Heavy Philosophical Question of the Day

Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs from thistles?

That question (which may well be a quote from the Bible) can be found on p. 68 of Mildred Armstrong Kalish’s beguiling memoir Little Heathens:  Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm, which self began reading a few days ago.

Self has arrived home safe and sound, dear blog readers, minus one piece of luggage, which had all her dirty laundry and a few purchases.  Perhaps some enterprising Venetian is, at this very moment, sharing her clothing with his family.  By an extreme stroke of luck, the thief took the bag which did not have self’s passport or laptop or the glass dolphin she was going to give to son.  Self is glad none of the clothing was particularly fine or new.  She did lose one library book, which she learns will be $14 to replace.  And she lost her moisturizer.  As well as three pairs of jeans.

Re-entry into America was grueling:  the line for U.S. citizens was at least 500 people long at the time self joined it.  Then she got treated to extra screening, in a small room where an immigration officer went carefully through every single page of her passport (Her passport has visa stamps from, among other places, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Bangkok, Cambodia, Hong Kong, the Philippines of course, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom.  Her next 10 years will not be anywhere nearly as exciting, self knows)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. Jill Widner said,

    May 5, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Welcome home. As I’ve said before, reading your blog always lifts my spirits. I’m even mentally involved in the mystery of your lost suitcase. I put on a red t-shirt to celebrate onward. and get out of town.

  2. May 5, 2013 at 3:25 am

    A professor who happened to be with me on the flight out of Venice said I was very lucky: Venice doesn’t have a U.S. Embassy, and if my passport had been in the bag that disappeared, I would have had to go to Rome and apply for a new passport there! Then she added: “On the other hand, maybe you would have appreciated some time in Rome, who knows!” OMG, after she said that, I felt LOADS better! I started to laugh and laugh. I almost ordered champagne during the flight back! Luckily, also, my laptop, which I had packed in one of the rollys, was in the one I still had with me. If my laptop had disappeared, I would have moved heaven and earth, stayed in Italy as long as it took, just to get that laptop back!

  3. May 5, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Wow – you do have an amazing life – Welcome home.

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