Part of this healing process is stories. Reading stories. Last summer, I was reading about three books a week, just eating up the words like a ravenous animal. I submersed myself in deep pools of other lives, other places, other eras, other wisdom. What was being washed away? What would be revealed? I took notes and covered legal-sized pages with notes on Louise Erdrich's novels. I randomly chose and read books from the fiction section of our local library. I pre-read the series openers of Primo's next free-reading books.
In the autumn of 2014, I started working on a travel photo book editing project. I went through thousands of photos of beautiful places and celebratory people, What was I learning? It was great to be earning money just sitting at home, working on a computer on the couch. I was present and available for my sons after school. I went to weekly therapy until the month of November, when the project got busy enough for me to stop losing two hours a week to the appointment.
Now we've gotten through the school year. We're preparing for our FIRST family vacation that isn't just a weekend away. Got the car spiffed up with new spark plugs, timing belt, brakes, the whole shebang. Feels like it's almost new, which is pretty good for it having 124,000 miles on it. It's actually the first car I've owned from the current millennium, and it's a 2004. Such luxury is unexpectedly welcome.
Spark graduated from his dyslexia program a couple of weeks ago. I had the privilege of giving a speech at the ceremony, and in my anxiety, I procrastinated writing the speech the night before. I printed it in 18-point type and practiced a couple of times that day. Whew. It went fine, and Sparky smiled for his photograph. We ate cake in the basement of the Mason's building and then skedaddled. It's been fantastic not having three hours' worth of tutoring/waiting/driving every week.
Back to this summer's stories so far: for entertainment during the Spring's first round of photobooks, I've been watching M*A*S*H on Netflix. (Primo has figured out how to use Chromecast, and I'm able to send a show from my laptop to the TV without using a remote. It's crazy. I guess I'm at the age and tech level where a teenager is required for television viewing.) The boys have both noticed and commented on the stories in M*A*S*H, and asked questions about why TV shows today aren't like they were 30 years ago. That would have turned into a longer conversation than they wanted to hear. Personally, I am in awe of Alan Alda's skillset. He's still going strong! And Gary Berghof's ability on the drums is admirable.
I've been reflecting on the way M*A*S*H influenced me when I was growing up. Liberalism, humanitarianism, pacifism and distrust of the military are some of the values that still ring true to me. Enjoyment of sarcasm and crazy humor, too! The sexual innuendo is mighty thick for watching with the kids, though. Primo seems old enough to ask questions and know the difference between an old TV show and what's actually okay.