My mom’s last newspaper column for the summer

Walk with Me by Priscilla Wieck

Summer is my usual time to take a break so this is my last column until September. Hopefully in July, I will be moving to 710 Mulberry Street, just a few blocks from the big white house on the corner where I have resided for the last 40 years. It will be different but I am looking forward to a much smaller space to care for and a new flower garden to tend.

Downsizing: From this 1917 home …..


to this 1970’s “granny house.”

If this virus situation ever gets resolved, I plan to have an open house so all of you curious readers can see what has been taking place. Right now, it doesn’t appear that much visiting will happen for quite a while so I have plenty of time to get settled in before the big reveal.

Traveling through Books

I haven’t been doing much book reading these past few months since Connie has been here. We have been spending our late summer evenings with Netflix and Amazon Prime and not much time is left for books. In the process of packing up for the move, I found a reference book that I had written about a couple of years ago, Book Lust To Go . “Read Your Way Around the World with Nancy Pearl” is the subtitle. Hundreds of books from many different countries are listed as “recommended reading for travelers, vagabonds and dreamers.”

Ms. Pearl is an armchair traveler, librarian, book lover and a compulsive reader. She must be all of these as she boasts that she has read every book she recommends. Since many of us have now decided to limit our travels because of potential virus exposure, now is a good time to arm chair travel. For my personal reading, I gravitate toward a book series. If you stay with a series, you don’t have to keep finding the next book to read.  Another lies ahead, already selected for you. Guess I am a lazy reader.

Suspense and Intrigue

Dorothy Gilman, an espionage writer has created a heroine who belongs not only to the CIA but to the local garden club. In the first novel (1966), “The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax”,Gilman introduces us to Emily Pollifax ,a 60-ish bored New Jersey widow who offers her services to the CIA to find adventure. Through the 14 book series, readers travel to Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, China, Sicily and elsewhere. This series is one of Pearl’s top picks and I am looking forward to joining Emily on her journeys.

Mysteries Galore

If you are a mystery fan, Colin Dexter has penned 13 intriguing novels(1975-1999) set in and around Oxford , England. The novels feature Inspector Endeavor Morse, an ill tempered but lovable Brit , and his partner, Robbie Lewis. Begin reading with Last Bus to Woodstock and you will be hooked. This detective series has been made for British TV and episodes are still shown occasionally on America’s PBS. The novels feature good story lines as well as journeys around the island nation.

Walk for Life

As a walker, I became intrigued with Pearl’s recommendation of “A Walk Across France” by Miles Morland. At the age of 45 ,Moreland left his job as a broker in England and took a hike with his wife, Guislaine across France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Both he and his wife were in poor physical condition but they committed to walking 20 miles a day. Their journey strengthened not only their health but their marriage according to the Pearl . I am ordering this book from our great library system soon. You can do the same for any of these titles you have interest in.

I agree with Pearl when she recommends Peter Jenkin’s fascinating “A Walk Across America.” Jenkins began his journey with his dog,Cooper, in 1973 in New York and continued to New Orleans where he met the woman who would become his wife. He ended his trek in Florence ,Oregon in 1979, a six year journey. Great reading! Jenkins retired from walking in 2012 and instead made a 2 year drive across America in a 1957 Chevy. That story also makes a good read.

Gearing up for cozy winter reads

I am making a list of other books from Pearl’s listings for my winter reading. The evenings will be longer then and Netflix and Amazon Prime may have lost their attraction. Winter flu and virus restrictions will most likely still be around so we all need something to look forward to. Arm chair traveling through books sounds like a good way to spend a long winter’s night,  doesn’t it?

“The more that you read,

The more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

The more places you’ll go.”–Dr. Suess

Until September, Peace

About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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1 Response to My mom’s last newspaper column for the summer

  1. Kate says:

    Oh, Priscilla…..Thank you for the recommendations – Walk Across France by Morland. I read Peter Jenkins from the beginning……my mom gave me his 1st book. I shall go looking for his drive across America….somehow I’ve missed this one. Thanks, Kate

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