This is pretty much my favorite book of all time, so of course I had to review it first! This is Jane Austen’s most popular book, and the first one she wrote, although Sense and Sensibility was published first.
My Rating: Five stars
My Summary: The second of five sisters, Elizabeth Bennet is her father’s favorite. She’s lively, witty, and a lady through and through. But alas, not all her family is as respectable as they ought to be, and, through no fault of her own, her gentle sister Jane’s budding romance has seemingly collapsed. Elizabeth blames it all on the haughty Mr. Darcy, who is openly scornful of the Bennet family. To add to all this, a charming new acquaintance reveals shocking information about the proud man whom even ten-thousand pounds a year cannot make attractive.
Of course, earbuds are handy. They’re convenient, quiet, and they give you privacy. Sometimes a little too much.
Beware that you don’t listen to anything with them in, that you wouldn’t listen to with them out. If you would be embarrassed to be found watching or listening to something, don’t do it. You’ll save yourself regret and keep yourself cleaner inside.
Q: Why did the euchre player cross the creek?
A: Because he didn’t have next!
Euchre is a card game that is usually played by four players in teams of two, with approximately half a deck of cards. Players are dealt five cards, and the dealer has four left over, he turns up the top card of the ‘left-over’ pile and the other players, beginning with the player on his left, have the chance to decide whether or not to ‘order up’ that card, in which case all the cards of that suit are ‘trump’. If everyone passes, the dealer puts the card face-down, and the player on his left picks a suit of their choice to become ‘trump’. Generally, if the first card turned up was, say, hearts, then ‘next’ would be diamonds. But if the player doesn’t have any diamonds, they would ‘cross the creek’ and pick a different suit to be ‘trump’. Thus, if you didn’t have ‘next’, you would ‘cross the creek’!
The first thing I did when we got home was call my boss. Maybe, if I let him know right away, and told him I’d be there as soon as possible, he wouldn’t fire me.
Ethan helped me to the couch and I pulled off my gloves so
that I could dial my boss’s number.
The phone rang twice, then a rough voice answered. “Hello.”
I cleared my throat.
He sounded like he was in a good mood, but I could never be sure. “Hello, this is Emma Clark.”
“Yes?” He asked
“I’m so sorry about this, but I sprained my ankle
badly. I won’t be able to make it to
work on time, I’ll come as soon as I can, I promise.”
The string of profanity that answered my apology made me
hold the phone away from my ear. Ethan
looked at me curiously, and I grasped at my emotions, trying to keep my cool as
names that don’t bare repeating thundered out of the phone. Some of them were so loud that I couldn’t
help hearing, and I knew Ethan could too.
I turned the volume down.
A break in the rant made me put the phone up to my ear again
and try to reason politely. “Sir, I
apologize, I’ll come as fast as I can, I just don’t have a car, and so I am
going to be late-“
Once upon a time, there lived a king. He had two daughters, the elder was beautiful, sensible, and happily married to a neighboring prince. The younger was a little conceited, and proud of her looks, for she was ten times more lovely than her beautiful sister, but the core of her heart was good. Her favorite pastime was to sit at the edge of a pond in the garden, and stare at her reflection while tossing and catching a small golden ball encrusted with gems.
One day, while she threw her ball up and caught it, she caught sight of a frog watching her from a lily pad in the middle of the pond. Frogs were frequent around the water, but this one was different, and a little shiver ran up the princess’s spine when she looked into its big eyes.
I established a routine after that. I woke up, made myself breakfast, and got ready for work. At exactly 7:30 AM, I walked through the door of the coffee shop and sat down at the same table every day. Ethan was usually there, and he smiled as he slid my chocolate latte over the counter. After about a week, he made it before I got there. We would talk for a while, and sometimes he sat down with me, if there were no costumers.
When I finished my latte, I would look at my pocket watch, sigh regretfully, and start for the office. I tried not to think about work much. I did my job honestly and well, biting my tongue as my boss found fault with everything I did, my silence irritating him more than if I’d talked back.
In the evenings as I walked home, I passed the closed coffee shop. In the apartment above it, one window was always bright. The vines of a houseplant trailing out onto the sill. And many times music drifted out of the open window.
So often nowadays, it seems like stress is driving people up the wall. They struggle with trying to juggle their crazy, busy lives with their job, family and hobbies and friends.
I think it’s time to slow down a little and relax. Stop trying to save the world single handedly, you can’t. People have been trying for years and it hasn’t worked.
Take a deep breath, everything is going to be ok. God’s got this. He’s been saving the world for six thousand years, he can handle it.
One thing the Lord brought to my attention recently, is the fact that the armor of God, described in Ephesians chapter 6, has been proven. It is a necessity for armor to be proven, before you go into battle, as we see in 1st Samuel, when David tries on Saul’s armor. It didn’t fit him, he wasn’t comfortable in it, and so he wisely took it off to fight Goliath. Instead, he relied on the spiritual armor he had proven, and found faithful: the armor of God. And he defeated the giant.
When Christ became a man, He proved the armor for us. It fits us, because it fits Him. When you don’t know which piece goes where, look at Jesus. See how He put it on, and how He used it. Fully God, fully man, Jesus perfectly walked the line between human weakness, and spiritual strength.
Of course I went back the next day. I couldn’t help it, even if I’d wanted to. The coffee shop was exactly what I had been needing; a place to relax and rest on my walks.
When I entered, the delicious smell of fresh coffee greeted me in a great billow of warm air. Ahh. My mind instantly softened into rest. Maybe it wasn’t the coffee shop itself, but the way I looked at it that affected me this way. Whatever it was, I enjoyed the peace and quiet I had associated with this place, and I fell in love with it.
I hadn’t brought a drink today, since it would seem awkward to spend so much time at a coffee shop and never buy anything, so I walked up to the counter and ordered a chocolate latte from a young girl who took her job very seriously.
She assured me that my latte would be done soon, but that it would be a minute, so I sat down at the table I had chosen the day before and waited. A business man came in with a couple of colleagues and as they ordered and sat down I watched them subconsciously, my brain floating in a sort of fog created by lack of sleep. Yesterday’s busy work day was catching up to me, and I leaned my head against the wall, partially supported by one hand.
Someone clearing their throat jerked me out of the trance I’d slipped into. My latte was placed in front of me, and I looked up quickly with a smile to thank them. It was the young barista I’d seen yesterday.
I sat down in an old chair and set my hot chocolate on the table in front of me. By cupping my hands around the insulated mug I was able to thaw them out a little.
Wisps of steam touched my face as I took the lid off and bent over the cup to smell the rich chocolaty aroma. The steam made my cheek wet as it hit my cold skin, and I wiped it away.
Normally the chilly air wouldn’t have bothered me, but I had taken an extra long walk this morning, and ended up farther away from home than I had intended. I pulled the long neck on my sweater higher. I would have a long walk back, but I kind of liked it. I should come this way more often.
The peace of the coffee shop relaxed my shoulders, and I sat watching the baristas mix orders and joke with their customers. One employee in particular caught my attention. He was a little taller than medium height, with light colored hair. Clean shaven, with a finely chiseled face, he was good looking without being too handsome. He was serving an older man and the customer’s gruff humor was answered quickly by the younger man.