What's New - April 18

Dear Henry,

Here we are, still under stay at home orders, more than a month later, and I have to tell you, this Spring has been really weird.

The loss of many daily activities and with the unusual weather patterns and cold snaps, it has put the entire area into a sort of surreal timelessness and it has been hard to make plans of any kind.

Fortunately, one of the unusual weather patterns produced a few very warm and very sunny days and I was able to expose several cyanotypes.

I like how this batch of paper turned out, it exposed very blue.

The prints are available at the shop.

Because I like to keep things in theme and because the media keeps touting stories about the end of the world, my www.riteoffancy.com book review selections for this week turned a little toward the apocalyptic.

The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler is a tale of the post-apocalyptic L.A.

An engaging story and an easy read, the story examines what different people will do and how they will behave when there is no society to govern them.

While there are references to God and to different types of religious worship, it isn't a religiously themed book.

It is the first of a series.

As I heard more and more references to isolation and because I wanted to depress myself, I decided to re-read Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death.

It ended just like I remember.  I am glad I re-read it though because it helped me identify, specifically, why I am struggling with the stay at home orders.

Years ago, Bella Vista Arkansas used to be a retirement community and a great many of my friends are currently in the danger zone.

I don't feel better knowing they are all safe at home.  In fact, it hurts my heart.

I have watched so many put off necessary medical treatments and I have heard of spouses being separated because one happened to be in a care center or hospital and I know that many who attended Mass daily are now alone and isolated and cut off from everyone (EWTN and Relevant Radio can only do so much) and I have heard of funeral rites being postponed or canceled because of a risk of contagion.

That so many people I love risk dying uncelebrated and unmourned has been more than I can bear and I have been praying very hard it doesn't happen.

I have decided to pick some lighter books this week and to no longer watch the news.

Speaking of my reading eccentricities, my leather-bound copy of Shakespeare's complete works has finally arrived and I now have two leather-bound books (the first is my bible) for my "library for the end of the world".

So, when the zombie horde comes, I will be on my porch, reading Hamlet (or Revelations, I haven't decided yet).

Over at www.everydaypatriot.com, I found the story of two very amazing patriots.

The first is Staff Sergeant Frank Wright Snook, who left high school early to enlist in the US Air Force during WWII and was lost over the Pacific.

The second is First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane, a nurse who deployed to Chu Lai during the Vietnam War and died during an attack on the hospital.

Both were amazing patriots who deserve recognition.

Next week promises to be sunny and warm and I look forward to getting outside (even if it is just my yard).  I may even tackle the squirrel problem.

xoxo a.d.


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