Sunday, December 4, 2011

December Saturday in Greencastle

This is the first weekend in almost two months when I haven't been either away (Milwaukee, Chicago, two different trips back to Colorado) or entertaining house guests, with all the busy fun that involves. It's my weekend to do whatever I want to do all by myself all day long.

So yesterday I did laundry (long overdue), had breakfast at the Blue Door Cafe (veggie omelet for a change from French toast), and then went to a wonderful cookie sale at the Gobin Methodist church on the edge of campus: you pay for a decorated cookie tin (more of a coffee canister) and don a plastic glove and then wander past tray after tray of decorated cookies of every conceivable kind, making your selections.

After that I went to the Putnam County public library, two blocks from my house (about halfway between my house and the Blue Door) and read for my China conference paper, which is going to focus on the Henry Huggins and Ramona books of Beverly Cleary. I sat in the children's room and skim-read three Henry's in the morning and two Ramona's in the afternoon, after corn chowder at the Blue Door and a few of my cookie-sale cookies back at home for dessert. I could have checked out the books and read them at home; reading them there at the library made me feel like Betsy Ray off to Deep Valley's Carnegie Library (this is a Carnegie Library, too), to read all day in Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.

After that I met with two students to help them with their Rousseau papers, and then had dinner with another first-year faculty member, Rachel from Conflict Studies: we both love "sides" rather than meals, so that's what we had. And then we went together to an incredible gospel service by the DePauw gospel choir, held at the beautifully decorated Gobin church. "This is not a concert," the young woman who welcomed us announced. "This is a praise and worship service! Prepare to get up on your feet and praise His holy name!" And wow, it was indeed impossible to sit still and remain unmoved by the music that followed and the passionate intensity with which it was offered.

And then I came home and put on my nightgown by 8 p.m. and read Janet Lambert's 1941 teen novel, Star-Spangled Summer: she was born and raised in Crawfordsville, Indiana, just north of here, and as you know, I now love all things connected in any way with my new state.

So that was my sweet December Saturday in Greencastle.

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