Tuesday, January 26, 2016

December column

OK I have been playing catch up on throwing my newspaper columns on here.. So we are up to Dec. Now.

Here it is, Christmas month starting and if you are like me you haven't done much to get ready. 
I have had to move my date to change store hours up a bit.  Due to family illness I will be at my book store/weaving studio by appointment or chance.  As I have said before, if my flag is out, I am there  please stop in. If you are driving very far please call first.  I still have many books on the wall shelves and still on sale till end of Dec.  Also there are several bags of books still available for $4.  I see a new computer under my Christmas tree this year.  My old Toshiba Vista is 9 years old and starting to act funny on my.  When I checked about a new one at Best Buy I was told I was lucky it ran this long.  So now I am in the process of cleaning out all unnecessary things so that when I buy a new one I can have only my important “stuff” transferred.  I am actually a little excited to have a new one.  Sometimes change can be good.

I had a great experience in Nov.  A lady came in with a stack of her Dad's old jeans.  He had passed away 15 years ago.  I ripped them up, sewed strips together, and wove her two pretty Memory Rugs.  She said one was going to her Mother for Christmas.  How nice a gift is that???  I am always open to ideas of things to make Memory Rugs out of.  Old jeans are great, even wool suits, baby blankets, or favorite old bathrobes.  I made a rug out of my sister's old chenille bathrobe that came out real soft to put on back of her recliner.  Made a good birthday gift. 

I also now have room for a couple floor looms, that make it comfortable to sit down to weave and to teach weaving.  A great gift idea, a weaving class to take home a rug that you wove.  It is also a fun time for Grandma and grand daughter or sisters.  I have had children as young as 10.

During Nov. I managed to read a series of four books that are directed for young adult reading.  I often find this type of book good reading.  A customer traded in the first book of the series  and I enjoyed it so much I had to order the others so I could see what happened.   I would call them post apocalyptic in nature. 

Life as We Knew It
Susan Beth Pfeffer

This first book is written in diary form by a young teenager, Mirranda.  It starts out with the usual writings of a typical teenager with her worries about parents, friends, and school.  Then a big event happened that was only supposed to be a meteorite striking the moon but turned out to be much heavier than the scientists thought and it knocked the moon into an orbit much closer to earth.  As a result there is great devastation with tsunamis,  earth quakes, volcanic eruptions,  and loss of all coastal cities and islands.  This book progresses with how the mother of this family was smart enough to gather food to stock pile and directed her children to cut wood all sumer for their fireplace.  As the year progresses with loss of electricity, they feel they are on their own to survive as many die of disease and hunger.  This book ends with them surviving the first year.  This year has taught the teenagers how to survive and protect themselves. 

The Dead and The Gone

In this second book we take up some new characters who live in the big city instead of a smaller residential area as in first book.  Alex and his two sisters are left alone to survive after their mother is called to the hospital to work and their father is  in Puerto Rico for a family funeral.  Alex is about to graduate with honors and go on to college.  Now all his dreams are on hold as he struggles to provide for his sisters.  They live in a big apartment building where his father is the maintenance man. As people don't come back to their homes, they are able to take what they need.  As time goes on they realize their parents aren't coming back so a priest helps get special “passes” for them if they can get to a “safe” city.  These are special cities that people with money have been able to set up to protect themselves.  By now there is volcanic ash blocking the sun and they must find ways to grow food. 

This Wold We Live In

Book three returns us to Miranda and her family as they struggle to survive yet in their home.  One day her father shows up with her step mother and new baby.  They also have with them a couple “kids” they traveled with and bonded to.  This would be Alex and one of his sisters.  So now there are more mouths to feed and the government is still giving out small rations that will soon stop.  In the end they head out to this “safe” city with only three passes.  They figure who would benefit the most with this protected privilege.  And it is Jon, the young brother of Miranda, his stepmother and her baby. The others who survived the trip would live in the town created for the poor who work as servants to the rich in the city. 

The Shade of the Moon

As I got into book four I was not liking it very much.  Jon is a spoiled brat who seems to have forgotten what his family went thru and gave up for him to be where he is.  He is a great soccer player and that is his key to being important to the city. The others all survive by living on the outskirts and being brutally treated.  In the end the primary characters manage to ban together and flee to a free town where people are working to rebuild by working together and maybe they see a tiny bit of sun shining thru the ash.  It sort of leaves the door open for more books to follow, but I feel I have had enough of this for now.  It was a well written series with much thought given to what it would take to survive such a catastrophic event.

Merry Christmas

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