I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and this is a good time of year to do it: here’s a page of all our costumes. Do you remember me or daughter wearing something fun for Halloween or another event? You can probably find it on the new “All our costumes” page. I’ll be adding the 2013 costumes soon, probably this weekend, when we start wearing the final versions in public…
My son turned eighteen this week. For many years, when folks asked, “What will happen when he’s an adult?” I answered, “Let’s get there first, and then we’ll see.” We’re there now. It’s not the usual eighteenth birthday, by a long stretch, but it’s his; and he is indisputably a happy young man.
On the same day I read that Scranton is a great place for upward mobility, I also read this. Covenant Presbyterian‘s not an abandoned church. It’s a big, functioning congregation, with a particular outreach to adults with developmental disabilities — which I never thought much about as a teen attending there, but now I recall that work with a mother’s gratitude. It’s the church where I went to nursery school, and (much later) the church where we got married, so yeah. Leave the copper alone, please. (This week also saw a lovely old landmark high school building in my hometown burned to the ground. My grandparents went to school at that site. Whatever replaces it won’t be a school — the town doesn’t need more schools — and it won’t be near so good-looking or sturdy, guaranteed.)
It’s really fun to chalk the seawall every April! I’d love if there were more frequent chalk events there. (I’d also love if parents didn’t let their kids smear my chalk drawings WHILE I’M STILL SITTING THERE. So rude!) More pics of the day’s event are in this Flickr set.
Thanks to Peter for this link, in which we learn that the biggest single point source for pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is… the Lackawanna River. More than fifty years after the end of anthracite mining around Scranton, the flooded mines and acid drainage are a continuing hazard to the people of the area, and to anyone unfortunate enough to be downstream. Choicest quote:
Peering through a metal grate down to the borehole, one sees the churning violent water emerging from deep under the ground. What comes out runs along a trough and then enters the Lackawanna River, where the iron from the acid mine water begins to kill the river by scavenging oxygen and coating the river bed with iron, giving it an orange look and a rotten egg smell.
BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December. I don’t read very fast, and I don’t read a lot of short books, so 27 books in a year is pretty good for me. Almost entirely fiction this year; and as evenly split between male and female authors as an odd-numbered list could be. (That wasn’t on purpose.)
- Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
- Rachel Simon, The Story of Beautiful Girl
- Ana Castillo, Peel my Love like an Onion
- Julia Stuart, The Matchmaker of Perigord (BG)
- Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
- Tom McCarthy, C: A Novel (BG)
- Roy Grinker, Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (BG)
- Hilary Mantel, Beyond Black
- Geraldine Brooks, Caleb’s Crossing (BG)
- Lisa Genova, Still Alice (BG)
- Banana Yoshimoto, Hardboiled and Hard Luck
- Lloyd Jones, Mr. Pip
- Ray Bradbury,Machineries of Joy (BG)
- Marina Endicott, Good to a Fault
- Mary Robinette Kowal, Shades of Milk and Honey
- Margaret Forster, Keeping the World Away (BG)
- Jan-Philipp Sendker, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
- Neil Gaiman, American Gods
- Dara Horn, The World to Come
- Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (BG)
- Ernest Cline, Ready Player One (BG)
- Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists
- Sue Reidy, The Visitation
- Joseph O’Neill, Netherland
- John Connolly, The Gates
- Liz Jensen, The Ninth Life of Louis Drax
- Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden
The story of Elsie Scheel, the “perfect specimen” among Cornell coeds in 1912, has come back around. What ever happened to her after her that moment of fame? I didn’t see an answer to that question in a quick look around, so I put some tidbits together about her life beyond the headlines.
Rachel* Rebecca Scheel (b. 1888) was born to Sophie Bade Scheel and John H. Scheel of Brooklyn, their fourth child of five. Her mother Sophie was a physician, daughter of German immigrants, practicing and teaching at the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. Her father John, a hydropath, is credited with coining the term “naturopathy.” So she came from a family deeply involved in health and wellness, and more than passing supportive of women’s education and suffrage. Sophie died in 1933; Elsie’s younger sister Senie Scheel died in Florida in 1985, age 93.
Not too long after leaving Cornell, Elsie married Frederick Rudolf Hirsh, and had at least two children, Elise and John (1921-2004). Her son John became a surgeon in Florida.
That’s about all I can find right now. If there’s more I’m missing, drop me a note in comments. (I’ve seen snippets of a 1991 article from BBW, apparently written by one of Elsie’s children. But I can’t see the whole article.)
*See comments on strikethru.