Monday was a gorgeous day here. The temperature was a moderate 80 degrees with complete sunshine and no humidity, the perfect spring day. I was out exercising during the day and as I walked home, the garbage truck was stopped across the street, and I commented to the driver about the beautiful day. He replied that he was lucky to have a job that allowed him to be outside all day.
When my boys were four and two and not yet in school, they used to be fascinated by the garbage truck and the garbage collectors. They’d excitedly run outside to watch them go down our street each week. My oldest son, Matthew, would tell us that someday he and his brother, Alex, would be garbage collectors with Matthew driving the truck and Alex riding at the back.
His thinking back then, before any labels or expectations about life were placed on him, was pure and innocent. He only knew what was important to him . . . being outside, spending time with his brother, and, of course, driving the truck. As we all grow up and have competing desires for what we want – careers, family, homes, vacations, meaning and purpose, I believe that it’s difficult to remember what is most important to us. I hear a lot of young people stating that when they complete their schooling, they don’t want a job that has them in an office and behind a desk all day. It sounds just like what Matthew wanted back when he was four and probably what we all wish we had more of – time outside, in beautiful weather, with our closest friends and family. It’s a nice thought as we approach the summer.
Take care and stay safe.
You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead
A love triangle plays out over decades on a Montana dude ranch. A hurdler and a gymnast spend a single night together in the Olympic village. Mistakes and mysteries weave an intangible web around an old man’s deathbed in Paris, connecting disparate destinies. On the slopes of an unfinished ski resort, a young woman searches for her vanished lover. A couple’s Romanian honeymoon goes ominously awry, and, in the mesmerizing title story, a former child actress breaks with her life in a Hollywood cult. In these and other stories, knockout after knockout, Maggie Shipstead delivers another “extraordinary” (New York Times) work of fiction and seals her reputation as a writer of “breathtaking range and skill” (Kirkus Reviews). Rich in imagination and dazzling in its shapeshifting style, You Have a Friend in 10A excavates the complexities of love, sex, and life in ways unsparing and hilarious, sharp-eyed and tender.