Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Moment of Contentment

For any of us to be able to tell about ‘a’ moment when complete and utter contentment chose to shine upon us seems impossible. As we travel the roadways of life, some are dirt lanes, cobblestone or brick streets, the paved boulevards and the cement interstate highways.
I walked, or rode my bike, on dirt paths through the desert in Texas. I can still smell the damp mesquite and flowering cactus after a summer rain, and see the poppy’s covering the San Jacinto mountains. On the weekends my parents took us into the mountains of New Mexico to follow other dirt paths on horseback. We would gallop across meadows then go to the stream to water the horses. No worries, just dirt paths.
The cobblestone or brick streets signified the growth and changes, because in history as the roads changed so did we advance and the horses are replaced by the automobile. I, too, grew with the times (in my SS396) and went out on my own travelling the country as a photographer. I learned to care for, trust an like myself. hen one learns to be a responsible adult (said tongue in cheek) there is a great contentment in knowing ones self.
I relate my (finally) going to college and the paved boulevard with its wide, multiple lanes and accessible turn arounds. While driving you can easily turn and go another direction without addressing a stop light, as in college changing majors. For myself, I travelled, experienced and grew before knowing what I wanted to go to college for, and there I learned structure as in an outline. The pride in myself and from my parents made me very content.
But then it was time to get on the interstate high speed highway of professional employment. The scenery is mostly gone but who notices because there is so much traffic and everyone is in a hurry. But then you look and you are coming into NYC, Chicago or Chattanooga at night and the lights are so beautiful; or you are driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway or up Highway 1 and you look to your right or left to a pasture or amazing seascape (for those of you in the UK, sheep) and everyone sees it too so the flow of traffic turns gentle just like a great job.
My contentment, now that I am retired is reading and writing and I am riding a bike down a land in Provence or I ride a horse in Devon or the Highlands of Scotland, or my beloved desert southwest. I am content in books and writing and, hopefully, we will all be content with our memories.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sailing to Capri

This is a well written, and pleasantly read (for Audible) by Carrington MacDuffie, multifaceted story by Elizabeth Adler. 
A sad, cold, wintry day...Sir Robert Waldo Hardwick is laid to rest.

 Daisy Keane is put out of her life, her home by her unfaithful attorney husband, who takes everything and drives off with a 20 yr. old blonde.  Daisy runs off to London to start a new life, it isn't going so well. She is eating cereal and cheese sandwiches, and she is unemployed.  She comes across an invitation to a society cocktail party. She is approached by a, similarly bored, imposing man who invites her to dine with him. She agrees and is swept off to a fine, low key restaurant in his Bently. He is an interesting, and very rich man, unpretentious. She thinks he looks like Shrek or the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, Sir Robert Waldo Hardwick. Nonetheless,  he knows her. He sees through her lies, the ones she tells outward and the ones she holds within. He is accepting of her with all her insecurities and self doubt, and offers her a job as his personal assistant. She moves into his Yorkshire estate, Sneadly Hall, with his dog "Rat".  For years now, besides being his social secretary, personal assistant and public relations maven, they have shared travel, food, arguements and a deep friendship. A perfect 'marriage' without the sex. What will she do now without his guidance...without his friendship?

While saying her final goodbyes, and trying to pry Rat away from the grave of his master, a tall, dark stranger comes to her aide. He helps to get them home before the onset of a major snow storm, which means he stays for the night. He is Harry Montana of Dallas Texas, a private investigator and security specialist. He has worked with Sir Robert on and off for the past decade.  In his last days, Sir Robert was concerned for his life and that is why Montana is there. This makes Daisy uneasy, and defensive for her beloved friends memory. But Montana convinces her there is reason to believe the auto accident that took his life was in fact MURDER. He gives her an envelope from Sir Robert containing three envelopes to be opened at different times. The first instructs her to host a week long yacht cruise to his Capri Villa Belkis where his final Will is to be read. He gave Montana six names of people he thinks have reason to kill him including:
1) Diane, the self-centered, gambling ex-wife
2) Filomena, the Italian mistress, who could have had it all
3) Rosalina, the love of his life
4)Heir Dopplemann, the genius scientist
5) David Ferrell, Wall Street to Queens
6) Charles Clement, the devious sex marketer
Who will get the estates and the fortune?  Who is a murderer?

Upon the yacht, Blue Boat, tensions run high. Especially between Daisy and Montana, the tension is palpable, each fighting their own personal demons but the attraction unveils just as the personal stories of all the suspects unravel.

Daisy misses SIr Robert but still feels his presence in the wind in times of need. Further indication of his love and promise to always take care of her.  But he also teaches them all about love and integrity in the end.

I love this story.