Monday, March 31, 2014

A weekend for readiing

Every weekend comes with a to-do list. At this time of year, most of my to-do's are related to exterior maintenance of the house or yard. Some weekends there are trips to take, places to go, appointments to keep.

This past one was a weekend of altered plans. I had planned to be at work early Saturday on a new work project, beginning the construction of a house. But raindrops pounding the roof awakened me during the night, and I heard the rain falling as I awoke a second and a third time, when I got up, got dressed and looked at the weather forecast on the computer. The rain would last all day, with the chance of precipitation never dropping below 70%. My outdoor plans — not only the house construction but also the lawn maintenance and more ambitious projects such as sealing the wooden deck — would have to change.

I did some things I could do in the rainy weather, and then I settled down with a thick book and transported my mind back to 1943 and immersed myself in the Allies' invasion of Fascist Italy. I had been reading Rick Atkinson's three-volume history of World War II and was about halfway through the second volume. But my reading time was limited to a few minutes in the evening as I lay in bed and waited for fatigue to blur the words on the page and to loosen my grip on the book. To have an hour to sit and read was both a luxury and a therapy. To absorb the details of the Italian campaign without nodding off or losing my place was a gift that enlivened my mind. To read at length at a time of day when my energy level kept me engrossed in what I was reading was a rejuvenating tonic.

A day-long rain ruined my weekend. And rescued it.

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