Wednesday, June 6, 2018
When I taught on the school calendar, I made a summer reading list each May. Later even though the program I worked in extended to year-round services, I made the list. Pondering books for the list is still one of my summer pleasures. I list a few works of fiction and poetry as well as a healthy amount of nonfiction. Often I include a classic that I somehow have never read. I decide which books I'll check out from the library and what I might buy second hand. Then, surprise, I rarely read strictly from the list. If I begin a book I don't like, I abandon it for another without any qualms. If some unlisted book catches my eye, I read it.
Currently I'm reading a book from my list, Rising From the Plains, an intertwined story of well-known geologist David Love, his family, and the natural history of Wyoming. We lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming for three years so I am familiar with wind and rock in Wyoming. I almost gave up on this book because of all the geological terms. McPhee's reputation for nonfiction is well deserved so I pushed through the first section of geology. I am glad I persisted because the story of the family and how they were influenced by the land is worth reading. In 1905, Love's mother, a Wellesley graduate with a Phi Beta Kappa key, traveled from Massachusetts to Wyoming to teach school. There she was courted by and married John Love, who went to Wyoming to work as a cowboy after being expelled from the University of Nebraska for putting a sign in a Dean's flowerbed. Mrs. Love began a journal on her trip west and continued off and on through most of her life. McPhee quotes from her writing throughout the book. Because schoolmarms were few and far between near the Love Wyoming ranch, she homeschooled her four children in Greek, Latin, literature, and mathematics. She also sewed up cowboys and hosted outlaws. David Love grew up observing and thinking about the geology of Wyoming to ward off the monotony of days working among rocks and mountains. Eventually he earned a phD in geology from Yale. I can't summarize the geological history of Wyoming but learned it is quite unique with many visible layers of rock formations. Reading is meant to stretch our imagination and knowledge, right? And never plant a sign in a flowerbed at the University of Nebraska.
Knitting on the deck has been lovely the last few evenings. After afternoon chores and dinner, I take my ice water and project to the deck, prop up my feet, and knit for an hour or so while the breeze blows in the first days of June. I finished the two pairs of travel socks, a second fingerless mitt, and am almost done with a shawl. The shawl has been easy warm weather garter stitch knitting with a little lace along the edge. Soon I'll need a new project or two, small for summer knitting, but something besides socks. Do you have a favorite summer knitting project?
Joining Kat and the Unravelers today. Thank you to my readers and commenters. I will try Karen's work-around so I can respond to comments again.