Two weeks ago I fell down two small, but mighty steps, while having dinner at my son’s house. As I landed, I broke my ankle/leg in three places and dislocated the joint. During a three hour surgery the following day, I was outfitted with all sorts of new hardware to hold my ankle and foot together. I have four more weeks of non-weight bearing on that leg, so now my new reality strictly includes activities I can do while sitting. I have made use of my time by reading and stitching. Lots of reading. Lots of stitching.
Here are some of the pieces I have stitched and finished (so far!):
These hardanger angels are made from Norwegian fabric and stitched with patterns that I found in a book and overlaid onto the angel outlines. I backed them with felt and embellished them with decorative stitches and beads. I love doing hardanger pieces.
Books I have read (so far):
The Ships of Brides By Jojo Moyes is about a group of young war brides, from Australia, being sent to their new home and husbands in England at the end of WWII. I am a sucker for Jojo Moyes books and enjoyed this one, although I can’t say that it was great literature, it is historical fiction, one of my favorite genres. And I loved that it was about Australian brides given our time there earlier this year.
The Captain’s Daughter by Leah Fleming is a novel about two women who survive the sinking of the Titanic and their subsequent friendship. This was not a heavy read, but was perfect for lying in bed, on heavy medication. Can’t say it was great but it held my interest while I was bedridden. It was predictable and the characters a bit over simplified, but then again, I am a sucker for a happy ending—which this one has.
The Mill River Redemption, A Novel by Darcie Chan, is a sequel to her earlier best seller, The Mill River Recluse, which I did not read. This is the story of a woman who leaves NYC after her husband dies and heads for small town Vermont to raise her two small children with the help of an aunt that she barely knows. When the daughter are young women, they become estranged and after their mother dies, they find out that the unusual terms of her will are supposed to help them forgive each other. This book raised all sorts of interesting questions for me. What would I have done if something had happened to my husband when my kids were little? Would I have stayed in northern California or returned to the east coast to live near family? You see when my kids were six and one my husband received a cancer diagnosis. He is fine now, but this theme struck home (although please note that the husband in the book did not die of cancer). Another theme that interested me was the notion of estrangement. Is there something that a family member could do that would make it so that I wouldn’t speak to them for decades? The sisters in the book had not spoken to each other for over 10 years when their mother dies. I come from a family in which I didn’t meet one of my grandparents because of this: one of my parents cut off their mother for over 10 years – it is an interesting thing to think about.
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro is a novel about art and value. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. I read this one for my book club and I liked thinking about what gives a piece of art its value: is it simply because it was painted by a famous painter? Or is it because the piece has meaning or beauty or evokes emotion? The book is a bit of a mystery, but it unfolds well and the characters are well developed and mostly make sense.
One thing I noticed is that all four of these books make use of going back and forth in time to tell their stories. And even though they varied in depth and sophistication, they each made use of history and I always enjoy reading about the past.
What would you do with you time if you were suddenly forced to sit and heal?
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