Saturday, February 20, 2016

Inch One Hundred Five: Small Notes

I was in Rochester, Minnesota, or in transit to and from the same, for much of last week. This week I have been dazed from the travel, dazed from the intensity of work (it is the heart of the truancy season and I am mediating attendance issues in schools throughout the county, usually several a day), and dazed from just the rush of things: oncology, legal clinic, work, home, truancies.

So this will be neither a long nor a complex post. Simple accomplishments, once I stagger home from work or from the infusion center, are about all I am capable of. Today, that meant getting laundry done, doing a very, very light grocery shopping, and tending to a handful of tiny tasks. I have letters to answer and other work to do, but it all has to wait. When it becomes too much, I retreat to a book.

One thing we ("we" meaning Warren and I) did do today was attend the annual Delaware Lions Club pancake breakfast. We took along Aunt Ginger, and had Warren's son David meet us there. Ginger loves outings like these and she loves pancakes. She ate with enthusiasm and pleasure. Because of her advancing dementia, she would look at someone walk by, then turn towards me and say "That person looks familiar. Who is it?" After about the tenth inquiry, I laughed, hugged her, and said "Ginger, everyone looks familiar to you."

I just finished reading the collected letter of Ursula Nordstrom, the children's literature editor at Harper for a huge chunk of the 20th century and a woman who broke through the male-only world of publishing and rose into the upper echelons of the business. The book is called Dear Genius and I loved it so much I found a used copy on Amazon and bought it just so I could return to it time and time again. Nordstrom edited E. B. White, Maurice Sendak, and Mary Stolz, among others. As my friend Margo pointed out (and thank you, Margo, for telling me about the book), one of the few major children's writers of the mid-twentieth century Nordstrom did not edit was Beverly Cleary.

Right now, though, I am reading In The Slender Margin by Eve Joseph. Subtitled The Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying, it is holding me spellbound.

As I said, a short post. A simple post. More later.


Darla said...

I can't imagine life without books. I'm going to look up the ones you mention.

Sharon said...

Your life sounds so busy, April. I'm glad you know when you need a break. :) xoxox