March TBR Challenge

Okay, I’m back from the memorial for my uncle. The celebration of life was well done and I enjoyed seeing the family. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.

And thank you for all the wonderful thoughts on the car wreck and those artifacts I picked up. I really appreciated the suggestion from several people that I contact the local police. I’ll do that today and let you all know if I found out anything.

For today though, I really want to get something up for the TBR Challenge 2011.

I totally signed up to participate in the challenge and here it is March already, with me having missed the first two months of the year, somehow. Has anyone seen January or February? They were here a minute ago…

At any rate, Wendy the Super Librarian, who is, not incidentally, also RWA’s Librarian of the Year, is hosting this year’s TBR Challenge. The idea is to pluck something out of your massive To-Be-Read (TBR) pile – yes, we know you have one. Don’t lie – that loosely fits the theme, read it and blog about it on the third Wednesday of the month.

This month’s theme? A new-to-you author.

So, Kate Elliott has been in my TBR pile for a long time. Spirit Gate and King’s Dragon have both languished in the paper pile since before we moved. That’s right – piled up with Eat, Pray, Love, which you all told me to go read to wash the movie from my head. I’ll get to it, okay?

That’s part of the point of this: to get to those books you’ve been meaning to read. KAK and I were just discussing yesterday how much less we read these days. I really want to devote more time to it. Getting on the TBR Challenge track is a great way to do it.

I also have about five pages of books waiting to be read in my Kindle. One of them is Kate’s Cold Magic. Yes – a third unread book of this particular author who everyone and their parrot tells me to read and I keep not getting to.

So, there I was, struggling through the newest book in a series by an author who shall remain unnamed. Suffice to say I used to love love love this series. The last one was meh and this one was so unrewarding that I felt depressed reading it. Halfway through the book, I deleted it from the Kindle.

This is the modern, though less dramatic, version of throwing the book across the room.

I fumed for a bit, thinking it’s me. I’ve lost my attention span. As one book blogger puts it, I lost my reading mojo. Maybe I just hate everything?

And, recalling the TBR challenge and that Kate Elliott is technically new to me, I opened Cold Magic.

Angels sang. Unicorns – yes, they were still dancing from before – capered madly.

You guys: This Is A Really Good Book.

I confess I’m only about 25% in. But immediately I felt in the hands of a master storyteller. I’m sinking into this world with the gratitude of a starving cat falling into a vat of tuna. It feels like forever since I couldn’t wait to get back to a book. It’s like discovering love all over again.

I would say more, but I have to finish my work so I can go read!

The Great Return

We received sudden news this weekend that my Uncle Bud was heading into hospice.

He’s at the front right of this picture, taken in Oregon last August. Serendipity allowed my mom’s two sisters and their husbands to join us at a B&B on the coast. When I posted this photo of our four men to Facebook, Bud commented “Four jolly gentlemen, all doing their own thing.”

In some ways, our family branched early into two ways of doing things. My Aunt Carole married Bud and they moved away from Denver, had four children, became their own nucleus. My mom and my Aunt Karen stayed nearer my grandparents for many years, so we tended to have our own family gatherings. But we got together from time to time.

Now we know that this occasion, precipitated by the wedding of my cousin, Bud’s grandson, will be the last for this particular group.

My mom said that Bud has been a part of her life since she was nine years old. My cousin, Bud’s oldest daughter, said that we’ve had him as a part of our lives for 82 1/2 years. However you slice it, this marks the end of an era in our family. The decision not to try to halt the sudden and aggressive cancer with extreme measures wasn’t easy for them, but he’s surrounded by family and the stories he loved.

So, this is a celebration of a good life drawing to a close. W.L Rusho, author and lover of the wilderness, may you move on to greater things.

I’m including here a wonderful poem from a longtime family friend.

The Great Return

May you have the joy of rising waters
May the awe of ages surround you

May your feet sound soft upon the land
May the sweep of Nankoweep embrace you

May the Great Blue Heron stand upon her bar for you
And the Father of all mountain sheep stand vigilant on his loft

May you run the River true and hoot upon the waves
May you, your family, your friends pass through

And return home, home, and home again.

~Justice Greg Hobbs,
Colorado Supreme Court