Members Only

Sunday afternoon, rain showers fall intermittently. In between, the sunlight sprinkles the garden — the most delicious weather for the garden. I read on the front porch couch, the cats wandering between me and my daughter.

I bought this novel to add to the library’s collection — Members Only, by Sameer Panda — after listening to the author on NPR. It’s clever, sharply written, utterly relevant, and its plot hinges on what seems to be a single slip up by the protagonist, but gradually a whole story of circumstances and choice is revealed.

This July, like my garden, I’m soaking up sunlight and rain showers — as if my daughters and I can store these lovely days in our DNA for the long winter yet to come. Why talk about my daughter’s sophomore year? Who knows what will happen in American schools this fall and winter? Like just about everyone else I know, I’ve accepted we’re not headed anywhere, anytime soon or not soon. The ubiquitousness of the disease is a strange kind of leveling field — there’s no longer the wealthier kids my daughter knows who are headed on extended vacations while I suggest to my daughter that she repaint the north side of the house.

While it’s day by day here, as the parent I’m always eyeing that future, and that, perhaps, more than anything else, brings me back to day to day, in this sweet July.

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About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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10 Responses to Members Only

  1. Maggie says:

    Your posts are so calming in today’s uncertain world. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

  2. KC says:

    Your writing is always so wonderfully authentic and reflective; makes me wish I was your next door neighbor joining you to watch the sunset and share what we are both reading. You are intuitive to find things to be grateful for in this time of stasis; who knows what the future holds.

    • I’d be grateful for another neighbor! What are you reading? Anything you’d like to share?

      • KC says:

        Because I – in “these times” – need almost constant emotional/spiritual “support” – I’ve lately been repeatedly listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC and Oprah’s THE PATH MADE CLEAR. I borrowed the audio versions from the library and I find them both so helpful and interesting that I just keep replaying them – and I find I hear/learn something I didn’t catch the first (second,…or seventh) time. I actually bought Oprah’s for my Kindle and I am noticing slight differences in the two versions. I haven’t been able (to find) a fictional piece of literature for a while now; I’d have to give some thought as to what I last read but I do remember one awhile back; Tana French’s THE WITCH ELM – VERY interesting in a psychosocial way. I’ve been leaning toward more non-fiction lately unless I find something REALLY good in fiction. Nice chatting with you!! I did comment once that I am a ‘native’ of Vermont – I fantasize almost daily of moving back but…all my children are in Concord, NH 😔

      • KC says:

        I looked up ‘your’ book…I’ll see about borrowing it from the lib.

  3. Lovely post, it’s how we are all feeling. My granddaughter, who is 15, said to me this weekend “It’s like we don’t have a future!” Sweet thing. I think it is so hard on the teenagers because their lives are so intertwined with their friends, and little looks, and comments and, rolled eyes, and thoughts, and even looking at what their friends are wearing. I keep telling her this too shall pass, and hope if I say it enough I’ll fully believe it.

  4. KC — I grew up very near Concord, NH. I hadn’t been there for years, as I no longer have any family in southern NH, but I recently took my younger daughter there. I was surprised that the town I grew up in — Goffstown — wasn’t more developed. It looked as good as I remember. I haven’t read Oprah’s book or Tara French — I’ll have to check out both of those. I really loved Gilbert’s book — and also her one on marriage — Commitment. She has a fantastic image about cloth and women’s lives in that one.

    Vermont’s a good place to live these days…..

    • KC says:

      “Commitment” is mentioned in either Chapter 2 or 3 of BIG MAGIC; intriguing tale of real-life magic. Guess what book I found today in the little lending library while walking in the park? Eat, Pray, Love. Couldn’t believe it. I borrowed it.

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