Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Alive Day

You know that your life has changed in a permanent and radical way when your daughter comes home to tell you about her day at work! Molly started working full time a few weeks ago at the credit union (if you're in the area and see the pretty girl with lots of curls, say hi!). It's brought about some abrupt but welcome changes in her maturity. Now she knows how hard Jesse works every day and how exhausting it is to work eight hours, even in a non-physical job! By watching how other people handle money, she's learning a great deal about it, as well as by making her own. She opened her own account after payday on Friday, took out some for lunches and her personal needs, and left the rest in savings.

In a couple of weeks, she'll be learning to juggle it with jazz choir and cheerleading, and that will be another adjustment for both of us. There's been a hang up with her getting her temps (dang teachers going on vacation and not responding to voice mail), but once she gets her license, I wonder how often I'll see her!

Alive Day
by Tom Sullivan is a heart-warming novel based on a true story. Brendan McCarthy is a psychiatrist who had to learn how to live all over again after becoming blinded in a mountain climbing accident. With his beautiful wife and two terrific kids, Brendan has built a great life for himself, especially with the help of his Black Lab helper, Nelson. When Brendan takes on a new patient, a former Marine Antwone Carver who has recently become a paraplegic, his skills are pushed to their limits, and it will be Nelson who once again teaches someone how to live. There's been a growth in feel-good animal stories after the success of Marley & Me, but Alive Day is far more than a copycat (sorry, couldn't help the pun) novel. Brendan and Antwone's relationship is prickly because of the Marine's anger over his disability, it's Nelson who breaks the ice and allows Antwone to find hope and a purpose for living again. Sullivan reminds readers that life doesn't end with disability and loss; we all still have something to give. Nelson's pure doggy charm will win over readers, especially animal lovers.

In honor of today's book, I'm posting pix of our dog, Charlie from the camping trip. We've had our ups and downs with Charlie, but over the last year he's really become a full fledged member of the family. He greets us when we come home, defends us from crazy marauding squirrels, and is sweet to both the rabbit and hamster.