When one receives Mary Alice Monroe’s latest novel from (Amazon) UPS, especially when it is the sixth in the series of The Beach House sequels…you know summer has arrived…no matter the date…or even if Memorial Day Weekend has kicked off the unofficial summer season. Summer is here! The settings for her novels are our own Charleston beaches…including Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.
My copy arrived Monday and I have been beside myself with anticipation. I have just finished several rather serious novels (the last one completed Tuesday night)…so now I am ready for the light-hearted summer romances.
Any of us who fell in love with the Rutledge family in 2002 (when the first novel The Beach House was published) knows that reading the sequels to the now extended family of each reader is like eating potato chips…you just can’t stop.
In fact part of me hates to begin the novel because I will read straight through and be finished way longer than my willingness for it to end catches up.
The first four books were written five years apart but the last two, including this summer’s read…are only one and two years apart. We know all the characters…Cara Rutledge, mother Olivia “Lovie“, lots of close friends and extended family members…but most importantly the names of all “The Turtle Ladies” in each novel.
2007 2012 2017
The Rutledge and Muir families are our families now. And since 18 years has passed in all since we first met them…we have suffered the same tragedies and losses (as these fictional families) in our own family dynamics.
***In fact I bet that a lot of diverse novels due out later this year or next will contain coronavirus plot inserts…don’t you? I can already picture lots of espionage/mystery novels implementing the virus into their complicated global plots to wipe out certain areas or target specific enemies before they can release another corona-type virus to gain power over other countries.
The coronavirus will soon be jumping off the daily news shows on to the pages of best-selling novels. It is just a matter of time.
I believe this summer of 2020 will be remembered more for Staycations than vacations. Between restrictions on travel, lodging, summer camps closed and everyday expenses (especially for families who have lost jobs) creativity at play will be important components to pull off a memorable summer for children.
Put the World on Hold
Turn off your phone. Turn it on to check messages, texts, notifications, and the like only when you want to, keeping in mind that not at all is always an option.
Do an out of office for your email (even if your office is a corner of the playroom). Say you won’t be checking your email until you’re back from vacation (they don’t need to know it’s a staycation), then exit out of your inbox. Resist the urge to check your email again until you’re back at work.
Skip the news—and maybe even stop the mail—for a week. When you banish the source of stress, the stress itself may follow. The earth will continue to turn even if you’re not reading all about it every morning at 7:30 sharp, and sadly, the bills will still be there when your vacation is over.
Now that the family knows you are serious…have fun…here are a list of ideas to choose from
Destination home dinners- seafood night, pizza night, taco night….and decorate the eating place accordingly
Barefooting…remove rugs off the floors, put on fun music, light candles, have vacation reading binges, camp out in the back yard, have a film festival, a water day with water pistols, sprinklers, water balloons etc.
Spa Day…basic yoga…soft cremes and lotions, high thread count on sheets, soft beddings and remember to put mints, chocolates, treats on the pillows at night as if you are staying in a fancy hotel!
In other words…let your imagination go wild this summer. This will definitely be a reading summer staycation for me…and I am totally ready for it…bring it on! I have a comfy garden swing, soft fountain music, munchies and drinks….I am one happy reading “camper.” (And I won’t get homesick!) 🙂
So until tomorrow…
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
…But one “favorite” and “best” day happened yesterday! I just completed my 2000th post since November 24, 2014 in Chapelofhopestories.com Part Two.
(From August 7 2010 to November 19, 2014-Chapelofhopestories.com Part I)… the total number of daily post blogs was 1565. If we add the two totals together…my grand total since my very first blog was written almost ten years ago is…
3565 written blog posts to date! 🙂