Well, it's finally here. After two years of looking and six months of schlepping ourselves back and forth several times a month, we are actually moving next week. Forty years of our own stuff, as well as boxes and boxes of family memorabilia, some never examined and sorted, will be wending their way to a little town in south-central Pennsylvania. Amish and Mennonite farm country, but not quite as rural as you might think, although the nearest Trader Joe's grocery store is 65 long miles away.
I've been thinking recently of a news story from years ago. Relations with China had loosened a bit, and a pair of Chinese women doctors had come to deliver a series of lectures in the US. A reporter accompanied them to a mall to get their impressions of the bounteous choices America had to offer. After wandering bewildered from store to store for a couple of hours one of them, proud of her mastery of English vernacular, asked wonderingly "Why would anyone need so much stuff?" I've been asking myself the same question quite urgently, but actually already know the answer. In every family some member, intentionally or accidentally, becomes the keeper of the stuff and the stories. In our families, both my husband and I are those members. I'm too busy and distracted right now to actually sit down to read and review a novel, but here are a few snippets I hope may amuse you.
Yao's first assignment was as court physician to the ladies of the royal household. He "visited several times a week in the morning, the royal ladies. Those led often a rather monotonous life, and very rarely had the favor to be together with his heavenly majesty or to perform other obligations." When one of the ladies, who is pregnant––presumably by the emperor––is poisoned, she loses the child. Shortly after, she is poisoned again, this time fatally. If you can tolerate or even enjoy awkward passages like this one, these stories are decent puzzles and a lot of fun.
Re-read Gamache Sign Up. My paper copies of the books are all packed up in the 1800 pounds of boxes already shipped (OK, I'm officially embarrassed; bibliophiles should never move.) But isn't that just a perfect excuse to buy them for my e-reader? Now if they would only get cracking on that television series based on the Gamache books, I'd really be happy!
I hope to find time to read something new to share over the next couple of weeks, if I can unearth my To Be Read pile quickly enough. Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely spring that has finally made an appearance––and here are a few moving tips I've gleaned from the pros.