Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Modern Fairy Tale in Pictures

The things I find in my mother’s extra bedroom! This latest find is an anniversary card I made for my folks on their 24th anniversary. That would have made me 22 years old. Let’s agree that the artistic genes in the family skipped a generation and not mention it again. My artwork at 22 is worse than my mother’s at a much younger age. Also I was a poor speller.

Note, if you click on one of the photos it will take you to a slideshow which may be easier to navigate.

More Reading (Non-RAS)

So, in addition to my RAS challenge I am also reading things on my Kindle and Nook devices. Some for book group, and some for just because. All of these books are worthwhile reading, so go ahead and enjoy one or all of them.

A few months ago Barnes and Noble emailed me to tell me I had three hours to spend $7.59. The only thing I could do was fire up my Nook and search for a book I wanted to read on it. (I don’t love my new Nook Glowlight — it feels cheap compared to my Kindle Paperwhite). I eventually chose The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I read it in two nights, staying up late to do so. My book group is now reading it — I am pretty sure they will be critical, but I don’t care. It was a fun read.

Shortly after the the Charleston, NC AME Church shooting a Facebook friend mentioned that she’d heard of the Charleston church and Denmark Vesey in a book by Sue Monk Kidd called The Invention of Wings. I’d read Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees a few years ago, so I knew she was a great writer, so I downloaded The Invention of Wings in Illinois, before we returned to Maryland and began reading it on the drive home. I finished it a couple of nights ago and when I read the author’s note was surprised to discover it was fact based. I knew Denmark Vesey was a real person and the church was real, but I didn’t realize that everything, including the two main characters, Sarah and her sister Nina, were really abolitionists and crusaders for women’s rights. I’m really glad I read this book. It was well written and I learned a lot.

For book group last month we read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. While reading it I declared to anyone who would listen that it was the most well-written book I’d read in a long while. I still think so — and I am not the only person who does. I was at a dinner party and another guest (a professional writer herself) mentioned the book and said it was so well-written she wanted to go through the book and list all the verbs. All the Light We Cannot See is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose lives are connected and whose paths intersect near the end of World War II.

Andrew’s graduation

Yes, it seems like only last week we dropped Andrew off at Oberlin when he was a new student. I took photos and planned a blog post about it but waited too long and now he’s graduated. Time sure does fly!

andrew-clareAndrew graduated from Oberlin with honors of some sort. We even went to the home of the president of the school to celebrate his honor where we drank punch and ate fruit on sticks. Dean’s sister, Diane, was able to join us for much of the weekend.

Oberlin goes all out for graduation and invites several alumni back for reunions. Oberlin goes from a small quiet college town to a very busy place. It was even more busy this year because one of the graduation speakers was Michelle Obama.

We spent much of our long weekend lounging on the grass. The weather was perfect for that — although it became a little hot on graduation day. I thought I would be in mourning since I loved Oberlin so, but strangely I didn’t feel sad. It would not be the same without Andrew there, and I said my expensive farewell to Bead Paradise.

lightsMy favorite, and most anticipated part of the weekend was the illuminations in Tappan Square the night before the graduation ceremony. It did not disappoint.

The ceremony was far too long, but the two main speakers were excellent. Michelle Obama’s was the best, by a long-shot. My favorite takeaway from Obama was:

“And I know that these days, that can seem counterintuitive, because we live in such an instantaneous age. We want everything right away—whether it’s an Uber or your favorite TV show—and we want it tailored to our exact preferences and beliefs. We fill our Twitter feed with voices that confirm, rather than challenge, our views. If we dislike someone’s Facebook post, we just un-follow them, we un-friend them.

And even here at Oberlin, most of the time you’re probably surrounded by folks who share your beliefs. But out in the real world, there are plenty of people who think very differently than you do, and they hold their opinions just as passionately. So if you want to change their minds, if you want to work with them to move this country forward, you can’t just shut them out. You have to persuade them, and you have to compromise with them. That is what so many of our heroes of history have done.”


Transcript

Marian Wright Edelman’s was inspiring too — although a bit long. Someone suggested that since she was an elder she felt the need to be thorough in her speech. My favorite takeaway from Edelman’s speech was “So often we want to be a big dog and make a big difference but all of us can be a flea and bite and bite and move the biggest dog. Enough determined fleas biting strategically can make the biggest dog uncomfortable. And if some of us are flicked off but keep coming back and continue biting, we can change our nation. So be a flea for justice—for children and for the poor.”


Transcript

More photos