Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday revisits Thursday

I fully own the fact that I should not have used the library’s public blog spot to comment on the behavior of a member of our community. I've taken down my comments. To be clear, I believe that Colonial Village plays an essential role in our town. I have often quoted their tagline “If it’s not at Colonial Village, you don’t need it.” I continue to support medical experts’ recommendations that mask wearing is a critical element in our battle with Covid 19. To quote Governor Sununu: “Instituting this commonsense mask mandate today will allow us to keep our economy open and help ensure our health care system has the capacity and workforce it needs in the coming weeks. By wearing a mask, Granite Staters can keep our friends, family, neighbors, and critical workforce members and those they care for safe.”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

thursday thangs

 Well, the Governor finally mandated face masks at his press conference today.  For your reading pleasure here:  .  ah me.  

Concord, NH — With rising cases, substantial statewide community transmission, and an increase in hospitalizations, today Governor Chris Sununu signed an Emergency Order instituting a statewide mask mandate in New Hampshire, as cases rose to 529 -- the state’s highest total to date. The mask mandate takes effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, November 20, 2020, and will remain in effect through January 15, 2021. 
“With rising cases,  substantial statewide community transmission, and an increase in hospitalizations – the data supports enacting a statewide mask mandate,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Instituting this commonsense mask mandate today will allow us to keep our economy open and help ensure our health care system has the capacity and workforce it needs in the coming weeks. By wearing a mask, Granite Staters can keep our friends, family, neighbors, and critical workforce members and those they care for safe – without shutting down the economy.”

Beginning on November 20, 2020, all persons over the age of 5 within the State of New Hampshire shall wear mask or cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths any time they are in public spaces, indoors or outdoors, where they are unable to or do not consistently maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from persons outside their own households.

For purposes of this Order, the term “public spaces” includes any part of private or public property that is generally open or accessible to members of the general public.  Public spaces include, but are not limited to, lobbies, waiting areas, outside plazas or patios, restaurants, retail businesses, streets, sidewalks, parks, beaches, elevators, restrooms, stairways, parking garages, etc.

Note: A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.

 A dear friend sent me this obit of Dan Baum, who "invented" the Twitter thread. 

He was at one time a writer for the New Yorker and he wrote about how he got fired on Twitter. You can read it here. 

I am thankful for friends who send me obits that I've missed....

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

thankful cont'd

 One of our regular volunteers (who come in when the library is not open to the public and take all appropriate safety precautions) said as she left on Monday "I am so thankful that you let me do this.  It gets me out of my house and I can do something useful in a friendly safe place."  Meanwhile we are so thankful for her.  It is a great help to have people in to do shelving and shelf reading.  It is, to quote a perhaps overused phrase, a "win-win."  Another of our lovely volunteers sent me the following book recommendation (I am also very thankful for these!), which included a very appropriate poem.  I will be purchasing the book for the collection, but offer you the below as a teaser.  We are thinking, by the way of starting to collect covid art work and writing to be displayed in our gallery.  Stay tuned.  Please be in touch if you have any of your own to share...

Knopf Poetry

Cornelius Eady’s poem “Corona Diary” was written early in the story of 2020: in April, when Alice Quinn, editor of the collection Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic, first put out a call to see what people were writing as we faced a spreading pandemic, new ways of living, and previously unfathomable rituals around illness and loss. Eady, the author of seven collections, is one of more than 100 American poets from across the nation, from every walk of life, who contributed to this book, delivering their heart’s news to us in a collective portrait of a challenging time—what Quinn calls “an unexpected bounty in a period when so much was uncertain and would remain that way for a long time to come.”

Corona Diary

These days, you want the poem to be
A mask, soft veil between what floats
Invisible, but known in the air.
You’ve just read that there’s a singer
You love who might be breathing their
And wish the poem could travel,
Unintrusive, as poems do from
The page to the brain, a fan’s medicine.
Those of us who are lucky enough
To stay indoors with a salary count the
By press conference. For others, there is
Always the dog and the park, the park
And the dog. A relative calls; how you
(Are you a ghost?) The buds emerge, on
For their brief duty. The poem longs to
be a filter, but
In floats Spring’s insistence. We wait.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Baby it's cold outside

 But we don't let that daunt us here at the Hopkinton Town Library.  Leigh was outside with three families serving up hot cocoa and stories today at 1pm and she'll be there again tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:30.  We'll do this until the snow flies in a serious way.  Bundle Up Storytime is a great way to break up your day!!  Bring a blanket and a mug or two and we'll provide the rest!

Thanksgiving week hours


Monday, November 16, 2020


 Even in these out of kilter days, I've decided that it's essential to try to remember things for which to be thankful.  My family, good food, the library staff, relative safety in this little corner of the world all deserve prominent spots on the list.  I'd add to the list, predictably, all the wonderful books there are to read.  I am just finishing "Jack" by Marilynne Robinson, the last of her Pulitzer Prize winning series.  It did not disappoint, with pitch perfect human characters and dialogue.  There are so many options to choose from.

On my list are "Transcendent Kingdom" Yaa Gyasi.  "A Thousand Moons" by Sebastian Barry or a dark horse, "Self Portait with Russian Piano" by Wolf Wondratschek, recently translated from German.  Okay, as soon as I typed it, I knew I had to look it up and it seems that my use for this German racehorse is appropriate.  I will probably read them all, but which will grab me first...

dark horse


Definition of dark horse

1aa usually little known contender (such as a racehorse) that makes an unexpectedly good showing
ban entrant in a contest that is judged unlikely to succeed
2a political candidate unexpectedly nominated usually as a compromise between factions

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

What is so rare as a day in

 November???!!!  What a gift today was, weather wise at least.  Imagine that this less than wonderful photo actually showed what I wanted it to, i.e. a library patron basking in the sun waiting for us to open and tables of curbside pickup books out tanning.  They are there.  Really.  

When I opened up the blog just now, lo and behold, I found that I had not posted the blog that I wrote yesterday, so it is, in my father in law's words "a day late and a dollar short."  So today you get two, but there will be radio silence until Friday, so my two readers out there will have to be satisfied with two on 11/10.

Thanks to the good work of the library's Gallery Committee (Ruth Chevion, Ellen Davis, Inge Eddy and Peg Kimball) we finally have a new show up in the gallery.  It was difficult to part with Pam Tarbell's vibrant work, but it was time.  Before covid struck I had acquired a collection of posters, rich in information and visuals from the Smithsonian in recognition of WWI.  November and Veteran's Day seemed a good time to present this work.  Come spend some time with it.  

We are hoping to do some programming on this subject and also urge you to check out the Hopkinton Historical Society's upcoming program on pandemics this Thursday.

the most celebrated game show host

Who was Alex Trebek?

I confess that I didn't watch it much, but if I did come upon it in a bout of channel surfing, it was always a kind of addictive constant.  Predictable.  Calm.  Respectful.  Smart.  Truth valuing.  What nice qualities.  Nuff said.  Another good obit for your reading pleasure.

Tonight Nancy Skarmeas and I will present the proposed 2021 budget to the select board at a zoom meeting.  Wish us luck.  No major changes in the budget.  And I will confirm that the library staff is very busy.  We are circulating just about as many adult materials as last year, indeed significantly higher numbers of kid books.  We opened our doors for "walk through" services in September and had 295 visitors and in October 356 people visited.  Many more people are still opting for curbside pickup.

Friday, November 6, 2020

frankly friday

 These intrepid mountain gentian are the last thing blooming in my garden in all their glorious blueness.

Another good obit for a ubiquitous British Actor Geoffrey Palmer:


This made me want to check out one of our "As Time Goes By" DVDs, a soothing favorite.  Lo and behold I have found that it was not re-ordered after having been destroyed in the aftermath of the lightning strike.  Sigh.  I will have to look for other comforts (and reorder the series next week!).  Destroyed, you ask?  That's the DVD rack that would have had the "As" on it, right there on the right...the pictures continue to make my jaw drop even after all this time.  It's been quite a couple of years at HTL....

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Waiting waiting

 Somehow waiting is on my mind, no idea why...........

So I thought I'd share some titles in the event you'd like to read about waiting, while you're....waiting.

(I also considered Patience, but the titles were really boring in that case.)

Waiting (Ha Jin) an excellent book

Waiting for Guffman (a pretty amusing movie)

Waiting for Normal (Leslie Connor) a Juvenile Fiction book

Waiting for Pumpsie (Barry Wittenstein) A picture book

Waiting for Sunrise (William Boyd) Adult Fiction

Waiting for Wings (Lois Ehlert) a picture book

Waiting is not Easy (Mo Willems)

Waiting to Exhale (Terry McMillan)

Those all just about sum it up.  Especially Waiting for Pumpsie, which I'm going to go check out.

And here is an image to close with of our backyard with Andrew's covid project lit up like a magic palace.  It's our new greenhouse, still in progress but already delivering some wonderful produce.  Next to our arbor, which is always hung with lights.