A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

A Good Book

– From the Daily Compass:

In the pages of a book our imagination meets the imagination of the author, and page by page something new is created in the space between two people who will most likely never meet. How’s that for a miracle?

What have you discovered lately between the pages of a book (or e-reader)?

I just finished reading Just After Sunset by Stephen King. I have not read much of Stephen King in the past. I read It and decided that he wasn’t for me. It seemed a bit silly really and did not scare me at all. Years later, I read Wizard and Glass and liked it. So, when I came across the collection of short stories in some books I had been given, I decided to give him another go.

Just After Sunset is wonderful. The book is a collection of some of his short stories. Not all of them are even in the horror genre. “The Things They Left Behind” is very sad. It is about the attack on September 11, 2001.  I thought it would be a small dedication piece. I was wrong. This story really rocked me. In it, the author speaks of possessions and how they actually possess the owner. King spoke of Thoreau and how we tend to be tied down by what we own. In it, King says “As infants, our first victory comes in grasping some bit of the world, usually our mothers’ fingers. Later we discover that the world, and the things of the world, are grasping us, and have been all along.” I mentioned in another post how this really affected me and my way of thinking about objects (see “Antiques“).

King’s story “Rest Stop” is based on a true situation. It is about an author who overhears a man beating his girlfriend in a bathroom.  It made me think of the UU’s stance on helping our fellow man. What would I have done in a similar situation. I would probably have gone to my car and called the police. Then, I would have stayed in my car and watched for the couple to emerge. Maybe. Being a small woman (five foot even), I would not feel confident about going after the guy. I have talked to my husband about self defense training. I will not carry a gun. So many people around me are so happy about getting their CHL. I am not that type of person. It is not that I am against guns. I feel that gun control laws will not really keep guns away from criminals. They will only keep guns away from the rest of us who want to defend ourselves. I say “us” but I mean those who want to use weapons to defend themselves. More power to them. I don’t carry weapons. I feel if it is my time to go, then it is my time to go. I am learning how to fight and how to disarm. That is enough for me. If the time came that the only alternative to losing my child or my own life was to use a gun, I would. I would even shoot the person trying to kill us. But, I will not carry a gun. That is just not me.

There are other authors I have read just for the shear enjoyment of seeing a challenging idea. I have read Thoreau, Camus and Conrad. Each of these authors have made me question my ideals and beliefs. They really make me think. I love books like that. I tried to get my husband to read them, but he says they look boring. He is into science fiction. He loves to escape challenging ideas and problems. I like to think about them and find a solution. I am a thinker. I am told that I think too much. My daughter is the same way. She can spend hours looking out the window as she thinks.

My son doesn’t like to read. I have explained how reading can take you to other worlds. He didn’t believe me. then, he read a story to me called “The Landlady” by Raold Dahl. My son loved it. “I see what you mean about going to another world. That story is creepy. I like it.” Leave it to my son to be transformed by a story. I am hoping that this triggered something in him. I really want him to read more. I love reading so much. I love what authors can do to me through writing. I wish I had that same talent. I am writing a novel at the moment, but it isn’t going well. Life seems to always get in the way. Oh, well. Maybe I will finish it one day.:)


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– From The Daily Compass

Sometimes we define things that are old as useless junk, and sometimes we view those old things as priceless treasures—and two people might have very different assessments of the exact same item.

What do you cherish for its history that someone else might see as junk?


This is really difficult for me. I don’t really have any possessions that I cherish. I was a Navy Brat. So, as a child, I moved quite a bit. Several things of mine were constantly getting lost in the moves. So, my possessions lost their appeal more and more. Even now, I tend to misplace things quite often. I think this is because they don’t hold much value.

In the book Just After Sunset, Stephen King says “As infants, our first victory comes in grasping some bit of the world, usually our mother’s fingers. Later we discover that the world, and the things of the world, are grasping us, and have been all along.”

I have thought of this a lot. It really seems to fit. I have also thought a lot about Walden and Thoreau. Man, that man had it right. I feel that it is silly to think so much about possessions. I used to have a box of mementos kept from high school. They were stored in my barn. We had a bad storm come in and destroy the roof. My box (and everything in it) was ruined. I vowed to not have another object that I cared that much for. Things get lost or ruined. As a baby, my son broke many things. I had one thing that way my prized possession. It was a set of Russian nesting dolls that my husband had bought me on a lovely trip to the Dallas Galleria. I allowed my children to play with them under supervision. The smallest doll became lost and the largest one gained a pen mark or two. I thought that no matter what I did, my things seemed to become marred or lost. So, I quit caring. People are more important to me anyway.

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