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home : columnists : columnists November 25, 2015

2/28/2013 10:49:00 AM
View from the Valley

"And Spring arose

on the garden fair,

Like the Spirit of Love

felt everywhere;

And each flower and herb

on Earth's dark breast

Rose from the dreams of

its wintry rest." 

~ Percy Shelley


It may not look like spring where you are, but we do know it cannot be far away. We went to the movie the other day because it was raining cats and dogs and the temps were in the 40s. Well to our surprise when we got out of the show, our car was buried beneath  inches of snow and ice. The roads had about 3 inches of ice and slush on them and we drove the way we drive  in MN when it snows. However, the  arrogant Arizona drivers were passing above the speed limit, fishtailing all over the place endangering all of us. The attitude here is to drive fast no matter the posted limit, never use the turn signal and have that middle digit ready to flash at a moment's notice. Everyday here is a challenge and somehow the winter residents get blamed for all the accidents. Unbelievable.

OK, now that I am over the driving challenges here, I will move on to the latest book I am reading. Having just read a few best sellers, I decided to dig out one of the books that has been collecting dust on my book case. The title is "Fall of the House of Windsor" by Nigel Blundell and Susan Blackhall. With the close of the 3rd season of "Downton Abbey", I needed to regain my senses after the death of Matthew. And reading about the royals always puts me in a good mood. Well, I never knew all about the incest and secret trysts that occurred amidst the privileged. They are and still are a bunch of scoundrels, from way, way back in history. I think Diana and now Kate are the only two who had and have a head on their soldiers. They are a breath of fresh air amidst the stench of the royal debauchery. I have been an anglophile since I was three and knew about kings and queens and all their subjects. I fell in love with all the pageantry and pomp. Now that I am well over 70, I know it is a fantasied journey I am on. But I am still awaiting with bated breath the birth of THE baby.

 I saw an interesting bumper sticker the other day. Here is what it said; "The best things in life aren't things." It really hit home in a big way. We all seem to want more. We are never content with the status quo. It is the human condition to think we need  more just because we can ask for more. With all the natural disasters lately, I have come to know I can live with a lot less. There are folks who are still living in houses without heat and running water. Relief is slow in coming to them. So, things are not important, people are. 

I am terrified of anything from the rodent  family so you can imagine my fright when I saw a pack rat running up and down our patio. I screamed for the dragon slayer and he came prepared with a broom and stick. The rat had him running from one end of the patio to the other with no  luck in catching him. So we gave up when suddenly out of nowhere a huge hawk descended between the patio furniture and grabbed the rat in its teeth and talons and off it flew. It was like a scene out of National Geographic.

I would encourage any one who will be old some day to read the book titled "The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe. It is tender story about a grown son and his mother who create a book club of two while she is dying. Every book brings a new dimension to their lives, and dying just does not seem so bad after a while. Many books are mentioned in this book and I am  going to read many of them. It is a very sweet read.


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