Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Need a Vacation After That Vacation...


We're back from our marathon trip back east. I took this picture early in the morning of our last day. We went for my husband's college reunion, and also fit in a visit to my father-in-law, so the trip was action-packed, to say the least. A good time was had by all, but traveling with three kids really takes it out of me. And--no surprise--I got next to no reading done. What was a surprise was that for some unknown reason (and I really shouldn't mention it at all, in order not to jinx it for the future) I was fairly calm on both cross-country flights.

I'm almost done with The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency 8) by Alexander McCall Smith. I'm enjoying the language and the details about life in Botswana. I even tried to follow advice from the book, as I was jostled by a curmudgeonly old man in the airport who muttered darkly at me. He said something like, "You sure picked a nice place to stop," because he had to wheel his suitcase around me and my daughter, who had chosen that moment to squat in the middle of a crowded corridor, for no apparent reason. I wanted to shout after him, "You try flying with a toddler some time!" But instead I took a breath and tried to smile.

I was thinking of lady detective Precious Ramotswe, who inspired her colleague Grace Makutsi to behave with politeness to a rude receptionist:
Mma Ramotswe would be proud of me, she thought; Mma Ramotswe had always said that the repaying of rudeness with rudeness was the wrong thing to do as it taught the other person no lesson. And she was right about that, as she was right about so many other things. Mma Ramotswe...Mma Makutsi saw the face of her friend and heard her voice, as if she was right there, beside her. She would have laughed at Violet. She would have said of her insults, Little words, Mma, from an unhappy woman. Nothing to think twice about. Nothing.

I have to admit, I had avoided this series of books initially because I don't typically read mysteries or series or big bestsellers. But I found this book to be a charming traveling companion.

9 comments:

Sam Houston said...

Welcome home. That photo really captures the spirit of a vacation.

I'm going to have to remember that little lesson about how best to respond to rudeness. My first inclination is to respond in-kind despite knowing how counter productive that is. I'm actually looking forward to trying that tactic out to see what happens. :-)

Literary Feline said...

That's a lovely photo. I understand the feeling of needing a vacation to recover from a busy vacation. They sure do take their toll, don't they? Welcome home.

I have been a long time fan of Precious Ramotswe and friends. She's got a good head on her shoulders her simple approach to life is so refreshing. I am glad you are enjoying the latest book in the series. I haven't found my way to that one yet, but I'm sure I will soon enough. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

stefanie said...

Welcome home! What a beautiful photo!

iliana said...

Oh that picture is lovely. I know what you mean about needing a vacation after one. I'm a fan of the Mma Ramotswe series and am eagerly awaiting the latest installment. They are just such easy books to get into.

Gentle Reader said...

sam--thanks for the welcome and about the photo, which is of Long Island Sound from the Connecticut shore. I took Mma Ramotswe's little lesson to heart, because my first inclination is to respond in kind, also. But I'm working on it :)

literary feline--I'm really enjoying Precious Ramotswe, and you put it well, her simple approach to life is refreshing!

stefanie--thanks--we were in a beautiful spot, so it was easy to take good photos :)

iliana--sounds like your trip was nice, too! I'm exhausted but happy. And this book was easy to get into...a very pleasant read, and perfect for the plane.

Robin said...

What a beautiful photo! It's nice to have you back online. It sounds like a very nice vacation, but I completely understand about needing a vacation to recover from a vacation!

Gentle Reader said...

robin--my husband and I were joking that we could use a weekend where we just plant ourselves and don't move, doesn't have to be fancy or anything--in fact, maybe if we just stayed home but got rid of the kids!

MyUtopia said...

I still need to read my Ladies #1 Detective Agency.

Gentle Reader said...

myutopia--i'm enjoying the book more than i thought i would! i'd be interested to hear what you think :)