“I cannot live without books”

Hello! Made it! Woke up in the dark here in the Catskills – still feeling on U.K. time.

Just had a coffee in my favorite mug, which sat in the cupboard waiting all these months….

A morning cup in my Monticello-bought Thomas Jefferson mug. [Photo by me, 2015.]
A morning cup in my Monticello-bought Thomas Jefferson mug. [Photo by me, 2015.]

“I cannot live without books.” That is an actual Thomas Jefferson quote. Yes, a real one.

We flew into Newark airport yesterday afternoon.

Boarding at Heathrow, in our row sat – of all things – a 60ish Australian lawyer who’d been to the Australia dismantlement of England at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday night. He was heading to New York, he’d said, because Australia wasn’t playing again for a while. He had decided to “hop over” to the U.S. for a week before flying back to England for the next match.

“They keep up that form,” he declared, “they can take the All Blacks.”

We’ll see.

More future novelist material, perhaps. ๐Ÿ™‚

Usually, my parents come and stay in our house if we’re away too long. This summer, though, with my mother developing the underactive thyroid, they haven’t been able to drive up. (She can barely get off the sofa, it seems.) Thankfully, a friend keeps an eye out on it too, and she’d been in numerous times.

Still, on arrival, everything looked like it had been “frozen” in time inside since we’d last been here in April.

Outside, not so much. The driveway had taken a battering at some point in summer rains – several huge gullies had cut through the gravel. My heart nearly sank at the work that’ll be needed to repair it, but it’ll be okay.

On an up note: the guys who looked after the grass for us. Wow, have they done a good job! Our normally “mountain” rough lawn somehow looks like centre court at Wimbledon in places.

We used a rental car to get here. Our Subaru had been sitting in the garage untouched by anyone all those months. Shortly after we arrived, I got in to start it fully expecting trouble…. but after lots of ruh, ruh, ruh, ruhhing, it roared to life.

Understand, that’s not meant as a product endorsement. Your Subaru – “So reliable, it will start after 6 months sitting in a Catskills garage.” I’m just stating a fact.

We noticed the foliage on the way up. The leaves are magnificent colors. It must be around “peak” time…. before they all fall off.

Lastly, before I forget and hit publish. You probably agree: being able now to use electronics on planes is fantastic. The time sitting there can be put to some constructive use if you wish.

Using my iPad, I did more proofing of Distances: marking changes that are mostly tiny – often those that annoy an author, but which a reader might never notice.

It dawned on me too at 35,000 ft in the Boeing 777 (I still dislike that plane), somewhere over the mid-Atlantic, that there could not really have been a more appropriate location to be proofing another of these novels that often include so much “back and forth” across that ocean.

Have a good day, wherever you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Author: โ€œConventions: The Garden At Paris,โ€ โ€œPassports,โ€ โ€œFrontiers,โ€ and โ€œDistances.โ€ British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.