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December 29, 2019: Read Baby Read

The above title comes from the refrain made during the Palin era, drill baby drill, which was in reference to the right wing politicos wanting to extract as much oil as they could from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I used the word could, substitute the word can because this is still going on.

Read baby read – this has a much more positive context. Winters are for heavy duty reading, for sure. The days are short, and the nights are long.

I put a box of poetry, from the recycling center, in the outhouse. I’ve been reading poems by Robert Lowell and Galway Kinnell. I have, following my stint in the outhouse, come back up to cabin with

Alys talks books with Heather
Alys talks books with Heather

books in hand. Yesterday I read some poems by Robert Lowell to Pete at breakfast. Today I read him Kinnel’s St. Francis and the Sow. What an amazing poem – such beautiful detail. And there are others, well worthy of reading over and over.

I later brought a few boxes of children’s books (which were in the back of the truck) up to the cabin. The boxes are now in the kitchen addition, and some of the books are on the kitchen table. I will clean them up tonight, some I will earmark for future distribution, and some I will earmark for keeping. I found an old copy of Donald Hall’s The Oxcart Man, and a new copy of a book called Floss, which is a book about a border collie that is called upon to herd sheep but just wants to play ball with kids. The dog in the illustration looks like Ryder.

And in a short bit, I will finish up a nonfiction book entitled Emergency Animal Rescue Stories, by Terri Crisp. It’s not a great book. I read it because I might someday be called upon to do animal rescue work and therefore should know some about the ins and outs of this kind of job. Annoying, Crisp name-drops relentlessly. But the book gets progressively more interesting as it goes along.

The chapter that resonates with me is one in which she begins by saying, “In this kind of work. You have to have as much compassion for the people as you do for the animals because, because we’re constantly interacting with the human victims who have hit bottom and have a long ways to go to pull themselves back up.” Crisp then gives several examples. I think Crisp’s book would have been far more compelling if, early on, she’d said this and then provided more examples.

Well, nevertheless, I’m going to wrap this book up and give it as a gift to the current head of our local animal shelter, along with a few boxes of books.

Share the wealth, I say, and will continue to say.

Next: 361. 12/30/19: 2020 Coming Right Up

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