Did a huge load of laundry at 5AM and went for a long walk while it was drying; it was cool and misty again, but now it has turned somewhat cold and windy; the house is once again opened to the North wind, another gray day, and I have to say that, during this little Christmas vacation, I feel blessed that the days for the most part have been colored with this gray coziness with tints ranging from dun to pewter to charcoal. Made a second pot of coffee a few minutes ago and the smell of fresh coffee brewing when the wind is coming in from the lake reminds me always of Mimi at the Rex brewing coffee as the ocean air blew in her kitchen window. Cradling, off and on, a hot cup of coffee in Joe Muggs, sitting here in the Ernest Hemingway room that I’ve opened up to be aired; the palms outside are crackling in the wing and I’m enjoying a hot cup of dark roast with that delicious undertow of perfect bitterness I find so satisfying.
When I finished my work yesterday, decided to take “White Fire” and read en boudoir and while I was stretched out there the sun came out for a little while and it was really lovely. My bedroom is on the same side of my home as the living room and has the same view, so I could see out to that vacant field across the way. For some time now, since moving here, from time to time I’ve noticed four little boys play there–they all congregate having ridden their bikes to the field, that they drop unceremoniously flat on the grass always around the stop sign. Invariably, one of the resident geesies always waddles up to them in the middle of the field disrupting their play for a tete-a-tete of some sorts. They all seem to visit for a while, then the boys will gently start the geesie in the direction of the culvert and the water and they don’t stop until it waddles to the edge of the water. The oldest boy seems to be about twelve, he’s tall, and the others probably range from eight to ten, judging by their height. Well, yesterday as I looked out over my book, I saw the bikes dropped around the Stop sign and the boys in the field playing tackle football. One of the little ones passed a ball to the biggest one who caught it and faced the onslaught of his tacklers. Those kids had some mighty evasive moves, I was much impressed. The big one charged up field and I have to say they made it hard for him; one of them blocked, forcing a fumble that was immediately scooped up by the littlest one who had first passed it to him; this little kid ran the rest of the length of the field and when he crossed what I suppose was the imaginary end zone line, paused, positioned himself as though he were about to pirouette lifted his head and elevated the ball skyward in triumph as though he were toasting the gods. God, did I laugh! I had more fun watching these boys play tackle football than I have had watching an NFL or college game in recent years.
After my walk and laundry this morning, pan toasted more pecans, some honeycrisp apples slices dusted with brown sugar and made pain perdu again with the nuts and apples as a topping. It was a Christmasy sort of dish. I was going to do a lot more again today, but no, I’m going to read. Will have to report to work tomorrow and then Friday, so I’ll have a little more rest today.
“White Fire” has hooked me and the contrast between Corrie the 20-year-old John Jay student with the elegant, erudite, upper New Orleans class Pendergast is a good one. For example, when Corrie is trying to convince a difficult professor about the topic she wants to choose as her thesis, part of the interview, written by Preston and Child from Corrie’s narrative viewpoint, goes as follows: “Carbone was a handsome man, with salt and pepper hair, wonderful teeth, trim and fit…everything he did, he did well, and as a result he was an accomplished asshole indeed.” I really recommend this book, and all of their books.
I next plan to read Charles Krauthammer’s “Things That Matter.” Then Douglas Preston’s, “The Monster of Venice.”
I have to say I am most proud to be a part of the group that the desperate Newsweek Magazine is condemng as a fraud–oh, I mean, a Christian fraud–I love this, another attack against that branch of my faith, yet if we were to say something scurrilous about another belief system I can’t imagine what would happen. Well, the Bible remains the best selling book across the globe; perhaps Newsweek is jealous? Thanks, boys, I’m always glad when people of your mindset, i.e., Nancy Pelosi, feel obligated to insult both our intelligence and our veracity. I’d be worried if you approved of us.