Reading By Flashlight

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We are back in the 21st century. Literally minutes after I posted my last blog entry, our lights went out and the computer was dark. My last post ends rather abruptly because just as I was about to write a few closing sentences, Mother Nature decided it was fine the way it was.  Inly was “powerless” as well which made for an interesting week. I was good humored on Day One. I felt like I was “simplifying” – just like all of the little wood signs at craft stores instruct us to do. I was living in sync with nature. I went to sleep at 8:30. We talked while eating cold meals on the deck. By Day Three it was a whole different story. I remembered that I am not very patient and would have been a horrible member of Plimoth Colony.

I thought about the Borrowers – the little people from Mary Norton’s classic novels. For two days in a row, I packed a small bag of personal items, drove to Shaw’s grocery store, pretended to look at the fruit for a few minutes to be sure the coast was clear and then ducked into the ladies room to get ready for work. Curling iron plugged in, personal items on the sink – all set. As I got ready for work, I could hear Shaw’s employees arriving for work and talking in the hall. I kept thinking about the Borrowers. They borrowed food, and I borrowed electricity. Like them, when I heard voices outside the door, it made me a bit nervous.

The book I chose to read by flashlight was a novel that had been on my list for a long time – Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – which turned out to be a good choice. It is a quiet novel, perfect to read during an unsettling week. Brooklyn is about Eilis, a young woman who leaves her small town in Ireland to work in Brooklyn during the years immediately following WWII. It is a lovely evocation of a time and place.

This weekend, the final weekend before the new school year starts, I will be reading and posting about new books I purchased for the library. Now that I can see them all, I can’t wait to get started!


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