We live in an old home in an old neighborhood. I love it because it’s incredibly convenient and we have a big yard for our dogs. Oh, and the random-width pegged hardwood floors. The floors were the real selling point for me. People with newer houses visit and talk about what “character” our house has and how wonderful all the “mature trees” are. Character means there’s not a ninety-degree angle to be found in a single corner of this house, and that some long-dead owner thought he knew how to run plumbing and electrical lines. After twenty-four years we’re still finding weird crap. Mature trees are ones that will soon fall on your house, car, and garage or those of your neighbors.
It came up a bad cloud (as Lewis Grizzard would say) a week or so ago. We lost power. The next morning we found out we hadn’t just lost power, we’d lost trees. We’re still not sure of the exact count since they were all tangled up and we can’t move anything until the insurance adjuster takes a look since our coverage is ‘per tree’. New concept for me. Anyway, the biggest tree fell into a total of four yards, took out three fences, pulled up the foundation of our garage, and left us without power, cable, or internet. I missed the power because I needed ice packs for my neck and back. I didn’t miss cable since I don’t even know how to turn on our TV. Sadly, I did miss the internet.
But instead of reading books on my Kindle (no power) I read a couple of books I’d selected from my husband’s late aunt’s full-house library. One was called Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. It’s a very clever novel about a man who ends up taking his quirky sister’s guru with him on a cross-country road trip. It’s both entertaining and enlightening. Saying any more than that would be a spoiler. I’m planning on reading more from this author!
Next I read The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. I’m not sure, but I think this is non-fiction with literary license taken. It’s about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Boring, right? Oh, not even close! It’s a total page-turner for anyone who loves words. I was blown away early on by the simple fact that no English dictionary existed during Shakespeare’s time. He couldn’t just “look something up”. Crazy, right? Brilliant book.
Next time the power goes out (if you still have above-ground power lines as I do) pull a book off the shelf and read by candlelight. It’s addictive!