Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The dogs and I spent much of yesterday wandering in forest above 5,000 ft. and searching for wild porcini mushrooms. This damp weather invites mushroomers to their sources so my pickings were on the slim side. I did bag enough to share with interested neighbors, and for my dinner, I sauteed in ghee rough-chopped mushrooms, tossed in pre-cooked chicken chunks, added some of Bill’s home-grown cilantro and mustard greens, and Oh My! chowed-down. Every bite was worth every step in the searching!

(With another thanks to my friend Dave for introducing me to the sport of mushrooming.)

Speaking of learning from friends, not long ago while descending the long driveway to check my mailbox, I found near it a used book without packaging or a note. Looking carefully, I saw on its spine a “thriftbooks. com” sticker and immediately knew who’d left it for me. Not long ago while out walking and meeting a distant neighbor, we paused to chat and somehow got onto the topic of books. It turned out she’s an avid reader and suggested I check out thriftbooks’ huge library of used books. It discounts and ships for less than other sources. My waiting-stack of reading materials is too-large and I forgot about thriftbooks.

Upon the gift of that book, I texted a thanks to my neighbor and went online to Surprisingly, lots there interested me. Among its offerings were previously published books by Jill Lepore, one of my favorite writers and an expert on cultural and political histories. I’ve searched for her back-books, she’s popular on Amazon and still expensive. Thriftbooks made used versions of her books easily affordable, I purchased several.

It’s difficult to wait for packages beyond Amazon’s two-day shipping, but finally thriftbooks arrived. Delighted, I grabbed a book from atop the stack and began reading.

Lepore’s 1998 book, The Name of War, details events surrounding the “bloodiest war in America history” (in 1675), between a group of Algonquian Indians and their Puritan New Englander neighbors. I’m in total-learning mode to that event, called “King Philip’s War”, and especially challenging in today’s enlightenment by #metoo and Black Lives Matter. It’s no distant matter to visualize those 17th Century living conditions and social struggles among skins and cultures: in those times primarily Native Americans and early American settlers.

In one sense society has come a long way, in another sense very little way.

Dear Friends: More later, just wanted to explain this reading, how it came to be. Diana

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