Clouds

Summer activities during my childhood were simpler than today’s activities. Water to cool off came via a sprinkler connected to a garden hose. Or an inflated wading pool filled to the brim with cool water.

We rode our bikes on neighborhood streets. Hopscotch boards appeared on sidewalks drawn with chalk. And there was the simple joy of lying in the grass beneath a large tree and looking up through the tree branches.

One of my favorite past times was lying beneath a large sycamore tree in our front yard. As I looked through its branches, I could see the sky and clouds.

My imagination would run a bit wild, and I’d be able to see interesting shapes among the clouds. Animal shapes were my favorites, but to discover any shape was a success!

Imagination is one of God’s great gifts to the human mind. Think of the many ways the imagination helps the artist, whether painting or writing.

So thankful God created imagination!

Image by 준희 김 from Pixabay.

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

 
 
In my opinion, Dani Shapiro is an excellent writer. By reading her books, nonfiction or fiction, a reader can learn a great deal about writing. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love is no different. 
 
A random DNA sample returns results which stun Shapiro and her husband. A lower percentage of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage in her background leaves Shapiro suspicious. Considering her parents’ backgrounds, the Ashkenazi percentage should have been higher. With both parents now dead, who could she ask about this possible aberration?
 
Shapiro immediately begins her search for the truth. But what is the truth she keeps asking herself? And who is there to help her? Her Aunt Shirley is one possible source. Although she can’t solve the mystery, Aunt Shirley consoles Shapiro and tells Shapiro that:
 
“confusion about the identity of her biological dad can be a door to discovering who a father really is.” (Emphasis added.)
 
I found the first half of the book difficult to read because of several repetitive portions. Shapiro’s obsession with the question of her “Jewishness” may result in repetitions. Her obsession causes her to worry over her identity within her family and in the larger world. The obsessions and the worrying are understandable, but they become monotonous. These chapters are short and moved along at a quick pace.
 
The second half of the memoir is more engaging. Shapiro shares her attempts to connect with her biological father. Research reveals similarities in appearance, posture, and traits and mannerisms. This story is woven with threads coming from multifaceted situations involving real people. At times, Shapiro belabors her points but she always comes back to the truth and history wrapped up in her story
 
Fans of her other books will enjoy reading how Shapiro coped with this unsettling find. It is clear to me that Inheritance will likely draw others who haven’t read any of her books.

 

 

Surprises

Most of us enjoy surprises. Some of us don’t. When Bob and I married, we vowed not to surprise the other at work on birthdays and anniversaries. I should have thought about Valentine’s Day.
 
One year Bob sent me a singing telegram on Valentine’s Day. It came straight to my desk at work. Sung by a Barbershop quartet made up of members from the chorus Bob sang with, I blushed as the center of attention.
 
Spring is full of surprises. One has appeared in the one sunny spot in our front yard. I noticed it a few days ago and mentioned to Bob the leaves unfurling on tiny green stems looked like cosmos. Bob knows I love cosmos.
 
After several such comments, Bob looked at me and said, “Surprise! I planted some cosmos seeds.” What a delightful surprise and beautiful thought my gardening husband shared with me.
 
Image by Jean Degryse from Pixabay