I confess: I’m ready for this summer to end. I mean, I would be happy to keep this weather; cool mornings, sunny and warm (but not too warm) low-humidity days and evenings with a slight chill are as perfect as it gets in Pittsburgh. All that can stay. But this has been a long summer in a challenging year with a lot of Really Hard Stuff. I’m trying to focus on the good things about this summer, instead of the disappointments and the struggles and the hard stuff.
The Boy’s four-week camp program went well and he’s mentioned wanting to return next year. The Girl got a partial-scholarship for a week-long teen writing camp and also had the chance to do a painting camp, also for a week. She met one of her best friends, who lives out of state, for breakfast. The Girl went to a sleepover (in a tent outdoors — a first for her) and she was invited to spend a day at the pool with that same friend.
The Girl and I met Judy Blume and we enjoyed a young adult author event with local writers Jonathan Auxier, Nick Courage and Siobhan Vivian. Our family spent a couple days back in Philadelphia (where I also attended the Mid-Atlantic MRKH Conference) and we enjoyed a fun get-together with the Listen to Your Mother Pittsburgh casts from 2015 and 2016.
So, yeah. Some good things among the really, really hard.
In addition to one more day of summer, there’s also one day remaining of my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project! As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’m glad I did this (and I’m astounded that I stuck this out for the entire 99 days) but I am equally glad the end is here. I’m have some thoughts on this whole endeavor tomorrow or later this week.
Reading (Summer Reading Wrap-Up) …
Our library’s Summer Reading Program ended August 31 and my official tally was 21 books — which sounds impressive, but magazines also count. If one tallies only books, I’ve read eight. There’s a very good chance that I’ll hit nine by the end of tomorrow (because my personal Summer Reading Program goes from Memorial Day through Labor Day) and maybe I can find a short book to make it an even number. Here’s what I have so far, with one day to go:
LaRose, by Louise Erdrich
Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue, edited by Amy Ferris
Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub (published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/16/2016)
Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life, by Joan Chittister
Tales of An Accidental Genius, Stories by Simon Van Booy
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
Reliance, Illinois, by Mary Volmer
Bright, Precious Days, by Jay McInerney
Reading (Currently) …
Around lunchtime on Saturday I started Leave Me by Gayle Forman and by dinnertime I’d finished more than 150 pages. (I had a few hours to read while The Girl was at a library program.) It’s a fast read. I’m loving the Pittsburgh setting — and Forman clearly knows this town extremely well, right down to the location of specific stores and the names of local holiday craft fairs. This one is a review book, and several others will be following it. (Another reason I’m glad 99 Days of Summer Blogging is finished … more time for reading, which I’ve missed.)
Hope you’re having a good weekend!