Full House

Day 158

My brother’s family arrived at my parents’ house this evening.  Now my sister, my brother and sister-in-law, and my two teenage nieces are staying there.  I can’t say I was sorry to finally come home to my own house and bed tonight, although I was very glad to see them.

I’ve spent almost all day with family and am scheduled to do so again tomorrow.  As an adult, it’s a wonderful, frustrating, crazy, puzzling thing.  To say you can’t live with them and can’t live without them is oversimplifying it.  I guess you simply say “It’s my family.”

puzzle

My Sister Makes Me Laugh

Day 157

Jenny was taking me through a digital slideshow of her visit to Prague.  It’s a beautiful city: the castle, cathedrals, the Jewish quarter, parks, and the river.  She was showing me pictures of the Charles Bridge and I asked, “Is that the Danube?” (My knowledge of Czech geography being somewhat limited).

“No,” she said. “I forget the name.  It’s something vaguely communist sounding.”

[For the record, it’s the Vltava River and, as she knows very well, it both predates and survives Eastern European communism.  But that’s a scientist for you — she prefers to leave history to liberal arts people like me.]

Blizzard!

Day 154

We had a wee bit of a Boxing Day blizzard here.  7 1/2 inches of snow today, with pretty strong winds blowing it around.  While it cannot compare to the Blizzard of ’78 and may not seem very impressive to my Canadian friends, it pretty much brought things to a screeching halt around here.  Our county’s emergency management agency has issued travel status of “essential travel only.”  So I’ve been quite happily tucked away inside for the day.

blizzard

The book:

Jim Murphy does a great job with upper middle age non-fiction here, just as he did in The Great Fire.  While most people have heard of the Great Chicago Fire, however, the New England blizzard of 1888 is unfamiliar territory for most readers.  Murphy’s vivid descriptions, primary source material, and use of contemporary illustrations bring this frightening monster storm to life.