Monthly Archives: November 2007

Another Tradition Missed

We got our Christmas Tree yesterday, but not in our traditional way: taking the ferry to Virginia and cutting the tree down at a tree farm near Leesburg. Clare had too much homework and none of us really felt up to an all-day tree gathering ordeal. We first checked out the trees at the church. They would have been fine, but seemed a little pricey. Then we thought we’d go to a tree farm in Maryland, about a half hour away. When we got there, its sign said it would not be open until December. Oh well, back to the church? Dean thought he’d try a Christmas Tree stand he saw on the side of the road. We stopped there and found a tree that would do. I like sparce slender trees while Dean and Andrew like them fatter.

We bought the tree and allowed the tree salesman to tie it to our roof. We got about half a mile down the road before the tree started falling off. Luckily we could quickly stop and toss it into the truck.

We put it up in the living room but have not put any decorations on it yet. I suppose I will do that tonight.

I feel kind of bad, not doing the Virgina trek, but I’ll get over it.

Phyllis Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Disclaimer: I really don’t think I am a stalker although I may fit the definition. I just found it fascinating that an author whose work I read lived within walking distance of church.

I’ve already written, elsewhere, about discovering where Phyllis Naylor lived by doing a simple Internet search and my confusion about why she would publicize her address.

For the past few years, whenever I drove past the house I believed she lived in, I’d glance to see if anyone was out and about.

Imagine my dismay at seeing a for sale sign in front of the house on Holmhurst. I thought, at first, I was mistaken and it was the house next door. But I noted the address and time of the open house (that Sunday) and went on with my business.

When the day of the open house came around, I thought I would pass. Why did I need to look at a house that an author I liked was selling? My husband convinced me to check it out, so we went. I actually hoped I was mistaken and the house was just another house on a suburban block.

The address was the address I’d hoped it wouldn’t be. We walked in and were greeted by a real estate agent who let us wander around the house at our leisure. She pointed out the desk in the kitchen where the previous owner “worked” and I knew, without a doubt, this was where Ms. Naylor wrote some of her many books.

We went through the house quickly, thinking that it was a typical split level. Nothing really profound, unless you counted the multitude of labeled bookshelves in the basement or the large poster of Newberry Award winners on one basement room wall.

I still was not sure that Ms Naylor lived here until I picked up the literature about the home. There, on the line for seller was the name: Phyllis R. Naylor. OH MY GOD. This was really her house. The packet of literature also contained information about the pool and fans and rooms and bathrooms. But the most important was the fact that one of the people that lived in this house was the author of hundreds of books for children and teens. Someone who I’d hoped to run into at the grocery store (walking distance from her house). Someone who made me feel ok about reading teen literature. Someone who gave me hope that someday I might write something worthwhile.

Unproductive Day

I’ve not gotten much of anything done today. I worked a little, then played the rest of the day. It’s cold outside, and cold in all parts of the house except here in the attic where Clare and I holed up all day.

She’s working on her research paper in which she gets to use the F-word a few times. It is a paper on censored books  and she read The Handmaid’s Tale. I read it years ago and don’t recall the F-word in it at all. But I was not a 16 year old at the time.

Dean was a grump much of the day – the bank messed up and we now have to pay a few late payments on bills that were not paid on time.

Andrew had wrestling.

I’m the only slacker of the bunch!