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Archive for August 1st, 2008

A Good Read

Posted on: August 1, 2008

I recently finished reading Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch. She will be doing a reading from the book at a bookstore during the time I’m in Denver. I’m planning to go and look forward to meeting her. I’ll share my review that I posted on Goodreads.

I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning, it was hard not to dislike Rose, the mother because she walked away from her children and husband seemingly without an explanation. Yet, because you are given insight into her mind, you can also be sympathetic with a woman who perhaps shouldn’t have been a mother and who wants something more from her life. Rose is creative and artistic and living in a time and place where that isn’t appreciated or encouraged in women.

It would be easy to see Alex, the husband, as a victim of Rose. But the author makes him human with flaws and rather than feel sorry for him because of his wife’s abandonment, the reader is able to relate to him as a person who has also made mistakes. If Alex were a different type of man, Rose may not have left. In many ways, they weren’t suited to each other and ended up together because of an unplanned pregnancy.

The book however, is really about the children who were left behind and their individual struggles to finally grow up. Facing reality and one’s responsibilities is a thread that runs throughout the book. As the protective layers are peeled away, the children are finally able to become adults.

Life is messy and this book doesn’t gloss over that. People often act without thinking about long term consequences. Fortunately we sometimes get second chances to make things right. Kate Veitch offers an insightful look into the consequences of difficult choices. Highly recommend this book.

DH found this snake sitting on the toilet tonight. Yes, we live in the country. What’s next? A deer in the dining room?

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Drive-by

Posted on: August 1, 2008

I almost didn’t notice her as I drove by. At the last minute, I saw her standing on the exit ramp holding a battered sign made from a piece of a cardboard box. On the sign, she had written “Please help. Need food.”

It would have been so easy to ignore her. Plenty of other drivers had passed her without a second glance. But the image of the woman standing in the heat under a blistering sun, humbly waiting for someone to help, stuck in my head.

I drove on to the gas station, my reason for even being on that overpass. And as I pulled into the gas station, I thought I could just run in a pick up a few things to bring back to her. It wasn’t a big convenience store, but they had a few essentials like bread, peanut butter, and water. What about some fresh fruit? There were bananas in a basket display by the counter, so a couple were added to my meager finds. Back in the car, I grabbed a bag and put my purchases and a couple of peaches that I had already in it. Hoping that she would still be there.

She was still standing where I first saw her. She heard me call over the traffic noise and ran over to get the bag I offered through my car window. We exchanged a few heartfelt words. Mine of good luck and wishes for a better time of it. Hers of blessing and thanks.

I should have thanked her for stirring my compassion and giving me a chance to help someone in need. She gave me an opportunity to be better than I usually am. Which is really worth more than $15.00 worth of food.

We’ll likely never meet again and wouldn’t recognize each other if we did. I don’t know why she was standing on that ramp today. Life obviously is difficult right now. Maybe it was the loss of a job or an illness or a divorce. No matter what, she was a other person in need.

I don’t write this because I think I’m a good person for doing this. I just encourage you to recognize those opportunities to “pay it forward”. This was one of those for me.


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Upcoming

Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

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Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

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Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

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Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

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Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

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Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

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May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

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July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

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July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

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