Wednesday, August 7, 2013

On This Date in 1998

Since today is a carbon copy of yesterday, we’re back at the beach – Kinzua Dam again as flotation devices are not permitted at Chapman Dam. Barb didn’t join us today, complaining of a sunburn, actually a little bit of redness on the upper left side of her chest area. But thanks to Barb, the boys and I came better prepared today. She found a rubber raft in the attic and bought a pail and shovel set, the three “shovels” able to be used a squirt guns. We also brought along beach footwear, so we didn’t have to repeat yesterday’s painful trek along 40 feet of stones to get to the water. The bottoms of my feet are a little sore today, and it feels like there is a bruise in the middle of my right sole.

Unable to continue with Sara Paretsky’s latest book, a major disappointment, I purchased a copy of Cloudsplitter, a 700-page epic by Russell Banks based on the lives of John Brown and his offspring. Banks will be the keynote speaker at this year’s WLA conference, and I promised myself I would read this latest book of his by then. Might as well get started now, I told myself, after finding no other titles by Banks on the shelves. It’s a book that you might enjoy as it deals with Bloody Kansas, the raid on Harpers Ferry, and other events leading up to the Civil War, part of a 300-year conflict that the author refers to as the War Between the Races. After reading 40 pages, I think it’s safe to state that this is a well-researched, well-imagined, and well-written book.

I’m surprised my retreat to the blanket hasn’t been interrupted, but Andy, untypically, is enjoying being on his own. He’s at the water’s edge, inspecting stones, or so it looks from here. Eddie is on the raft, paddling himself around with one of the shovels. Andy and I tossed the Frisbee back and forth for awhile, until my right contact popped out of my eye after two consecutive dives as I tried to make a spectacular catches of Andy’s errant throws. Both times, to my great relief, I was able to pluck the lens from my eyelids.

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