My good Friday

Sometimes you just have to thumb your sore, itchy nose at all the pollen and sit outside with your iced coffee and a book or two while your dogs laze in the grass. Birds provide most of the sound–including the occasional VERY large bird framed here by trees and power lines.

Even that sound is okay. It means things are running as they should in the world.

That Hemingway novel reminds me of why I shouldn’t loan books (though I still do, from time to time). I was quite the Hemingway scholar as a young woman because I had two great Hemingway professors. After I left college, almost every trip to the bookstore netted me another Hemingway novel, story collection, or biography. That slowed down when I was a poor graduate student. But when Scribner’s said they’d be publishing another posthumous novel, The Garden of Eden, I bought it as soon as it was released–my first 1st edition Hemingway. Not long after, at a party at our house, a friend brought a guy I hadn’t met who was also a Hemingway buff. We were discussing the book and I agreed to let him borrow it since he couldn’t afford to buy it, and after all, my friend vouched for him. He never returned it. So this is my second copy of the novel. People who steal other people’s books suck.

Do you see the little light snapped to my Nook? Not being used outside, of course, but it’s one of my birthday presents from Lynne. It’s a gift to Tom, too, because I always have to read at least a little in bed before I can fall asleep, and my lamp bothers him. The little book light doesn’t seem to disturb him at all.

Here are some other birthday goodies from Lynne.


There’s the cake, of course, that she made.


Pressed pennies from her family’s Disney World trip back in December.


A lovely glass ball for the garden, a little terra cotta bear that you put in your brown sugar to keep it moist (ew, that word), a Venus McFlytrap Monster High doll (love her glasses), and…those damn coasters. Because everything in her house was packed up at Christmas, the coasters didn’t make a holiday appearance. But now they’re back in circulation, ready for me to concoct some fiendish way to pass them along again to her or Laura sometime in the coming months.

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23 Responses to My good Friday

  1. Steve B says:

    Very nice Birthday tributes you have there. Belated but very heartfelt birthday wishes for an awesome year to come.

  2. Marika says:

    Okay, just my spin on the Hemingway thing – perhaps the powers that be felt that needed the Hemingway a little more than you did. Maybe the book thief went on to do something that he never would have done without that book … after all , you never know where a book can take you.

    • Becky says:

      Yes, he probably went on to become a master criminal, a person who didn’t respect others’ private property. People should not steal other people’s books–especially books loaned in a spirit of trust and a willingness to let another person share in the happiness of reading them.

      We had a massive university library, and though I’m sure there was a wait list, he could have borrowed it from there. Or he could have scraped together enough money to buy it the same way I did. Instead, he stole mine.

      NO PITY from me. You can probably contact him at any of a number of corporations, where I’m sure he’s thriving, to see if he wants any of your hard-purchased, much-loved books!

    • Robert Edler says:

      He was probably on his way to return the book to you when the blizzard of the century struck. But he continued to walk on through the wind, walk on through the snow, though the soles of his shoes were worn and patched. He walked on over the ice flows that filled the streets though his feet became frozen and his toes popped off one after another. Finally he could walk no more and he fell to the gutter muttering, “I tried. Oh, how I tried.” THE END!

  3. Marika says:

    PS … Venus is way too cool!

  4. ablueskyboy says:

    Who can think of book thieves when there’s chocolate cake?

  5. David P says:

    Happy 35th birthday! Now I’m off to watch “Groundhog Day.” :)

    • David P says:

      PS – I’ve never read Garden of Eden. Should I add it to my “To Read” list?

      • Becky says:

        Do you usually like Hemingway? Do you like his writing style?

        Does the story of a marriage unraveling because of vaguely worded sexual activities, androgyny, and one character’s descent into madness, that’s probably a bit misogynistic (it’s Hemingway!) and could have borrowed from Scott and Zelda’s lives as well as Hemingway’s first two marriages sound appealing?

        THEN THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU!

        • David P says:

          LIKE

        • David P says:

          I read a lot of Hemingway in college, too. I loved “A Moveable Feast” and “The Sun Also Rises,” and many of his short stories. This one never came up, though. I guess it’s not considered part of his literary cannon? I’ll have to check it out.

          • Becky says:

            Scribner’s cut a lot from his unfinished manuscript. I don’t know if there’s a reluctance to teach it based on those cuts, or if scholars don’t feel like Hemingway thought it was ready. I think all of his work is worth reading, so I’d say give it a go!

            ETA: I also liked Islands in the Stream, and a lot of his readers don’t. I admit my pro-Hemingway bias!

    • Becky says:

      Thank you!

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