An Odd Day Alone

John’s weekend at the train club was on the calendar, so his leaving didn’t take me by surprise. This one started earlier than expected. He usually leaves around six, but I heard the ice rattling at five and didn’t go back to sleep. The previous days had been busy. I didn’t plan anything special to do, knowing that days tend to fill themselves up without my help. When I got home from walking, I realized that I did all the talking – to myself. Evidently I was just as nice to myself as John would have been.

I was tempted to take the day off by not allowing any sentence to begin with “I ought to ….” That didn’t work. While eating breakfast, I saw weeds dancing in the wind, taunting me. I rose to the challenge and sadistically enjoyed seeing them wilt in the cart.

Reading email and blog messages took hours. Even though people have asked how long I stay glued to the monitor, I have resisted timing it. They may need to know, but I’m sure I don’t. With words flowing in and out, I wasn’t aware of being alone.

Toward evening I listed accomplishments – weeding, cleaning the coffeepot, reading the newspaper, cleaning the fountain that had run faultlessly for months until today, doing two bank recs, and washing dishes. Now was the time to unwrap the book that NY friend Nancy sent me several weeks ago. Could it have been a year since I held a novel in my hands? Blogging friends read several books a WEEK, and I sometimes manage one a year. Shameful! The author’s preface drew me in, and I was engrossed with the first chapter. A blank page made me realize I was sitting in a chair reading, not living the story of an 11-year-old girl. After a pause to eat a tomato sandwich, I became a college student and middle-aged widow. Whoa! I lost myself in that book! I was virtually the main character for hours with no thought that I existed. No wonder I don’t read very often. It’s an act of supreme irresponsibility. I must not pick up the book again until I’ve done something useful tomorrow.

70 thoughts on “An Odd Day Alone

  1. I doubt you have days when nothing useful is done,you busy bee and so get lost in books again and again and again .I constantly do it,it’s like leaving a parallel life and I love it.Doesn’t it feel good?❤️

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    1. I’m not sure disappearing into a book is the thing to do on a constant basis. I was shocked that I had been mentally AWOL the whole time I was reading. That’s probably the fault of the writer — she was too good to put down.

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    1. I relax at mealtime when John and I chat at length. I seem to respond face to face. Reading a book??? I’m gone. Not with it! Probably won’t hear you speak to me! So you see, reading makes me rude. It’s not an excuse; it’s a fact.

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      1. I hear ya. I’m gonna be away for awhile in a couple of weeks, so my attention will be diverted. I’ll be sitting for the great grands again, only now they have more puppies!!!!! And from what my daughter says there’s some real barking issues with them. Soooo, I’ll have my work cut out for me.

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    1. I know lots of people love audiobooks. The thing is, I can’t stand to be read to! I love to read aloud to children or anyone who will listen, but it’s not a two-way street. I’m glad you can listen while you drive, but it would drive me batty.

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      1. Too funny! I love audiobooks because it means I can multi-task! I have to admit I sometimes get so into them that I get distracted – like today I missed an exit and had to turn around and go back. Ooops!

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  2. I do lament that I don’t read like I used to. I was such an avid reader when I took the bus, and even though I could never read in bed to save my life (out like a light in five minutes, no matter how good the book was) I can remember enjoying a gook so much, that I sat on a hard chair and finished it as I had to know how it ended. I am like you and see people finishing off book after book and wonder how they do it. The last book I sat and read and couldn’t put down was “Cold Mountain” … my boss Ed was into woodworking and one Christmas he gave me a sliding bookshelf and that book in it. It had just come out. I was off between Christmas and New Years and just couldn’t put it down – finished it in a day and a half I believe. I’ll bet it seemed strange slipping away from the computer screen too. I am spending too much time here and now as I write this, my eyes are weary (so that blue light tint on the new glasses is useless … for me anyway) and the font here in Reader is way too small for my eyes. I have never had a Kindle or Reader and think how easy it is to get your books loaded on there. I prefer a regular book but only because I’ve never had the occasion to try an e-reader.

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    1. I have an e-reader, a Kobo, that was sold by Borders. I struggled and struggled getting library books on it. They made it easy to download purchased books, but I don’t buy books. Haven’t used it in several years.

      I didn’t read Cold Mountain or see the movie, but we drive by the mountain by that name every time we visit my favorite waterfall. It’s a beautiful area.

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      1. I wonder why it didn’t work – maybe only good for Borders books, making a glitch as to free books? We only got the e-books a few years ago at our library, and I wanted to look at what was available (even though I don’t have an e-reader) but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Maybe it will be a treat for me to get an e-reader when I retire and then try again. We have a county system, where you can get books from other counties if you have a library card so there would seem to be a good selection. “Cold Mountain” was enjoyable – as a general rule, I could never sit and read a book nonstop either. Something usually interrupts you, but it was Christmas vacation and always quiet at our house so I got it done. Your waterfall pictures were really beautiful so that mountain region must really be breathtaking.

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      2. I had to download an e- book, change it’s format, and copy it into the Kobo. Now I use a tablet and download directly, not that I do it often. Usually the book I want is not available from the library, or there are 50 people with a hold on it. Can’t win.

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      3. No you can’t, but am I understanding that only one person can use the digital book available at the library online? My mom and I used to put requests in for library books back when I took the bus and read more. We would put in a request back-to-back and with best sellers, I think you had 7 days to finish them. So I’d renew it at 7 days and get the second week. My mom would finish it sooner than me, affording me the longer period of time to read it. That worked out well and we’d get our favorite romance books in paperback. But we liked Danielle Steel and Debbie Macomber and some others whose names escape me now and the last time I bought a paperwork has to be ten years ago and the price was outrageous for them. I quit buying magazines too – after my mom died, I let all the subscriptions lapse for them as we had about 15 coming to the house and they got repetitive. Now I only have the AARP Bulletin/Magazine coming here and I have it stacked up for at least four years.

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      4. Yes, I understand an e-book can be read by only one person at a time. My old library always had multiple copies of best-sellers, but there were waiting lists, too. I liked the same authors, but I haven’t read either of them lately. I have a couple of gift magazines coming here and struggle to find time to read them. I do always read the AARP issues. Those have age-related news that we need!

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      5. I see – I never thought about that aspect and I guess it is to deter sharing by library patrons to non-patrons maybe? So after you download it and finish it, then you are required to delete it? I’ve never even seen an e-book. I like the AARP books and plan to catch up with the more recent magazines/bulletins before it is time for Medicare so I have a better understanding of what is happening.

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      6. I see. I have a lot to learn before I would buy one – it would be when I retire and hopefully they will be more inexpensive by then. My mom was an avid reader and I have a tub of books downstairs that she had read and also have some upstairs in cupboards, even under the couch in a plastic box (with the AARP magazines) … with the blogging and work, I don’t see getting to them until retirement … the financial advisor I saw suggested 67 years old, so another five years yet.

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      7. I look forward to it and I hope that when Robb retires, it is closer to my suggested retirement age. I do think I’ll try for a content writer position from home so I don’t go back into the traditional workplace … I subscribe to a few weekly newsletter and they have many positions available … but it is competitive also. Like the hurricane – we shall see what happens.

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  3. I really like how you made us live your day. I have lots of those dancing weeds in my garden too 😀. Can i know what the name of that novel? Very interesting! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend! Nahla

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    1. I am reading Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. I love to read, but I don’t often read a real book.

      Today I cleaned up places where the weeds had danced. Some of the weeds are still green, accusing me from the burn pile which I can see from my computer. I’m going to ignore them and lift my eyes to the mountains beyond. Weeds have taken up enough of my day!!

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      1. I snatch it at lunchtime…when I lend books I have to make the disclaimer that I read while I eat. I do at night sometimes…when we fish, or go the lake in the summer. I will take two or three books with me on vacation. I would like to read even more as I did when I was young.

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    1. I also had the pleasure of making cookies for a neighbor’s birthday. Cookie-making is a rarity, but it doesn’t seem so bad when you’re making them for someone else. I think I’m better at coffee cakes and pies. What is your favorite dessert to prepare?

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    1. Nancy said all of Anne Tyler’s books are good. I’ve gotten to the place in the novel where the main character is taking care of a child who loves to cook. She explains that she always asked for cooking equipment for her birthday and Christmas. That reminded me of Nathaniel who did the same thing. Was Hudi like that?

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      1. Hudi is not quite like that. His prize possession is his knife set, which he chose. Aside from that he doesn’t really collect items. My guess is he figures he has that all at work 🙂 As for the book — awesome! A new author to love is like getting a Christmas present early. I put that book in reserve. Hopefully I’ll finish the 4 or 5 I have going now before that comes available. Thank goodness I’m on vacation next week. Gotta catch up!

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  4. You got a lot done in a day! Why is weeding so satisfying? I pull weeds for hours, and my flower beds look so good, then a week later those weeds are back with a vengeance! 🙂

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  5. There is always a paperback in the car, it’s my standing in line, sitting in a chair or stuck in traffic book. I have another at the ready in the table next to the easy chair. Killers of the Flower Moon (David Grann) next to the chair at the moment. With Mary Agnes gone those 10 days recently, I missed our Porch-Time together in the early morning and at sunset. We would collectively solve all the world’s issues together, I solved nothing by myself. I did get a few blogs out though, and all is documented in my journal. Have a great week my friend.

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  6. Oh, but Anne! You did a whole whack o’ “useful” things that day!! Not the least of them, getting lost in a novel. We all need little escapes now and then. For sure, reading such books fills the bill nicely! It’s also good to be apart for a little bit from one’s spouse now and then, right? 😀

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      1. So great. I’m looking forward to MY John coming to live with me on Thursday (from Sudbury, Ontario). We’ve had a long distance relationship (with some visits) for 3 years – it’s time! 🙂 We too will sometimes share stuff and other times do parallel pursuits. So looking forward!

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