“Sir, I don’t know where your ship learned to communicate, but it has the most peculiar dialect.” – C-3PO, Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
As you may have realized (yes, I know, I hide it well), reading is one of my favorite activities. In reality, reading mysteries set in the English countryside has become, to be blunt, a bit of an obsession these past few years. I like them set from modern times (Minette Walters) to a more genteel age (Agatha Christie), between the World Wars (Jacqueline Winspear) to over a century ago (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), and everything in between. I just can’t seem to get enough of them.
Despite the fact that the authors and I share (for the most part) a common language, there are frequently antiquated or obtuse terms that send me running for my trusty old Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary – spattered, stained and highlighted (but still tightly bound, thankyouverymuch) after these two and some odd decades. Yes, I can generally gather the meaning through context, but it niggles my brain (3rd definition: GNAW) not to know exactly what the author meant. So I scurry into the delicate pages, hunting for meaning, before re-reading the passage with the full knowledge of what the author meant to express. Ah, it’s just divine.
So I have been sitting here this afternoon, while Padawan Learner goes about his lessons, very much enjoying my first book by Catherine Aird, The Stately Home Murder, with my much revered old red dictionary by my side. Seventy-three pages in and I’ve already looked up a dozen words. Now that’s my idea of an afternoon well spent!
C-3PO: ”His high exaltedness, the Great Jabba the Hutt, has decreed that you are to be terminated immediately.”
Han Solo: ”Good, I hate long waits.”
C-3PO: ”You will therefore be taken to the Dune Sea, and cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac.”
Han Solo: ”Doesn’t sound so bad.”
C-3PO: ”In his belly you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.”
Han Solo: ”On second thought, let’s pass on that, huh?”
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi
Waiting is painful to me. Waiting for homeschooling to start each year is doubly painful. Toss in a new style of homeschooling – math, writing and history/science lessons in the morning and revolving topical lessons in the afternoons – and you’ve got a recipe for waiting disaster.
This is because I’m a planner by nature, no doubt I was born with a schedule book in one hand and a freshly sharpened #2 Ticonderoga pencil in the other. (My mother must have been in agony.) If given too much free time, I begin to “tweak” the homeschool lesson plan ad nauseum.
- Oh, this looks good. Add that in.
- Really can’t ignore that, it’s so interesting. Add that in.
- I never knew the library had so much on this topic. Add that in.
- Well, this exhibit just sounds fabulous. Add that in.
You get the idea. Before too long, I’ve got so much scheduled that Dad Windu and I would have to tag team lessons just to get any sleep. As for Padawan Learner, he’d get no sleep at all – let alone time for eating, playing, or taking a crap. On the flip side, his room would no doubt stay much neater.
I noticed early last week that I was moving into crazy over planning mode, so I took drastic measures. I walked to the library and checked out every last Agatha Christie mystery that I hadn’t read yet. I have a goodly stack (arranged by order of publication because, yes, I am that tightly wound thank.you.very.much) and have been working my way through them at a pretty good clip.
PL expressed concern at first about me reading so much, so feverishly, until I explained my reasoning. He has been almost throwing books at me now whenever I get within 20 pages of a book ending. “Keep reading, Mom.”
“I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate. You have anger. But you don’t use them.” – Count Dooku, Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
Yeah, well he got to use them yesterday afternoon and he’ll get to use them again this weekend because we’re scraping and painting the garage. WooHoo! That’s right, folks. Life here is red hot.
As Mrs. Sunday Morning Doughnut Buddy says, “It builds character.” I’ve been re-reading The Complete Calvin & Hobbes this summer, so that sounds just about right to me. I’m going to make him go camping in a few weeks, too. Maybe it will even rain to round off the experience.
I’m going to re-read The Complete Far Side starting this fall. I wonder what that will eventually lead to…