Thursday, 18. December 2008
Books and So Forth

Thursday 18 Dec 2008
11:25 a.m.

Everett, making notes about the life of that little shit Hitler, said he is sure he will have homework over the school holiday. I said "What kind of teacher would be that rotten?" He says they all would. I don't believe it.

He says, "I think I know why Hitler acted the way he did."
Why, I ask.
"Because he felt like a nobody."

The local library closes down today, till the new year. Yesterday I stocked up on books, set on the corner of the kitchen table there. Could hardly wait to get into bed and read last night.

Am into two right now: one about the underground railroad to Canada in the late 19th century, called I've Got a Home in Glory Land, and the other a fiction that is depressing the hell out of me; I don't care if the author is venerated and has won at least one Governor General's Award ... I am having to force myself to keep on reading this thing, which is supposed to be "an exploration of how humanity faces inhumanity, how lies and disappointments cannot and will never destroy truth and human greatness." I'm pushing ahead but am starting to skim. It's called Mercy Among the Children. I want to get it over with, and may just set it aside.

Of those that came home with me yesterday, one is written by Monia Mazigh, the wife of Maher Arar. He's the Syrian-born Canadian man who, while travelling back to Canada through the U.S. shortly after 9/11, was deported by U.S. authorities back to Syria as a suspected terrorist, and there imprisoned for two years and tortured. He was never convicted of anything but went through hell, and he is not the only one. I'm thinking of Mr Arar as a personal hero, because in spite of the nightmare he experienced and the fact that he is now in a position, financially at least, to retire from some of the ugliness of this life and the people in it and the institutions they profess to serve, he is continuing to fight because there are other people this injustice is happening to. Many of us would just be trying to forget it, as if that would be possible. He is using it to make a difference in the world, in spite of the cost to himself.

It appears that Grandma does have a bladder infection after all.
I stopped at the lodge yesterday to drop off some supplies (high-efficiency laundry soap, light bulbs, q-tips, shampoo and conditioner, etc) but she was down in the dining room in the middle of her supper so I left the bag with the home-care worker and came home.

While the boys were getting their haircuts in town, I walked to the drug store to do some Christmas shopping. In the lineup for the cashier I stood next to a tall, dark-haired man who was wearing only a heavy sweater over a fleecy. I touched his arm and said, "Are you sure you're warm enough in just this?"
He said yes, as a matter of fact this 20- and 30-below weather feels balmy to him, except for when the wind comes up, compared to where he lives. Where's that? I asked. The Yukon. How cold is it up there? 60 below. Oh! Well then enjoy your tropical vacation here in Saskatchewan, I told him. Just cut holes in a garbage bag for your head and arms, I joked, and wear that over your sweater to cut the wind.

Emil called down the stairs this morning before catching the schoolbus:
"Bye Mom! You have a good day, okay? Are you going to miss me when I'm gone all day?"
I called back, chipper:
"Bye Emil! You have a good day too! Keep yourself warm. I won't miss you, but I'll be glad to see you come home."


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