Friday, 2 May 2014

A Life Well Used

I belong to and every morning, an e-mail arrives with the word of the day and lots of talk about 'words and their meanings'.  There is also a quote for the day.  Recently the quote was:
"As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death" (Leonardo de Vinci)

Well, this morning I made my monthly visit to a near-by nursing home,  delivering books for the public library. Many of the people are in their last days and sometimes the visit seems sad.  But I have discovered a lady that really makes the visit interesting. I would like to have her picture, but I wouldn't ask because she wouldn't understand why I wanted to take her picture.  Well,  perhaps she understands much more than I thought!  She was reading "The Case Against Darwin" by James Perloff.  She has always questioned the theory of evolution and found this book very much to her liking.  However, she also is planning to read a book that favours the theory of evolution.  She is interested in reading both sides of the argument. Imagine- at 90!
I felt so connected to this lady.  She actually doesn't need books from the library because her family buy every book she mentions.  And she reads magazines to keep up-to-date on books that are hot off the press.
And so, we had a lovely 'book chat' about what she's reading/what I'm reading.  What a delight!

I also deliver books to a retirement home that has a very different atmosphere.  These residents are active and healthy.  One resident attends (and leads) a book club.  A few months ago she told me about the book that she was preparing to discuss: "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom.

So I decided to read the book.
It is a long book, following three generations on a plantation beginning in 1791, when Lavinia McCarter, aged 7, is taken to the plantation because her parents had died on the ship from Ireland.
Although it was difficult to get into the book, I was totally involved after a few chapters.  I loved the description of the routines in the lives of those in 'the big house' and those in the 'kitchen house'.
The climax was chaotic and every time it seemed that things couldn't get any worse, they did!
Reading the book was a large investment of time and I would have liked it to be better edited, with a more satisfying ending.

When I returned to the retirement home the next time, the resident was delighted that I had read the book and she went to her room for her notes and we sat and chatted about the book.  Delightful!

Another well spent day!

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