Greetings. It is early afternoon here in New Hometown, Florida on Saturday, May 29, 2021. It is a hot late spring day; the temperature is 88˚F (31˚C) under partly sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the west-southwest at 10 MPH (15 KM/H) and humidity at 44%, the heat index is 89˚F (32˚C). Today’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 89˚F (32˚C). Tonight, we can expect partly cloudy skies and a low of 71˚F (22˚C).
Today I woke up way too early again. This time around I was up at 5 AM even though it is Saturday and, of course, the start of the Memorial Day weekend. I tried to get back to sleep, but all I managed to accomplish was to toss and turn on my futon and silently curse at my wakefulness. Now it’s almost 2 PM and all I feel like doing – other than writing this blog post – is to sit in a quiet corner of the house that is not my room and read a good book. l
As I write this, I am away from my room and tap-tap-tapping away on my new laptop in the kitchenette. I can’t say that I’m in the best environment for writing; the Caregiver and her boyfriend are watching Three Billboards Near Billings, Montana with the TV at an annoyingly loud volume.
Having said that, I need to try my best to tune the background noise out and spend time outside of my room. I spend way too much time cooped up there, and one of the reasons why I spent so much money on this Lenovo IdeaPad was so that I could at least work or play somewhere else, even if I don’t leave the confines of the house. Otherwise, what was the point of buying a laptop?
Anyway, this is not the first time that I try to write in a less-than-ideal writing environment. As long ago as 2010 – when my mom underwent surgery to repair her badly-damaged spine and had to be moved to what had been our townhouse’s guest room – I had to use the Compaq laptop that this new one replaced in our dining room so I could write and still be close to my mother’s s sickroom.
I didn’t like it then, either, but there was no other viable option because my desktop PC was set up in my old bedroom on the second floor, and that’s where the DSL modem and router were. I did try to write on my desktop on a few occasions, but I didn’t like leaving the ground floor unattended while strangers took care of my mom, and then some things went missing (like my first cellphone’s charger, plus a few of my mom’s knick-knacks) from the living room. So even though I missed the solitude and privacy of my bedroom, I spent the next five years writing in the dining room area. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but as my mother’s primary caregiver, I had no other choice.
So, Dear Reader, I don’t have much of a plan for today besides finding a less noisy room in which to park my butt and read a couple of chapters from Michael R. Beschloss’ The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev 1960-1963. This is a book I bought on one of the few shopping trips I made with my mom to the then-new Dolphin Mall sometime after it opened in 2001. I don’t remember the name of the store, but I do remember it was like going to a store where all of the shelves are the “discount bins.” I think I paid $5.99 for the hardcover edition of The Crisis Years, which was from 1991 and originally priced at $29.95.
There were plenty of other books – none of them recent – that were priced at $5.99 or even less, but The Crisis Years was the only title that appealed to me; it’s a non-fiction book about the tense relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Kennedy-Khrushchev years, and since Cold War history appeals to me, I snapped it up. It spans only a short period of time, but it covers some of the most difficult crises ever faced by an American President, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the fateful summit in Vienna where the wily Soviet Premier tried to bully the younger and still tentative American President into giving in to Russian demands that the Western Allies leave West Berlin and recognize East Germany as a legitimate nation, the 1961 construction of the Berlin Wall, and, of course, the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.
I have owned The Crisis Years for nearly two decades, but I have only read it from cover to cover once. I liked it and wrote a glowing review in Epinions in the years before my mom’s health failed and my life changed in many ways. Now it’s time for a re-read, so what better time than an otherwise drab and unpromising Saturday, right?
I don’t have any other news to share with you, Dear Reader, so I will close this post here. I hope your Saturday is going well, and until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.