Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Currently I am reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. An older book that you probably read years and years ago. It was published in 1974 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975.

I had a baby in 1975, moved temporarily to Oxford, Ohio, and went back to college. The stint at Miami University was followed by a three-year sentence at the University of Dayton School of Law. For 6 years, if it wasn´t a book by Dr. Spock or on some prof´s required reading list, I missed it.

Now Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is over 30 years old, and no one talks about it any more. But it is wonderful, and I am glad I finally found it. If you missed Pilgrim, too, I heartily recommend it. Nature hasn´t changed, and Dillard is a beautiful writer. If you read it when it was new, re-read it. I love to re-read books, or at least passages of them. It is like visiting an old friend.

After reading Annie Dillard describe praying mantises ( manti?), I will never look at the creepy green bugs the same. She makes them sound like wonderous creatures, which I suppose they really are. Once, when Kent and I were living on the second floor of an apartment building, I came face-to-face with a mantis. It was sitting on the stair case right outside our apartment. I have no idea how it managed to get there. Suddenly it swivled its head half-way around its body to stare at me. I jumped like I had been attacked. It never moved, never did anything but look at me, but it creeped me out.

This fall I saw one here in Arizona, and I was amazed. It was only about an inch or so long and very bright green. It was sitting in a potted plant on my porch table. I had never seen any of them here. I thought it would have been too hot. I didn´t kill it, of course, but I had Kent removed it from my table. Maybe next time, after reading Pilgrim, I will let it stay on my table.

For more about Annie Dillard, see her website at

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

I always heard that what you do on New Year´s Day is what you´ll be doing all year. A harmless old wives´ tale--if you can control how you spend your day. It may not be true, of course, but since it´s never a good idea to mess with old wives, I try to plan as if it were.

So I wanted to have the perfect Retiree-Wannabe day. I started out with a long walk, beginning at 6:30 a.m., while it was still dark and very chilly. I walk every Friday morning with my friend Chris, but today I took along my camera. The moon is full and beautiful right now. On my way to work early Thursday morning, it was stunning. It hovered over the mountains like a giant silver ball. I had wished I had a camera with me then. But today, with camera in hand, I wasn´t able to get a good picture. The moon stayed too high, and the houses in SCG, while pretty, cannot compare to the rugged beauty of the Harquvar range that I drive by every work day.

After my walk I visited Dr. Verloop at Surprise Chiropractic. Yes, on New Year´s Day! I can´t seem to get an appointment with other docs at any time, but he saw 3 patients while I was there. Bless his heart. I had been wincing in pain for days with my back, but I am feeling much better now. I hope I don´t spend the rest of 2010 with him (or any doctor), but it is great to be moving pain-free again.

Kent and I had a really good time celebrating all afternoon with our friends Chris and Lou. We have a shared past in flying gliders in Ohio, and we enjoy a lot of the same current interests. Always have a great time with them.

Later I played with my new Cricut cutter that I received for Christmas from my son and daughter-in-law. I love scrapbooking and card-making, and this is a great tool to expand my horizons in that direction. My first project was a Thank You card that went in the mail this morning to them.

After that I retired to the couch with my ice pack. LOL. No writing, which I hope to do more often, and no computer visit to Second Life, which I love to explore.

I could have been happy without the ice and the doctor visit, but I know it could have been so much worse. Doctor visits here are more common than sliced bread, and they often do not have a happy ending. I am very lucky to feel good enough today to be writing without wincing.

All in all, New Year´s Day 2010 was as close to perfect as you can get in Sun City Grand. A day spent with my husband, dear friends, a little wine and more food than I needed. I wish everyone could be so fortunate.