Let me start off by saying that if I owned this book, I would have spent more time underlining the parts that really jumped off the page and enriched my understanding of the connectivity that we can achieve as human beings. Heather Lende is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, gardener and active community member that I could relate with on so many levels. This book caught my eye as I strolled hesitantly past the adult shelves in the library, on my way to accompany my son to his Lego Club meeting a few weeks ago. I snatched it, almost as an after-thought, because leisurely reading just has not been at the top of my attainable goals so far this year. I'm so glad I made the time for this one. And I nibbled on it, in small bits over the course of about three weeks. I have had Alaska in my line-up of travel destinations for a long time, now, so the fact that this memoir takes place in the middle of what feels like an Alaskan adventure is just frosting.
Heather's reflections begin about the time that she becomes the victim of a tragic accident, and her thoughtfulness as she intertwines her life experiences with the narrative of "life's bad breaks and unexpected gifts" offers perspective that I have been honing of late. Her statement "you can't have real joy if you don't understand what real sorrow is" speaks volumes about the caliber of her irrepressible spirit, her commitment to living life to the fullest and the art that she creates of the mending process. She is funny and pensive. She has a gift for seeing and bringing out the best in the relationships she forms with her Alaskan neighbors. Her bear-hunting story and the account of how she dealt with her neighbor's chicken-killing dogs made me laugh out loud. ("I know chickens are not the most intelligent of creatures, but my hens have been raised to believe the world is good and that they are loved.") She is real. Her exposure with death and dying, serious illnesses and the fragility of human emotion brings the reader right to the bedside of her experiences.
I hope, if you read this, you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
I may have cursed the universe.
For which I am, indeed, VERY sorry.
Last night at bedtime, I was getting some resistance from the youngster.
All these snow days have disrupted more than the school year.
His comment to me? "I don't have to go to bed YET, mom... We probably won't even have school tomorrow, anyway."
I rebutted: "Oh yes we will, little mister. As a matter of fact, there is not even any snow in the forecast. And as a matter of ANOTHER fact, it will not storm again on a school night for the rest of the winter."
I may have been feeling a little more desperate than I thought I was when those words slid out.
So if you adhere to the school of karma, I am sorry for disrupting the entire cycle of cause and effect.
There's no doubt in my mind that our missionary enjoys every opportunity he gets, to dirty his hands.
Their next door neighbor had some water trouble, so Yonder and his companion spent the better part of two days digging down through 2.5 feet of concrete and Panama clay to find the source of the problem.
I know that the principle of work is important on heaven and on earth.
I also know that when Yonder is working, for him it's truly heaven on earth.
I do love you!
But I will confess. I am feeling betrayed.
I made a double batch of kettle corn
this afternoon, with my very fun appliance, the whirlipop.
I sat down to munch and read, not paying enough attention, apparently, to the rogue kernels, and
My right maxillary molar BROKE.
And so did my heart.
How could you do this to me?
I called the dentist right away, but they are enjoying the same paralyzing snowstorm that we are, so there will be no one in the office until at least tomorrow.
Now it's me, warm salty rinse water and very soft foods.
I'm sad, popcorn.
But I'll be okay.