A walk – the day is gor­geous, the best that south Flori­da has to offer; beau­ti­ful blue skies and a love­ly breeze blowing.

A lucky break is that some­one has already thrown out two clay pots onto their bulk trash pile – mine! Fun and it’s not 1 p.m. yet!!

Day 6

Final­ly – I’ve got a job inter­view – now THAT’S fun!!

Day 7

Mmmm? What fun will I have today?

It’s actu­al­ly already start­ed – my old­est son has been pub­lished – again! What fun.

The book is a group mem­oir writ­ten by peo­ple known and unknown. Each per­son wrote a six-word memoir!!

In writ­ing back my con­grat­u­la­tions I includ­ed some inter­est­ing words from my recent read­ing mate­r­i­al – pri­mar­i­ly a his­to­ry of the first col­lege I attend­ed. Why did I not know much about its his­to­ry when I was there? Per­haps they for­got to impress it upon us or per­haps, since I wasn’t nat­u­ral­ly an aca­d­e­m­ic, it took all my effort to do the course work.

Any­way I had a list of three words to pass along to old­est son – he has a great way with words.

Then quite sud­den­ly I had my own six word memoir:

“Read­ing any­thing I damn well please!”

An epiphany for me. Quite sud­den­ly I realised that all through my edu­ca­tion I was com­pelled to read spe­cif­ic books. I am an excel­lent read­er – few words puz­zle me when it comes to pro­nun­ci­a­tion, I can read aloud eas­i­ly, although not in public! 

How­ev­er, I am extra­or­di­nar­i­ly slow when it comes to com­pre­hend­ing what I read. I put it down to hav­ing been taught to read too ear­ly (by age 6 I was pro­fi­cient) and also that my teach­ers were more con­cerned with the mechan­ics of read­ing rather than the com­pre­hen­sion of what I read.

Some of the major things I learned when teach­ing my own sons and oth­er peo­ple’s chil­dren were: the impor­tance of indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences. We all learn at a dif­fer­ence pace and fre­quent­ly in a dif­fer­ent order from that con­ven­tion­al­ly taught. For one son his com­pre­hen­sion was ter­rif­ic but read­ing came lat­er – that puz­zled his teacher at his annu­al test­ing ses­sion, until she realised that her own daugh­ter learned in exact­ly the same way! 

Our gifts and tal­ents are dif­fer­ent and fre­quent­ly don’t all sur­face until our teens and 20’s. I love to assume every­one has at least one gift and/or talent. 

I know so many peo­ple who have a mul­ti­tude of tal­ents – how lucky can they be?! Those I know who have great musi­cal tal­ent are fre­quent­ly high­ly com­put­er savvy – I believe there’s a math­e­mat­i­cal con­nec­tion there. My hus­band’s fine car­dio-vas­cu­lar sur­geon also plays clas­si­cal piano! Such hands.

So now for me, read­ing is fun. “We read for plea­sure” was the answer I gave a col­lege lec­tur­er in my first year. Her pro­nounce­ment was “No we don’t, we read to learn”.

I always read for plea­sure even when I am learn­ing, but main­ly when I am learn­ing about things that inter­est me – fun things!

Read­ing is fun for me now.

Day 8

Today was pret­ty mun­dane; run­ning errands and going to the Post Office. But a phone call to my moth­er in Eng­land cheered me. 

She is one of the few still liv­ing Land Girls who worked British farms dur­ing WWII when the men went off to war. Her hus­band and her two broth­ers signed up for the Roy­al Air Force as their con­tri­bu­tion, so she had to see what she could do for the war effort.

She speaks often of how well she was treat­ed by the farm fam­i­ly and the cot­tage she shared with anoth­er Land Girl, also still liv­ing. Her cousin was a Land Girl and was in her ear­ly 90’s when she died in Octo­ber. Such hard man­u­al labour doesn’t seem to have served them badly! 

Not that there weren’t very scarey times: doo­dle bugs (unmanned V1 bombs) fly­ing over “as long as they were whistling we were OK”, planes crash­ing in the fields and burst­ing into flames, cycling around the coun­try lanes at night only to be spooked by hordes of sol­diers hid­ing in the hedges wait­ing to be shipped across to France!

The fun times were attend­ing agri­cul­tur­al col­lege (for a 6 week crash course!), learn­ing to ride a horse, get­ting the cows in the barn and run­ning the milk­ing machine and then hav­ing a lit­tle petrol to learn to dri­ve Dad’s old Mor­ris Minor – no licence need­ed(?) and no find­ing reverse either!! Mum’s dri­ving remained steady until her ear­ly 80’s.

At Christ­mas a friend wrote to say how glad he was Mum would be receiv­ing a medal for her ser­vices dur­ing the war. We had yet to hear of the news. Today my broth­er helped her fill out the form. He even found pho­tos from that era! She is over the moon!

I also found out from my broth­er that the arti­cle I wrote about my father for our local his­tor­i­cal soci­ety newslet­ter has been pub­lished! The same day as I sub­mit­ted an arti­cle for our local lit­er­a­cy newslet­ter to be pub­lished next month. 

Cou­ple all that with a lengthy con­ver­sa­tion with my UK sis­ter-in-law which we both enjoyed – not often we have time for that. Much laughter.

Tonight is my gar­den club meet­ing and my friend Kel­ly is pick­ing me up – how much more fun could one per­son have in a day?