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Archives - Weekly Update

Here come the holidays! It’s been a “compressed week” at as our usual five-day schedule was slotted into 2.5 days. That meant we all typed a lot faster; actually, we did everything a lot faster. It got me in training for making Thanksgiving dinner when I will be chopping chopping chopping all afternoon. Realizing that we have less shopping days between now and Christmas, I think that everything in December will be moving faster than usual. And for those who are celebrating Hanukkah with turkey this year, the next time that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day will be in 75,000 years. I guess retailers do not need to plan ahead for repeating this.

Today is a day when everyone born in 1958 and earlier has a story of “where they were” 50 years ago when they heard “THE news.” (I am guessing anyone younger than that does not have this memory.) For me, I was in second grade. An announcement came over the loudspeaker sharing the news of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and our teacher flipped on the television that usually was reserved for watching educational programs and moon launches. From there came a number of other memories: of Jackie, “the salute,” the riderless horse, and so many more. The other night, I tuned in to the CNN documentary "The Sixties: The Assassination of President Kennedy" just at the point where they were showing Lee Harvey Oswald being shot. I remembered watching that live; seeing it again, it was just as I remembered it. Watching this, I am happy that Caroline Kennedy left for Japan last week. The endless footage and commentary here would have been so difficult for her.

People always ask how I get so much done. For starters, I am a compulsive list maker. Everything goes on lists. I do not keep my calendar in Outlook or in any other handy calendar-type program. Instead, it’s on an Excel spreadsheet. Seriously. I have found this the easiest way for me to fluidly handle work and personal tasks. By this time of year, the Excel calendar for next year has been set up, and I already am transferring timely items like “prune roses” and “buy bulbs for holiday plants” --- tasks I would forget to do if not reminded. I know it sounds like I am some version of Martha Stewart, but I am not!

It’s amazing what you can do when you have power in late October and early November. For the last two years, power outages after storms kept us from turning the lights on, so there was not a lot of time for pre-winter organization. I am on a roll these days doing just that. First up, of course, is books. I moved my graphic novel collection to our New York office, which means I now have eight shopping bags of books lined up along a wall there eagerly awaiting new bookshelves and two huge empty shelves at home that now hold knitting books and journals. At the house, books also are migrating to new locations as I sort through what I have read, what I plan to read and what I want to finish --- three distinct groups. Note: there is no conversation about books, except for the aforementioned graphic novels, leaving the house. It’s like they are birds migrating to a new location.

Where did October go? Whoooosh! The flipping of the calendar to November 1st gave me a small moment of pre-holiday panic. Luckily, Thanksgiving is late this year, giving me a moment to catch my breath before deciding on a holiday menu! This weekend has one of my favorite things: the addition of an hour as the clocks fall back. Each year by this week, I am dragging around, and I am convinced it’s because my body is craving those extra 60 minutes it gave up back in March. I do not look forward to early dark evenings...but ahhh that hour on Sunday, let me count the ways to spend it! For us book lovers, it’s a chance for an extra hour of reading!