Saturday, January 22, 2005

AH! Home sweet home! I am so glad to be back. A beautiful sunny Saturday here on St. Thomas. Steve says I brought the good weather home with me - not hardly, it was nasty rainy cold in Boston and then just plain cold in Houston. We just got back from a trip to "town" - Charlotte Amalie - to drop off laundry. I hope our next apt. has a washer and dryer hook-up. Water is a real issue on the East End of the island where we live. Lots of people end up buying water so few rental units have washers and dryers. Wish we had rented the place we initially looked at on the North Side as that part of the island get lots of rain so there was a washer and dryer hook-up. We drove up a side road on the way to town that looked like it might have promise of a rental with a great view, but when we saw the guy herding goats I said no way. We have them in this neighborhood and they are noisy little things.

Only two cruise ships in, but lots of BABS (big ass boats) along the wharf and in the marinas. The CEO of Oracle's BAB is docked at the marina where we ate lunch. Beautiful sleek boat. Steve and I love to boat watch and drool. Would have to win the lottery to afford one of them. Took a picture of the Lady Allison since that is our granddaughter's name.

I haven't read the Truesight Trilogy by David Stahler, Jr., but after reading the ARC for his newest YA novel - A Gathering of Shades - I certainly plan on. What a cool ghost story. Aidan's father had recently died in a car accident and his mom has moved them back to her childhood home in a remote area of Northern Vermont. They are living with his grandmother, Memere, who is certainly not like any grandmother I have ever met, in a run down old house. Memere goes for a stroll into the orchard each evening and Aidan follows her to discover she is "feeding" the shades - ghosts of the dead who have not gone to the other side yet. Their shadowy forms fill in a bit as they drink the creek water flavored with a few drops of her blood. It isn't long before Aidan becomes angry because his father never shows up with the shades. His first glimpse is of his father as a shade in his child form. His father's shade ages as Aidan seeks and sometimes finds him, but Aidan is not able to catch up with his father as he wanders through the hills he left behind years before. Aidan's pain of letting go is so intense it makes your eyes smart with tears and your heart hurt.

Memere has given Aidan a copy of the Odyssey, which she has read many times through the years, and he begins to compare the events in his life with those of Odysseus and his son. I think the Odyssey is one of the greatest adventure stories every written, so if teens will pick it up after reading A Gathering of Shades I would be delighted. I hope librarians will share Stahler's books with the HS English teachers. Made me want to go back and read it again.

All for today.