Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blue Christmas and More...

Just to update anyone who knows about the flooding situation that occurred in Laie last week, mom had someone come in to inspect her apartment and was told that she needs to trash most of her furniture because of contamination. Now, I'm not proud of myself, but it totally flipped me out! Besides being her only support (working my tail off for enough to get by), I freaked out because it hit me that we'll be semi-homeless for Christmas. After another LONG day of school and grading (still plowing through 8-page research papers for AP--just 25 left), I fell apart. I know, I know, I know. How selfish am I, when so many people are suffering and struggling this time of year. I was tired, and out of that fatigue, I snapped! I think I cried for two hours..., but it will be all right. It just added another layer of stress right now.

Anyway...let me stop whining (impossible, I know, but I'll try). Yesterday I finished two books: Blue Christmas, by Mary Kay Andrews, and Papa Married a Mormon from our November book club choice. I'm just thankful I finished one of our book club choices so far! :)

Blue Christmas was actually a book I listened to on CD while driving to and from work. I finished the previous book to this follow up last month, also listened to in the car. Both books are about Weezie Foley's adventures as an antique dealer in Savannah. As a follow up to her previous book, she now owns her own store, she is still dating Daniel--who she hopes to marry but who is also a big scrooge because of family baggage, and she is trying to prepare for Christmas so she can bring together all the people she loves. It's a cute little story, despite the non-stop, frantic preparations she makes for Christmas, i.e. decorating her store window, decorating her house, throwing a party, buying presents for Daniel, and preparing a huge Christmas feast for her family. As with her previous book, Andrews likes to throw in a bit of mystery, so throughout this novel someone seems to keep getting in Weezie's house and stealing food, in her vehicle to sleep one night, and even in her store front to sleep in the antique bed in the display. Overall, it was a fun story to listen to, and since it's so short, it took no time at all to get through it. While not my favorite Christmas-set novel, it was still fun.

As for Papa Married a Mormon, it ended up better than it started. I guess I didn't care for hearing about the two "apostate" boys who moved out to Utah to settle among the Mormons, being ostracized for being outsiders, and all of that set up. Once the marriage happens between the Mormon girl and the "apostate" Catholic, the story picks up and I really enjoyed hearing all the anecdotes and stories the author recounts about his childhood. It struck me though how sad it was/is that people avoided his family, even though he and his brothers and sister went to Sunday School as children. While some people were open and interacted with his family, most seemed to say, without saying it, that the mom chose to marry outside her faith, therefore she was no longer "true" and in the club. I don't know, it just really struck me. It kind of made me sad, and makes me hope that I'm open and loving to all people that cross my path, regardless of background or choice. I realize this book was more of a man's memoir about his family, but it did leave me thinking about a few things. Not really a fast read, but in the end, I did like it.

Well, I need to head off and get more grading done! Two more days...

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