I just started a new novel - The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. I've never read any of Henry James' writings before, but I've read about him. Somewhere I read that his novels are slow-moving. I can see why. A great deal of time is spent inside the heads of the characters. But I like that. I like to know what people are thinking.
The party barge project is coming along. Proud Mary, as she was unofficially dubbed at the last family gathering, is still in dry dock. The new carpet and the new seats have been installed. One of the seats doubles as an ice chest. Jerry, never lacking in ingenuity, has rigged it up so that the ice chest can be drained through a hole in the deck. The next hurdle is the upholstered cushions that cover the gas tank and motor. Do we tackle the reupholstering job ourselves or hire it out? I think we'll get a few estimates and then decide.
When Proud Mary sails (or - to be more accurate - guzzles gas), I plan to make myself comfortable on the new seats, sip a cool drink, and read or write while Jerry fishes. I won't have to take a dictionary with me because I just bought one of those nifty little electronic dictionaries. I'm already addicted to this little gizmo and keep it handy whenever I'm reading.
Spiders are taking over the barn. We've got to call an exterminator before we fill the barn up with new hay for the winter. My thoughts about spiders . . .
I really don’t want to harm you.
I’ve heard about Charlotte’s Web.
But the stalls are no place to gather your wealth.
The barn wasn’t built for you.
It’s home to three gaiting horses;
and although they never complain,
I’m annoyed by you, your family and friends,
all cozy in lacy homes.
You’re a creature of God, I’m told;
but I wonder - really, I do!
If the devil himself has sent you here,
to invade this wholesome barn.
So my broom sweeps away your empire.
I’m sorry you toiled so to build it.
Go! to the trees, the woods, and the fields.
I won’t pursue you there.
You won’t miss the lowly barn flies –
A wealth of mosquitos you’ll find.
And the sun will make your fair webs
glitter and gleam like diamonds.
Judith B. Landry - 2007