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a handful of summer nothings

I’ve been making the mistake (again) of assuming that I should only write when I really have something to say, something burning or brewing or forcing its way out. But today I’m remembering that there are days when you write to stretch the muscles, write to practice, write because sometimes there’s something to be shared in all the nothings as well. So we here are, you and me, ready to chat about some of those nothings.

One of my hopes for the year was to read more. I set out to read four books a month. (Cute. I know.) So now it’s July and I’ve read eleven books so far, which is still more than years past, and that was the heart of the goal so I’m trying to be at peace with that reality (Is a forced peace still peace? Hmmm, perhaps I should say I’m at a ceasefire with that reality). Some of my favorites were The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  I also read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (gulp) and reread Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (wow), to name a few more. I have A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to read next, and I’m really looking forward to that.

The kids are settling into summer time, and for the most part we are grateful for the pace of life that doesn’t include the daily dose of school work. Homeschooling is wonderful, but it’s absence is all things lovely. Not sure how else to explain that but there it is.

I’ve been trying to work on a manuscript this summer and it’s winning. Manuscript- 1. Becky-0. I’ve been thinking a lot about all the complexities of this issue, all the why’s and the what if’s and the tricky things that stand in the way of completing it. It reminded me of a conversation a few years back where an older friend was remarking about an observation he had made regarding people in general. “Give people the chance to do something hard and grow, or do something easy, and nine times out of ten they will pick the easier route. People don’t want to pay the price to grow.” Thinking on that as I move so painstakingly slowly in this process.  The resistance is strong, as Pressfield would say. But steady on.


The five year-old lost a tooth last week, and then lost her mind when the tooth fairy didn’t come overnight. Her older sibling tried to console her by saying, “Our tooth fairy is not very dependable. Ahem!”, as she looked at me. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that once the kids go to bed I stop thinking about all that and the responsibility to swap out a tooth for a dollar never occurs to me until the next morning when a child cries out in dismay. I’ve had the best luck by outsourcing the whole gig (which was my husband’s idea) to the firstborn, who charges a quarter to moonlight as the TF in my place. But this week I even forgot to hire out the task. Tooth fairy fail.

We were driving in the car when one child spotted a large patriotic inflatable.

Child 1: Oh, look! Papa John!

Child 2: That’s not Papa John. It’s Uncle Sam.

Child 1: Whatever.

Hope your summer is treading lightly. Thanks for reading-

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