Tag Archives: Love

RAS 5: Come Along with Me — Shirley Jackson

Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and purchase a copy of Shirley Jackson’s posthumously published short story collection Come Along With Me. If you have read anything by Shirley Jackson before, you know this has got to be good. If you have never read anything by Shirley Jackson, what are you waiting for?

I, like most of the world, was introduced to Shirley Jackson through reading her short story, The Lottery, in high school. It wasn’t until years later when I picked up her books about raising her children that I realized what a wonderful writer she was. After reading Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages I moved on to We Have Always Lived in the Castle and fell madly in love.

Come Along with Me is the name of her incomplete novel which is about a woman who escapes from her past reinvents herself.

The rest of the book has something for everyone: Humor (Pajama Party and The Night we all had Grippe); Mystery (A Visit and The Bus); Suspense (The Little House); Drama (The Summer People and The Rock); and Non-fiction (Three Lectures: Experience and Fiction, Biography of a Story, and Notes for a Young Writer).

At some point, I must make time to read all her novels. Maybe after this Read-a-Shelf thing is over.

Statistics: Stats: 243 pages (paperback). Started October 2016, finished May 23, 2017.

Old Writing: Part 11::My Parents

This was written November 1966. Probably 4th grade.

My Parents

I love my parents very much. I need them very much because if I did not have them I cold not tell them my troubles.

My dad is a mechanic. He is the only speedometer man in Elgin and my mom is a housewife. They both love me and I love me and I love them.

For my birthday once I got to go and see a movie called “Jack the Giant Killer” and then I got a kitten for my birthday. And I got a radio and alarm clock. But before my brother was born I got to do more things than now. I love my mom and dad. They spank me sometimes but I love them very much. They kiss me every day when I go to bed or when I get up in the morning or when I go somewhere and when I eat a good meal.

No comment on this one…

 

Feeling the love

Andrew — the star of the weekend

Last weekend we (Dean, his sister Diane, and I) visited Andrew in Oberlin, Ohio for Oberlin College’s Family Weekend. Diane joined us because we told her how much fun we had at last year’s family weekend and because she was a high school counselor and knew about Oberlin, but had never visited. Also because she’s the best aunt in the world.

If I have not mentioned it before on this blog, I love Oberlin College. It is the absolute perfect fit for Andrew and an amazing place in itself. The town and the college grew up together and from what I’ve seen, get along very well — like grown-up twins. Andrew’s rugby team is comprised of students, professors and townsmen. When we visit we stay with townspeople — in their homes with the money we pay going to various Oberlin programs.

Family weekend is full of events, from the wine and cheese reception on Friday to dozens of musical programs to many faculty-run lectures to the President’s brunch on Sunday. This year we didn’t do quite as many things as last year, but we did have a busy weekend.

On Friday we attended the wine and cheese reception after meeting up with Andrew and visiting his newly-tidied dorm room. The wine and cheese reception is held in (and outside of) the science building. Outside people stand (and shiver) while listening to a steel drum band. Inside people stand or sit and listen to a string quartet. Strangers approach each other and talk to each other with ease — like longtime friends or you approach strangers and ask them about their hats (a Scottish military hat worn to keep their head warm) or if they know someone in the orchestra embroidered on their jacket (they do) and end up talking with them like longtime friends. “Don’t you feel the love?” I asked Diane. She laughed.

For dinner on Friday after striking out at three other restaurants, we ended up at the Oberlin Inn where our waitress seemed as if she were just learning the ropes but since she was our waitress last May this was not the case. Dinner was decent and inexpensive, compared to Bethesda.

Andrew’s friend is in the red cape.

After dinner on Friday we went to an Opera called Il Mondo della Luna (The World of the Moon) which was a lot of fun, once we realized we were not going to really “get it” and just went with the slapstick humor. One of Andrew’s friends played a lead role.

On Saturday, after a breakfast and chat with our hosts, Dean went to a lecture while Andrew slept in. Diane and I went shopping — I adore a shop called Bead Paradise that sells clothing in styles I really like — and has some great sales and friendly staff. “Do you feel the love yet?” I asked Diane. Diane laughed.

We met up with Dean and Andrew and went to lunch in the neighboring town of Elyria. After lunch Dean and Andrew went to a lecture while Diane and I explored the town and tried to find a white squirrel in  Tappan Square. At 4:00 we saw an a capella performance then made plans for dinner and the evening.

Diane and Andrew (the guy in back may have been someone famous too — or just knew someone famous)

Dinner was a disappointment — again all of the desirable restaurants were booked, so we went to an Italian restaurant we’d eaten at last year and vowed to avoid this year. The service was slow, the food mediocre, but the company was excellent (and we sat near someone famous in the area — maybe a former owner or manager of the Cleveland Indians?)

We’d hoped to see the Oberlin Aerialists again this year, but dinner took too long and we were tired by the time we left the restaurant.

At some point as we were leaving Oberlin, Diane turned to me and said, “Okay Dona, I feel the love now”. I smiled — I knew she would.

Newfangled Mix Tape

Back in the day people used to make other people music compilations — mostly based on music they, for whatever reason, wanted the other person to hear. These were put on cassette tapes, and I suppose, when CD burning software was available, burned on CDs. Now people share mp3 playlists, which is pretty much the same thing, but a lot less work.

I have an mp3 player — not an iPod — but it only holds books on tape and the sample music that came with it — I’m too lazy to sit down and delete the sample music and I don’t know if I want to put my own music on it.

Anyway, that was just to say that no one has ever actually made me a playlist. I did get a sort of mix tape once — but there was also talking on it so that doesn’t count.

So, the other day in the car on the way to our niece’s wedding in Kokomo, Indiana, I wished aloud that we had music that was relevant to our trip. Like Kokomo. Or Indiana Wants Me. Dean and I talked about how much fun we’d have if we did have some fun music like that. When it was my turn to drive, Dean brought out his laptop and his work-provided broadband wifi doohickey. He then connected to Groveshark and began playing some songs. At first he played some music he liked, but then he began playing songs I liked — old ones, still older ones and some newer ones. He played Simon and Garfunkel and Kate Bush (even the early screechy ones) and Dan Bern and Crosby, Stills Nash and Young.

I felt like each time a new song played I was getting a gift.  It was a blast and proved that he’d actually been listening (to what I listened to, if not what I said). It was a bonding moment — when I thought all bonding had been done earlier in our marriage.

So, even though he’s on a business trip and not here today to take me to dinner or bring me flowers or give me a personal gift for our 24th wedding anniversary, he gave me a really special gift on Friday with the Grooveshark Playlist.

The highlight? It’s gotta be this one: