Monday, June 5, 2017

Curl Up with a Good Book

It was the middle of the afternoon and I had a choice of going to Atria, or just getting in a comfy chair and reading.  I chose reading.  In many question memes that I have answered over the years, I might be asked something like "how often do you read?"  I always answer that there isn't a day when I'm not reading.

But not lately.

The last book I finished was a month ago and I have read almost nothing since then.  No real reason, but it just somehow seems like too self-indulgent to just sit. and read.

Of course it's not self indulgent to sit and watch an NCIS rerun that I've seen a dozen times before.
I've decided that I miss reading and I need to set aside a period of time each day to read.  Somehow this move to memory care makes me feel comfortable taking a day or two off and indulging myself by curling up with a good book.

It's not that what I'm reading right now is gripping.  I saw actor Jeffrey Tambor plugging his new autobiography and checked it out on Amazon awhile ago.  (The book is so new he talks about the Trump presidency in it.)  I did one of those "Look Inside" clips that Amazon offers and read that he was born in San Francisco.  When he said that he grew up on "31st Avenue, which was thirty-one blocks and change from the Pacific Ocean" (which is not true), I decided I wanted to read the whole book.  (In fact, I tweeted Tambor about his error.  He "liked" my tweet, but did not comment)

[There are 42 Avenues to the ocean, which means that 31st avenue is more like 11 blocks, not 31 blocks.]

Anyway, I started reading his book and am enjoying it.  As I said, it's not riveting.  I am not rushing to find out what happens next, but it's a fun book and unlike a lot of autobiographies in that it doesn't fire a straight line from birth to today but bounces around like the whole thing is free association. Also, he is quite erudite and his language draws me in.  I have always been attracted by good writing, and this is good writing.

But my reading was augmented by the fact that I was sitting in front of the (turned off) TV and had my remote controls in hand.  When he started talking about how he got cast for Arrested Development, he was talking about a very popular show, but one I had never seen.  I checked Netflix and discovered that Season 1 is available on Netflix, so I took a break from the book to watch the first few episodes of the show, so I knew more about what he was talking about.

So I spent about 2 hours with Tambor's book and decided that I need to do more of that sort of things.  I hope to set aside an hour (minimum) a day to just read.  I have read only nine books since the first of the year, and that must be a record low for me.  Of course, much of my time, if only mental time, has been centered on getting my mother settled in memory care, but she's settled now and it's time to schedule reading again.  I should do that in the morning, when I know my mother is still asleep and I don't feel the need to rush off to Atria.

(The thing about having a Kindle is that I'm in the middle of about four books now and it would be nice to finish them all!)

The other thing I did yesterday is to check the Compassion bloggers.  A group of six sponsors are on a trip to Kenya to check out Compassion centers and visit their sponsored child(ren).  
I periodically get invitations to join one of these groups to visit one of my kids somewhere in the world.  It would be nice to be able to travel to one of these poverty areas and see first hand what life is like and why I continue to sponsor kids.  Especially Kenya, where I sponsor ten kids (technically, I only "sponsor" two of those, but I write to ten, so I think of them all as my sponsored kids).

Photos like this make me wish I could join them

But there are several things which keep me from wanting to go with one of these groups.  A photo like this, taken of the group walking into the 2nd largest slum in the area around Nairobi (over 600,000 people), where they began is one reason.

I have read blog entries from bloggers who have made other trips like this and report walking a mile or two to get to the homes they are visiting, and since I have difficulty staggering from my desk to the refrigerator, I know that I would not be physically able to keep up.

There are other reasons, but that and the cost are the biggies.  But I do like to get a sense of what it is like and the plethora of photos shared on the Compassion page allows me to be there in spirit. 

One blogger wrote, In a political climate where we hear so much about who gets in and who needs to leave and where we draw the line and where we build walls, it’s easy to lose sight of such a simple truth: we belong to each other. And today, as we left the church where we had been welcomed and loved so lavishly and unconditionally, we felt such a sense of belonging with the Maasai.

The stories these bloggers tell make me understand the difference Compassion makes in the lives of so many children and keeps me going as a sponsor.

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