Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On a rainy day in Stoneham ...

The weather outside is frightful, but the books I read are delightful. One title clearly demonstrates the wisdom of the old saying "Never judge a book by its cover". When my husband saw "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", he proclaimed that any book bearing such a frivolous title would surely bore him to tears. With my famous and somewhat mystical powers of persuasion (no: I did not wield a rolling pin nor did I force him to drink a potion of my own concoction), he grudingly agreed to read the first chapter. I couldn't pry the thing from his grasping hands thereafter. It is truly a lovely story and I cannot recommend it with any greater enthusiasm except to say it will be equally difficult for you to put it aside: the kind of book happily embraced in one sitting.

I do find it comforting to know that in spite of all the consistently dreadful news about the economy, loss of employment and more hardships to come, I believe President-Elect Obama and his thoughtful appointees will work diligently to put things right. Certain we won't be sitting pretty for a while, or even to have made it up the first and second rungs of the ladder, there truly is hope that improvement, however slow to arrive, will indeed occur.

Our Thanksgiving will be spent in Rhode Island with my sister and brother-in-law, my nephew and my niece, her husband and daughters who've arrived from Florida. I can hardly wait to see 15-year old Kelly who has promised to satisfy my curiosity about "Twilight" which she saw just prior to her departure from Sarasota. She'll have read the books too, I'm sure. Then, true to form, our Christmas tree will be decorated over the weekend and I'll begin wrapping gifts. I HAAATE wrapping because I'm so clumsy at it and my packages always look distorted and somewhat lopsided because of my deficiency. Am I the only person in the world who sprouts three extra thumbs on each hand this time of year?

Buck and I wish all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", A Novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Dial Press, A Division of Random House

P.S. Please do not be frustrated if you post a comment and then fail to see it. Somehow, that all-thumbs awkwardness applies here as well. I don't intend to delete your words, honestly I don't!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oh, Happy Day ...

We popped the first bottle of Veuve Clicquot as President-Elect Barack Obama strode upon the platform in Chicago last night with his beautiful wife and daughters. We cried as so many in the huge throng did, including Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson. And we toasted and drank and wept and danced and cried some more.

Our polling place is the Town Hall which faces the Common and the tall, white spire of the Congregationalist Church, a scene so typically New England. Weather was spring-like, sunny skies, most of the trees still bearing leaves of crimson, amber and gold. We had chosen an ideal arrival time (11:30 AM), and encountered no delays. Found out later that lines began to form at midday and remained thick until the polls closed at 8PM.

I began to fill my ballot from the back, starting with three initiatives Massachusetts voters were asked to decide:

Question 1: The reckless idea to eliminate the state income tax. Defeated.

Question 2: The proposal to decriminalize possession of marijuana. Carried.

Question 3: The proposal to ban dog racing in Massachusetts. Carried.

Then I voted for various candidates for state offices, and finally, indicated my choice for the national Democratic ticket. We spent a total of approximately fifteen minutes completing our civic responsibility otherwise known as this overwhelmingly precious freedom to choose our political leaders. We walked through the Common to our favorite restaurant and enjoyed an Italian lunch while talking of everything BUT the election.

Buck and I always hoped we'd one day be able to vote for and then rejoice in the election of an African-American President. It is truly awe-inspiring to awake this day and find the dream come true. What a great accomplishment for us and all the world.

Although George Bush and his pals will walk away from the miasmic conditions they created, one can only hope and pray that the slender but strong shoulders of Barack Obama will find the strength and wisdom to forge a clearing in the jungle. We believe he will prevail, even triumph.