The people in my neighborhood are super hardcore about Halloween decorations and every year more and more of them are involved. Halloween was not a big holiday for me growing up, so I don’t really care about it, but I don’t have anything against it either and the decorations do make walking the dog a lot more interesting. Below is just a smattering of what’s on offer this year.
My husband, Colin, and I have been married for twenty-seven years. This year, I read an article on Scandinavian sleeping and thought it sounded great. Instead of one big comforter or blanket on our king-sized bed we would have two twin comforters in duvets instead. No top sheet. I loved this idea. The biggest challenge was finding twin-sized duvet sets with a high enough thread count to please my delicate sensibilities. I lucked out and found a couple on Overstock.com. We’ve been really happy with sleeping like this. The best thing about it is my husband gets up earlier than I do and this way he doesn’t wake me. I don’t wake him if I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. We don’t fight over covers anymore. It’s possible that I move around too much in my sleep and might occasionally rob him of cover. Now that doesn’t happen. In short, it’s fantastic and I love it.
So my friend Jen comes to see me. I tell her about this new revelation in sleeping I’ve discovered. She says, “oh yeah, we sleep like that.” Like, duh, how obvious. It took me twenty-seven years to learn this and I had to read about it in an article. Apparently, she figured it out ten minutes after her boyfriend moved in. Sigh.
I love it when I’m reading a book and it has me exploring things I know little or nothing about. In this case, I’m reading Peter Høeg’s The Quiet Girl. I will always love Peter Høeg because he wrote Smilla’s Sense of Snow, so I read The Quiet Girl because of another love. I’m not going to review the book, because it’s been out for a long time and no one needs another review of it. Instead, I wanted to talk about all the music I’ve listened to since I started reading it. Right now, for example I’m listening to Itzhak Perlman play Partita in D Minor on YouTube. The piece ends with the Chaconne which is supposed to be one of the all time great pieces of music written for solo violin. I couldn’t tell you if that’s true because my knowledge of classical music is limited at best, but as with art, I know what I like, and this is a very beautiful piece of music. All of the music discussed and described in this book is amazing, but this might be my favorite. You should listen too.
Or I suck at parking in them. Either way, I say if you get circular scrapes on your car door from a column, add a Tasmanian Devil sticker, and act like you meant to do that.
All the other azaleas in our yard seem to understand it’s September, but this little one feels spring in the air.
We vacation with friends the first week of September. We go to the Outer Banks, rent an ocean front house, and spend a week with people that we don’t see often enough. I think of this trip as the end of summer. It’s often followed by hurricane drama, except when we’re unlucky, and it’s interrupted by hurricane drama. After this trip, the holiday season starts and my social calendar gets filled up, although usually not with all the same people. Not the same way. There is no other part of the year that is filled with lazy hours of casual conversation with opportunities for spontaneous discovery, the kind of conversations it was so much easier to have when young and unencumbered. That’s the real beauty of the beach. It’s an opportunity to roll back the clock, in a weird way, for a fleeting glimpse at a less responsible time. I wouldn’t want a steady diet of it, but it sure is nice for a little while.
Like Anakin Skywalker, I don’t like sand, but I love these people and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to spend time with them every year.
I spent Saturday afternoon in Loudoun walking through historical cemeteries looking for names to use in my next novel. I never lift anyone’s entire name from a gravestone, but it’s a good place to get a feel for realistic local names. The history of African American cemeteries in Loudoun isn’t the best, but there are a lot of people trying to rectify past mistakes and make sure they don’t happen in the future. I love doing this kind of research. It really gives me a feel for the county and its history.