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NO ONE NEEDS A VACATION MORE THAN THE PERSON WHO JUST HAD ONE
The wind has been scouring Skåne for days now. It's blown all the frozen snow away from every surface and left the fields bare. Driving at night, you could see the wind pouring like water across the surface of the asphalt, only better because it was blowing snow along with it: white wind, white water. Today, mom and I went to the grocery store and as we got in the car, I looked down at the blown-up drifts around the driveway and thought, hmmm...that's weird, the snow looks kind of...beige. And as we drove out of the neighborhood, it got browner and browner and as we came up between the houses and approached the sledding hill, we both gasped, because it was completely cocoa-puffed. The snow had blown down in folds and drifts and then the newly scoured fields of bare earth had continued being blown across atop of that...so that everything was this strange tan color on top of the white. It's weird.

Apropos the book talk in my last post, Marilyn shared a link with me on Facebook recently for the 10-10-10 Reading Challenge. You choose (or rather, make up) 10 category/genres and the idea is to read 10 books within those 10 genres by October 10, 2010. Which sounds like fun, since some people have been very creative about their genres and made up things like "One Word Titles", "Books I Wouldn't Normally Read" and "Books With Food as a Central Theme" along with the usual "Classics", "Prize Winners", and "Historical Fiction".

I did a bit of thinking about the pile of books I have sitting waiting for me and the books I've ALREADY READ this year, and figured I could whip up 10 genres out of them in no time and I was right:
  • Political Memoir/manifestos
  • New-Age Crap My Mom Reads That I Would Normally Never Go Near
  • Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
  • European Folk Tales
  • Contemporary Novels with "You" in the Title
  • Classics I Managed to Escape Reading in College Despite Being an English Major
  • Books That Are Better Off Being Used as Doorstops
  • Illustrated Poetry
  • Books From the Point of View of an Important Yet Peripheral Character in Beloved Children's Literature
  • Books By Internet Friends
But the thing is, I'm in the middle of my sixth book for 2010 and it's only January 10th. So I feel a little bit like this game isn't really meant for someone like me. It's meant for someone who needs incentive to read.

Tomorrow I will have been in Sweden for 13 years. The nephew who was born on January 10th, the day before I arrived, is a teenager now, as of today. Altogether, I have lived in Europe for 19 years. My mom just said that was nearly half my life and I started to write something about how if I was 29, it would ALREADY be more than half my life. Hee! Eventually, I probably WILL be here for more than half my life. I keep saying, when people ask, that we're here indefinitely. But it's starting to feel like I should be saying permanently instead.

Vacation is over tomorrow for everyone in the family...(except Mom) I'm back at work (though I've worked at least two days worth of my vacation this past week) and the kids both start school. Martin at his new one, and Karin for real this time. It's her second time in 5 days of going to the first day of school after vacation because I misread the paper that had the dates and sent her off to school on Thursday morning, bright and early, last week. And was surprised and dismayed and rather rumpled when she turned up again 15 minutes later, having gone to school only to find her classroom locked and the lights off and no teachers in evidence, though there WERE people there, and kids going into the daycare room.

I didn't EXACTLY misread the paper, it turned out...it DID say that the term started on January 7th. Only I didn't CONTINUE reading further down where it said that the first two days of the term were "planning days" that the kids had off. *sigh* I tried to blame it on being foreign and the paper being in Swedish, but Anders said it was more a case of being impatient. Drrrr...

Billowing Pillowing Snow-Blown But Belated Birthday Wishes to blueberrymoon and Marilyn!
 optimistic
mood: optimistic
music: The Beatles—Yesterday


Comments
(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I sure hope Martin has a terrific day at his new school! (And, I hope Karin and YOU have a great first day back too.) The book categories sound fun. I am starting my book club book--soon. Too many activities and deadlines this weekend. I really need to start though, it needs to be done by Thursday! I can't believe that you have already read 6 books THIS YEAR! You are simply amazing. How long is your mom staying? Hope you are still "vacationing" when you are not at work this week :)

Re: From Megsie

Martin had a good first day, but he and his classmate got LOST getting to my office afterwards! DOH! But all's well that ends well...good thing he got a mobile phone for Christmas!

Mom is staying until Sunday...3 weeks total, but still: goes too fast!

(Anonymous)

I get more and more fascinated by you and books as the years go by. It can't be a numbers game and still numbers seem to be important to you...does your pleasure increase because you can also somehow see it as an accomplishment to finish so many? And is it pure pleasure and escape, or do you find yourself changed for the reading? Very curious.

Chuck

It's nice to know SOMEONE is fascinated by me :D

It's not really a numbers game, honestly, but there's something rather satisfying about quantifying, for some reason. I meant for years and years and years to keep track of the books I read, and didn't start until 2003!

More to keep track of WHAT I'm reading and WHEN I read it, but it's also fun to see how many. And it just depends on what I'm reading that determines whether it's for pleasure & escape or to be changed. I like both, and try for both, and usually end up with a bit of both for every book.

If Karin would do stand-up comedy as an adult, I'm sure she would include that episode in her speech about har tough childhood. How she got sent to school in the middle (well, exaggeration is part of stand-up) of the Christmas break.

I'm back!! I feel like I missed a lot, but it would seem that the blogosphere goes on without me. :) So glad you had a good Christmas, though I have to agree -- it usually takes a vacation to get over other vacations... particularly those laden with relatives!
And wow, woman, you are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to reading. Six books already! I'm both jealous and awe-struck. :)

I missed you!! And even if the blogosphere goes on, it's a poorer place without your smilng face! :)

Or more the case of that being an absurdly long break! Good luck to Martin at the new school.

(Anonymous)

i think the 10-10-10 reading challenge is right up my alley. i definitely need to read more. happy anniversary of your temporary move to europe :)

(Anonymous)

ps. hope your first day back at work wasn't too painful.
jeanine

My whole first week is turning out to be painful. :(

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