I was a big reader growing up, and I lived the life of the mind for many years.
Books mattered more, did more to excite and inspire me, than any other influence. My parents and teachers were very important, of course, but books left the memories that loomed the largest, taught the best lessons, remained most vivid. Whether it was biography or Dickens or the work of great photographers, the content of books taught me about the world and opened doors behind which lay whole realms of knowledge.
I wanted to live the life of the mind when I was in my twenties. Ironically, I didn’t know enough about myself or the real world to manage it. There’s a knack to staying in that happy cocoon. Today, when I look at a wall of books, I have warm and cold feelings. The warmth comes from learning, the cold from the neverendingness of knowledge.
P.S. A new biography of Dickens has come out, by the way.
Wednesday: I spent the day setting the table and arranging flowers for Thanksgiving. My sister arrived from Boston around 5. We had a friend over for dinner, ordered in from Home Made Pizza Co, ate in a smaller room off the dining room, and had a good time.
Thursday: My husband and I had agreed on a strict division of labor. He would make the turkey, stuffing, and gravy; I would make the potatoes, vegetables, and the pies. Thank goodness my sister was here because she did half the stuff I was supposed to.
I don’t have kids (Mr C has a grown son by his previous marriage), so dinner was for a small circle, which I was thrilled to host. My husband and I usually spend Thanksgiving at the homes of friends or relatives. This was the first time we had ever made Thanksgiving dinner together at home. One of our guests brought Julius, one of the world’s greatest dogs. Dinner was everything it should be, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
Friday: I went shopping with my sister (mainly to see the lights). After about 40 minutes of shopping, we went to the Lavazza in the Drake and spent about 2 hours having coffee. In the evening we went out with my brother’s family to eat Mexican. I should have taken some pictures for the blog, but I didn’t. My bad.
Saturday: My sister left first thing in the morning. I got up and drove her to O’Hare. That night Mr C and I went to a friend’s place to see some other friends who were in from Madison. On our way to catch a cab afterward we walked past this toymaker’s. (If you click on the link, be sure to click on the doorknob to go in.)
Sunday: I spent a lot time in the kitchen washing and putting away dishes and trying to wake up. Around noon I drove to Hyde Park to see one of my closest friends and her family. We walked over to campus to see the new Sem Co-op bookstore. It was weird to be there. Both Jack and Richard looked totally freaked out, but I bet the new store will work out once everyone gets used to how modern it is. I think I would have liked it more if it weren’t trying so hard to look like the old bookstore.