It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 19, 2016)


As this new week rolls around, I am particularly rejuvenated, because… look who visited this weekend!  My dear, lovely and much-missed friend Zandria was in town from Buffalo – what a joy it was to see that face!  Zan and her husband Paul used to live in DC and moved to Buffalo about a month before we did, and are still living there now, and Zan was my closest friend in the area for the three years that I lived there.  (We actually met because I found her blog while I was researching our possible move to Buffalo.)  Paul works for a law firm that has an office in the city, and his job frequently brings him to town, with Zan tagging along occasionally – including last week!  So of course the highlight of our weekend was seeing our wonderful friends.  We hugged so tightly, and talked so hard and long, that you’d have thought it had been two years since we last saw each other, and not two months.  I have commenced an aggressive campaign to convince Zan and Paul to move back to DC.  So that was our Saturday – a visit we’d been looking forward to since July when we hugged our friends goodbye in Buffalo and said “See you in Virginia in September!”  Sunday was more family fun, after a couple of false starts.  We’d planned to go to One Sock On, which is the affinity group for families with babies and toddlers at our church, but had a miscommunication about when it started and ended up missing it – boo.  So we decided to go to IKEA instead (an annoying errand, but one that will be worth it when we have bookshelves and a dresser) but turned back after two blocks when we decided that the packages we were planning to get wouldn’t fit in the car.  With a free morning to fill, then, we decided to go to Mount Vernon for the first time since moving back; before we left the area, we lived in Mount Vernon, just about two miles from the estate, and were there at least once a month.  We bought memberships and had a nice morning wandering the grounds and checking out the Colonial Marketplace, then headed home for lunch, naps, and to get ready for a fall family social at Peanut’s school.  She wasn’t feeling it, so we only lasted about half an hour.  It happens.

the-witches fables-vol-6 alias-grace

So, again, I find myself typing: with all that weekend activity, I didn’t do much reading.  Some in the evenings, and a blissful hour on the front porch while the kids napped yesterday, but it didn’t feel like much time at all.  I keep seeing social media posts full of cozy plans for long afternoons with a book and a cup of tea and a falling autumn rain, and… that’s not happening around here.  There are no long afternoons with a book, I barely have time to make a cup of tea in the morning, and it’s still 90 degrees and humid here.  (Not that I’m complaining.  Believe me, I’m not.  I’m finally starting to thaw out from last winter.  It can stay sweltering for the next year and I’d be just fine with that.  But a little more reading time wouldn’t be unwelcome.)

And again, I find myself typing: notwithstanding the non-bookish weekend, I did get some reading done over the course of the past week.  Finished The Witches: Salem 1692 – finally, after having laid it down months ago – and it was really thorough and excellently done.  Then I was feeling a comic, so I grabbed the next volume in the Fables series, which I had out from the library.  I think volume 6, Homelands, was my favorite yet.  And then I finally picked up Alias Grace, which has been on my “to be read” list for years – literally – and it is as wonderful as I expected.  I’ve been reading it slowly and savoring every word.  It’s quite dark, but there are little jokes sprinkled throughout and I’m really enjoying spotting those.  Can’t wait to see how the story ends – I’m just coming to the critical part, I think.

After I finish Alias Grace, I have no earthly clue what I will read next.  I don’t have any other books checked out from the library at the moment, and I’ve whittled my “currently reading” list down to just the one, which is just how I like it.  I have a bunch of my own books in piles all over the house (waiting for shelves… IKEA happens next weekend) so it should be easy enough to find my next read.  I might go back to Barsetshire and read Barchester Towers.  I might start the Mapp and Lucia novels.  I might finally pick up Ms. Marvel.  I might read something completely unexpected.  I like having lots of options, but I’m also weirdly nervous about it.  Well, whatever I pick, you know I’ll tell you all about it.

Coming up on the blog this week: a recap of the summer on Wednesday, and another vacation post on Friday.  I’m already looking ahead to next week – I’ve got a perfect September pick for Diverse KidLit.  But you’ll have to wait for that one.  Check back!

What are you reading this week, my friends?

4 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 19, 2016)

  1. I was scrolling through Feedly and…there was my face on your blog! It can be a bit disconcerting when you’re not expecting it, haha. Jaclyn, I had such a fantastic time with you on Saturday — seeing your beautiful home, walking through those streets which are still so familiar to me, even though I haven’t lived in Old Town since 2010. And as you noted, how nice it was to have an in-person conversation again! I felt like I needed to catch up, and we did, but I’m sure there’s so much more we could have said.

    Every single time I’ve visited DC in the past three years, I’ve come home telling everyone what a wonderful time I had. I also follow it up with, “But I was on vacation and hanging out with friends the entire time, so of course it was nice. If I was still living there every day, going to a boring job, and dealing with the horrible traffic, I bet I’d want to leave again.” But…maybe not?

    Interesting information for you: On the metro that morning on our way to your house, Paul and I had a “What if we moved back” conversation. We’ve brought it up before, but it’s always been hypothetical (like “I wouldn’t put it past us to move back there someday”), but this time our thoughts were more concrete. (Me: “I wish we could pack up your parents, too. If we end up having a baby I want them to be able to spend a lot of time with their grandkid.”)

    In our case, the biggest factor is our friends. We miss them a lot, more than I guess we thought we would. And then we make friends with a cool couple in Buffalo and they move away! To….DC. 🙂

    Who knows what will happen? WHO KNOWS. But the option is not entirely off the table, so I welcome you to continue to campaign and we’ll see what happens.

    Too funny about giving up on Ikea when you realized you’d chosen the wrong vehicle for the trip — and you were only two blocks away! I’m sure Mount Vernon was much more enjoyable though, and the bookshelves/dresser can wait another week or two. (Have you considered looking for those items on Craigslist so you won’t have to put them together?)

    • Haha, sorry for the surprise! I should have warned you. 🙂 I always start my Monday reading posts with a picture of the most important happening of the weekend, and your visit was the most important happening of the MONTH!

      I know exactly what you mean when you say that the most important factor in a move back to DC would be friends. That was precisely what it was for us. As you know, we don’t have relatives here, but we do have family – friends that we consider family. After living in a place for so long you really do have roots there, and like you, I don’t think we realized just what that uprooting was going to mean for our happiness. It’s nothing at all against Buffalo, as you know. It’s just – you want to be where your people are. Our people are here… with a few important exceptions, you being one of them.

      And leaving you guys was seriously one of the hardest things about making the decision to move back to DC. You really made Buffalo a special place for us in the three years that we were there, and saying goodbye SUCKED. So I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t absolutely love love LOVE it if you and Paul moved back here. I can think of millions of fun things that we could all do together! Virginia wine tour? Apple picking? Kayaks on the Potomac? Wolf Trap? And of course, if you ended up working in Penn Quarter or Gallery Place, we could resume our weekly walks! Now, wouldn’t that be tempting? 😉

      And yes, we’re idiots about IKEA. It wasn’t exactly that it was the wrong vehicle – we had my car – but realized that even my car was not big enough unless we removed the car seats and put the back seat down. So we’re going to have to drive separately next weekend. I thought of Craigslist, but I’ve found pieces I can live with at the right price point from IKEA, and I don’t want to do any more shopping. I just want to get the things and get on with my life. And it helps that I’m not the one who’s going to have to put them together. 😉 I am just really anxious to have bookshelves UP so I can start shelving books! (But notwithstanding my desire to get that errand behind me… yes, Mount Vernon was WAY more fun. Can’t wait to go back at Christmas – my favorite time to visit the estate!)

      • It’s funny — I think I always thought that, at least with certain friends in DC, once I was gone a year, or two, and now three, the friendships might naturally peter out. I’ve been finding the opposite though, and some of them have even told me that two visits a year isn’t enough. So that has been gratifying to hear. (Maybe I’ll have to at least consider joining Paul on his quarterly visits…spending $200 on a flight fills my spirit much better than going out to eat a few times, which would be an equivalent cost.)

        Good grief…now I want to be where “my people” are and it’s all your fault!!! You and Steve proved that it’s possible and not something that could just hypothetically happen someday.

        Those activities you mentioned all sound wonderful. We’ll make sure some (or all) of them happen, even if this move doesn’t happen (or doesn’t happen for a while).

        Totally feeling you on the bookshelves thing — once you find some that would work, it’s easier just to get them and not scroll through hundreds of ads for multiple shelves that would work (and then likely not match). Get them! Be happy! You’ll have your books around you so I know you will. 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2016: Year in Review | Covered In Flour

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