This summer I begin my days beside a little nebulizer machine, breathing in the aerated fumes of a lung-cleansing medicine for fifteen or twenty minutes. Then wait a half hour. Then 15 or 20 minutes more on the fumes from sodium chloride. After that I don a vest with buckles and connect myself by two hoses to a large machine that pumps erratic air into the vest to pummel by lungs with air to break up any mucous that may be hardening in my bronchial tubes. That's another half hour. Then I snort a rinse that goes into my sinuses to cleanse them and help my breathing.
That's a couple hours morning and night. It's tedious work. But Molly had a wonderful answer, "Here are some books I've gotten from the library for you to read - during your daily double treatments."
I am nearly astounded by the number of very thick books I have been able to read while on the nebulizer and the "jiggle machine."
Long ago in college days, I was an American History major, and then in seminary in New York, I concentrated on American Church History.
The first book was "Hamilton," the actual inspiration for the wildly popular stage play about the life of the brilliant Alexander Hamilton, who as a very young man, exerted huge influence on the forming of some of America's most important public institutions. A very thick book.
I had already made an exchange with my son John, and read "American Ulysses." a wonderful "Life" of Ulysses Grant. That was actually the first thick book.
Then came two books on George Washington; one about the General who became our first president and the second about the two Washingtons, George and Martha together, called simply "The Washingtons."
A fascinating change of pace came with a two-novel book by Louis L'Amour - fascinating western stories from a part of Arizona called Louis L'Amour country, through which I once had a wonderful horseback ride with my friend and brother in the Lord, Jim Peterson.
Another 4-novel book of L'Amour novels - all about strong men of the west who were lone gunmen of strong beliefs of right and wrong, of home and family, of justice and mercy. I loved them all.
Then came the story of "The Most Famous Man in America," Henry Ward Beecher, and his colorful life leading up to 25 years of ministry in the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York.
My father was a Brooklyn minister, and I once preached myself in that great ark of a church in Brooklyn Heights. It was a long, deep, uncomfortable tale about the rise and fall of that brilliant preacher and flawed public man of America's 19th century.
I'm reading now Stephen Ambrose's "Citizen Soldiers." I've been learning lots, on an adventure I've really never had before. The joy of "summer reading!"
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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