Michael is visiting us this week. He left the bustle of NYC and is relaxing in the South Florida sunshine. I get to pamper him with as many of his favorite meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) as he can consume and pick his brain on how to update my Madderly Review web page. Sometimes I think fondly about the "good old days" that my grandmother talked about, when families all lived within a few blocks of each other, and every Sunday dinner was a feast.
Of course those were also the days before penicillin, when my great grandfather, the tailor, died in his twenties from blood poisoning he contracted from a pinprick, and my grandmother's brother succumbed to TB in his thirties. It was also the days when my grandmother washed clothing by hand and hung them on lines in the yard, never mind the upcoming storm. She dealt with an ice box instead of the side-by-side, door-in-door, ice maker equipped refrigerator that I am fortunate enough to have. She also dealt with the Great Depression, people jumping out of windows and rationing.
My parents' generation dealt with WWII, polio and eventually, the Cold War. I remember being told to hide under my desk during drills to protect us from a possible bomb strike. Even as a kindergartner I realized that my broken down little desk was not going to be much help, and we grew up in fear of Russia, Cuba and any place with communist leanings. Yet my father often waxes nostalgic over his younger days while he discusses the problems he sees in today's society. I guess it is inherent in us to look back and remember the good while the bad disappears.
I love my todays! I definitely wish I could spend a day or two with my children in various stages of their lives, but I wouldn't give up the time I spend with the adults they have become. I can't imagine a world without the new people that they have brought to my life either. Yes, I wish that Mike lived closer, but if he did I wouldn't get the extended visits that I love so much. The wonderful thing about life is that each stage can bring joy if we let it, and our memories will always be there to fill up the quiet times.
Ronald H Balson's book, Saving Sophie, did an amazing job tapping into the memories of its characters to bring us a much richer description of the Middle East controversies. Balson's research is amazing, and brings a depth to this wonderful story-line of a child kidnapped and brought to the Middle East by her grandparents, and the father who will do anything to get her back. I just couldn't put this book down.
On a lighter note, Justin Taylor's The Computer Code Mystery is a wonderful book for young adults, featuring girls who are involved in science and math, and a mystery that is exciting for all ages. Great gift for the pre-teens in your family.
As always, complete reviews of these books follow this blog.