Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Sandbox

There are two garden beds - one filled with veggies and one filled with soil.  After the kindergarten planted their toilet paper tubes filled with soil and nasturium seeds along one edge,  I never got around to creating a plan for the rest of the bed.

It's turned out to be a fortuitous set of circumstances.  Little kids like to dig and I was happy to provide them with trowels and reminders to be careful not to fling soil into one another's eyes.  The digging has been confined to the kindergarten and first graders until today.

The clouds covered the sun when the fourth and fifth grades came out to the garden.  The younger scholars and I shared lettuce

and radishes

and chives today.  The big kids wanted to dig.

There were serious conversations going on.  There were very deep holes being dug.  Grandma stayed far away and let them occupy themselves with a mindless task as they pondered the world.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Anne Perry is Dead

She is one of my favorite authors. Her oeuvre includes several series, all of them set in in Victorian England.  Like with Hilary Mantell, I've learned a lot about English history from her.  She paints a vivid and gritty picture of life without proper sewage, wages, and opportunity, let alone a social safety net.  Whores and Winston Churchill, spies and poachers, street urchins and royalty populate her novels, and I've cared about every one of them.

Anne Perry is not her birth name.  Her easily searchable history starts after her conviction and incarceration for participating in the murder of her girlfriend's mother, when she was 14.  Five years later she left Australia for England, changed her name, and settled in America.  

Her past wasn't a part of her present.  It was never mentioned in articles or interviews.  I'm not sure how I came to know about it.  She was a presenter at the Tucson Festival of Books one year.  My written-and-collected-and-curated question wondered about redemption and forgiveness.  It wasn't asked during the Q&A.  

Her characters are memorable.  I could be friends with them.  I don't get them confused. I remember their family relationships.  I care about them.  I wonder what's next in their lives.  Each book in each series has what Big Cuter calls a crime of the week, but it's watching the characters change over time that keeps me coming back.

And now I'll never know what happens to them.  They are gone.  She allowed them to age over the course of their series, but none were ready to be laid to rest forever.  

I am irrationally peeved at her for dying.

Monday, January 29, 2024