Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I overslept this morning and had a medical appointment and so am only now able to post my Tuesday entry:

Riddle:  I can be cracked,
I can be made,
I can be told,
I can be played.
What am I?

I am so deep into fifteenth century England that sometimes, when I come up for air, I wonder momentarily, Barack who?  Right now I am interested in trying to figure out who had the better claim to the throne after Richard II was deposed in 1399.  And why so many of the nobility were willing to play Last Man Standing to prove their own claims.  I didn’t realize when I started doing this research how complicated the history would be!  I was thinking it might be the equivalent of a college-level history course, but I think I could earn a masters in the subject, were I to finally absorb the details of that dreadful but fascinating time.  And all so I can discuss intelligently the controversy surrounding Richard III when attendees at Magna cum Murder at the end of this month gather to talk about Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey.

There is a man in Ohio who vanished from his home town back in 1986, having lost his job and owing tens of thousands in child support.  Eight years later, he was declared dead and his “widow” began collecting Social Security money for their children.  Now he’s back – but a judge refuses to rescind the judgement of his death!  It could have been done had he returned within three years of the declaration of his death, but it’s been way longer than that.  There is apparently a concern that if he is declared “never dead,” his family would have to replay the government all the money that was collected for the children.  I have sympathy for them, but it’s odd to think that here’s a man who has no Social Security number (he’d need a birth certificate to get one, and that document belongs to a man who is legally dead), can’t get a security clearance, and can’t get a job that requires a background check (is there a decent job nowadays that doesn’t?).  He’s a real-life “unperson.”  Wouldn’t that make a gangbuster of a novel?  Here’s the news story about him: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/09/us/ohio-legally-dead-man/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

We are living in science fiction times.

I am so very grateful to my friend Tanya who has been faithfully coming over every Wednesday at noon for lunch and then going with me to a needlework shop where we sit at a table with the owner and sometimes other customers to stitch and talk.  I used to do this when I began writing my needlework series, and it’s great to recapture that lovely, relaxing time, and I’m making happy progress on the needlepoint project I’ve resurrected.

Today is my birthday.  I am being taken out to dinner and have invited four friends to join us.  No gifts – but I am soliciting advice on growing old gracefully (or disgracefully), as I now, at seventy, consider myself officially Old.  I’m not sad about it, it’s an accomplishment many others have failed to gain, and there are many good things to it.  But, like Young, you only get to be old once, so I want to do it right.  If any of you care to chime in, I’d love to read your thoughts.

Answer:  A joke


Anonymous said...

Happy Birth Monica! I am a devoted reader in Vermont! I met you at a cross stitch event when I lived in MN and you were/are a delight!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Happy, happy birthday, Monica! And my favorite historical time in England was the sixteenth century, the Restoration, the time of King Charles II whose courtiers carried around small spaniels whose descendants became--what else?--Cavalier King Charles Spaniels!

Christine Thresh said...

Happy Birthday. Hey, 70 isn't old. Ask me how I know.
Have a wonderful day and evening.

Wimsey Productions said...

Just happened upon your blog...what a gem! I love history and mystery and will definitely be checking out these books!