I finally did it ... I've joined a book club. For years, I've been attempting to join the book discussion group at our local library. They meet on the last Friday of every month. For one reason or another, I have been unable to go. At last, the stars in heaven aligned and I was able to attend last month's meeting. We discussed the book The Guernsey Book and Potato Peel Pie Society which I had just read a few months ago. There were about 12 ladies in attendance plus a moderator who worked for the library. I would say, the average age of the attendees is around 70. I am probably one of the younger members. But what lively and active discussions ensued. In the book the children of Guernsey were taken to the main island of Britain to keep them safe in case of a German attack on the island. One of the ladies in the group talked about a similar experience with her young brother being taken away from their family with the rest of the children in her city to a remote area that was considered safer from attacks. I was tearing up from her account. Someone uttered, " War is hell", and everyone agreed.
Iced tea and coffee were served along with a chocolate cake made by a French nun. One of the members of the group bought the cake, which was delicious, by the way, at a local Farmer's Market. For this month's book, we are reading Little Heathens by Mildred Kalish. It is an autobiographical story about the lives of an Iowa farm family during the Great Depression. It is not a book I would have picked off the shelves but I am enjoying it nonetheless.
Here is a quote from the book that she attributed to William James but is originally from William Shakespeare. It is a psychological approach to bad times, which worked then and should also be effective now.
"The voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, and act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. To feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all our will to that end, and courage will very likely replace fear. If we act as if from some better feeling, the bad feeling soon folds its tent like an Arab and silently steals away."