Follow my blog with BloglovinMost of America will remember Christmas 2015 as the Christmas of #MakingaMurderer. (Yes, we were sucked in by the phenomenon too, and of course I have strong opinions!) However, we’ll remember Christmas 2015 a little bit differently.
Christmas Eve with my patient patient “Lefty.”
At Casa Dilday, our holidays consisted of pre-op appointments, lab work, surgeries, and LOTS of hours spent in matching pajamas in our matching recliners. (Oh, and throw in one ambulance ride trip to the ER just for excitement!)
Mark’s surgery had been planned for quite some time. He suffered a torn rotator cuff about 18 months ago and was scheduled to have it (along with a torn bicep tendon) repaired in late December. We were NOT, however, planning synchronized surgeries, nor double the doctors bills. But – regular blood work at my annual physical showed one teeny tiny gland wasn’t working properly and needed to come out. I never knew that “parathyroidectomy” was a thing.
Although I can think of lots of things I’d rather do than go under the knife for Christmas, being the “glass half full girl” that I am, I’ve compiled a list of the silver linings that shine through in an experience like this.
- We are healthy. These procedures were minor in the scope of things.
- We are loved. Our family, friends and neighbors SHOWERED us with meals and other offers of help.
- We are insured. Enough said.
- Paid sick leave. Seriously. Knowing our jobs were not in jeopardy and we could take the time needed to rest and recuperate was a comfort. It made me think of all of the hourly workers who are one illness away from catastrophe.
- Teenagers. Ethan got his driver’s license just in time to be our everyday errand boy. It was a life saver. Having Grace home for Christmas helped too.
- Downtime. Getting Mark to “chill” is virtually impossible. Tethering him to the “Iceman” for hours on end forced him to take a load off. After the crazy year I’ve just had at work, I needed a little downtime too.
- I love our home. Being at home for two solid weeks was a JOY because of all the renovations Mark completed this fall.
- Marriage. When we were married 23 years ago we didn’t opt for the traditional vows, so we never actually said “in sickness and in health.” But I think its sort of implied. We did promise “in all circumstances of our life together to be loyal to you with my whole life and all my being.” I think we passed this test.
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (The writing was good, but I didn’t care for or about Mamah and Frank.)
Why I Picked It: The November 2015 Book Club pick. Coincidentally, the Bachman-Wilson home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright opened this month at Crystal Bridges. I see a day trip in my future!
Details/Topics: Historical novel based on Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney’s extramarital love affair.
I was pretty disgusted by both characters’ choices throughout the book, so I couldn’t connect with them or feel empathy. It was kind of a chore to get through the book…but worth it in the end
“It’s the heart of his dilemma,” Mattie muttered. “The man’s values have flown right out his abstract windows.”
“She would take her grace where she found it.”
#Nature‘s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.
Thank you S.E. Hinton and Ponyboy Curtis for the one and only Robert Frost poem committed to memory, and for The Outsiders – the quintessential novel of my youth. #Gratitude30
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
My Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: It’s written by Nadia Bolz-Weber, my Lutheran “sheroe.” Listen to her interview on NPR.
Details/Topics: What if that person you’ve been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today? And what if that’s the point? (I took this directly from the synopsis on GoodReads)
Favorite Quotes: I could go on and on and quote the whole book (I basically highlighted every other sentence), but this really sums it up for me:
“And the thing about grace, real grace, is that it stings. It stings because if it’s real it means we don’t “deserve” it. … And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world.”
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why I Picked It: We were heading to the beach for a week and I knew I’d need several books to take with me. Thank goodness for the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble. I don’t typically read a lot of historical novels, but this one really tugged at me. I’m so glad.
Details/Topics: A lightkeeper and his wife live in isolation to tend to a lighthouse. One day they discover a baby who has washed ashore in a boat along with a dead man.
“When he wakes sometimes from dark dreams of broken cradles, and compasses without bearings, he pushes the unease down, lets the daylight contradict it. And isolation lulls him with the music of the lie.”
“The town draws a veil over certain events. This is a small community where everyone knows that sometimes the contract to forget is as important as any promise to remember. Children can grow up having no knowledge of the indiscretion of their father in his youth or the illegitimate sibling who lives fifty miles away and bears another man’s name. History is that which is agreed upon by mutual consent. That’s how life goes on; protected by the silence that anaesthetises shame.”
“Such a mysterious business, motherhood. How brave a woman must be to embark on it.”