we even had a spot of hail at one point. A perfect day for comfort food. I made sloppy joe for most of the attendees, vegan burgers for son Ben, and my vegan bowl of goodness (lentils and lots of steamed veggies with nutritional yeast, Yum Yum). For desert I made a pan of brownies, they lasted about five minutes, and a bowl of green jello with canned peaches, a favorite with most of the grandchildren. I enjoyed a scrumptious granny smith apple. I provided potato chips and raw veggies and pickles for sides. It was a nice meal.
You can imagine the chaos with nine energetic children cavorting around the house, the oldest ten, the youngest nearly two, seven of them six and younger! They are a noisy and rambunctious lot, I wouldn't have it any other way. When everyone leaves the silence descends upon the house like a heavy blanket of snow, it is good to be the grandparents, we need the life and energy of the younger ones, but we also need our peace and quite, grandchildren provide a nice balance and make you realize that parenting is definitely for young people!
On Saturday I took six of the grandsons to the downtown library which is the main branch of our wonderful public library service in our county. This is their favorite library location because we get to park in the underground parking lot and this is why they think it is called the downtown library - because we have to go down into the parking garage to park. There is a great playroom in the children's section, we spent some time there, it is big area with lots of interesting things to play with, I learned that grandson Peter, who is four, is an absolute whiz with puzzles. While at the library we selected a few movies to watch, the kids picked out four, and I picked out a few for myself. One of the movies I chose was Castaway with Tom Hanks, it is beautifully filmed, and turned out to the be the perfect movie to play in the background whiled everyone was over yesterday. There really is no dialogue, for the most part just beautiful views of an island in Fiji. We all agreed it was the best type of movie to watch while nine children busied themselves with their imaginative games.
I have read a lot of books this year, I am listing them in a blog post and on January first I will post the list of books read in 2018, and begin my 2019 list. I just read The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, some have described it as "very twee", I would totally agree, yet it is such a lovely story, it is total escapism with an excellent plot and unexpected twists and turns all the way through, it is classified as a "happy ending" book, and it is. I am now reading The Lido by Libby Page, another "happy ending" book, I am halfway through it and it is a lovely story, well told. At the beginning of the year I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, another "happy ending" book, it too was super enjoyable. I have read a lot of books this year, some very dark, some a bit dreary, and just before reading The Keeper of Lost Things I read Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen, in fact read two of her books back to back, neither had happy endings, and I felt I was ready for something a bit light hearted and cheerful. I was listening to a book club radio program on BBC 4 and they mentioned The Lido and The Keeper of Lost Things, and how popular they are, both are first novels by their authors, and they said they are classified as "happy ending books". I checked our wonderful library and put them hold, I am glad I did they have met my expectations.
The host and guests on the radio program I mentioned had a lengthy discussion about why "happy ending" books are so popular right now. I thought to myself, DUH!, do you even have to ask, look at the world we live in, wars, political fighting, everyone taking offense about everything, mass shootings, gruesome news stories, we are overloaded with the awfulness of the world we live in and the news rarely counters it with the wonderfullness of the world we live in. No wonder we want a little escapism, a story about nice people who do nice things with a happy ending. My next book in queue is, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, I am looking forward to reading it.
Well that is all for now,
Peace be with you,