The next morning, it was the buildings, topped with domes, borne up by columns. They were so different than BYU's, less boxy, more like something plucked off the shores of the Potomac River and transplanted to the gummy clay soil of Texas.
The next wonder was the thunderstorms. Oh, how they rocked and crashed through town, making the trees wave like scarves! Oh, the rain they dumped, hosing down the sidewalks, splattering against the windows! This, too, never happened back in the desert I came from.
I landed there in a lull. It was a lull in their school schedule, the dorms summer-empty. It was a lull in my life, fresh out of college with my little-bitty associate's degree. I had a job in the SMU library, but I had no place to live.
They gave me one of those empty dorm rooms for a few weeks. I hadn't quite made friends yet, or figured out where to do my laundry. But the thick book in my hands kept me company. While those thunderstorms shook the ground, I read War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. I had started its prequel, The Winds of War, back at BYU and was so caught up in the plight of the scholarly Aaron Jastrow and his niece, Natalie, that I plowed on to W & R.
Aaron, a famous Jewish author, lives in Italy. Natalie assists his research for his next book. Some guy named Hitler is causing trouble up in Germany, and rumors abound of Jews being rounded up and sent off to the east. But they are only rumors, right? And all is peaceful and studious at Aaron's villa. Surely it isn't all that dangerous to stay put, right?
Wouk's novels were a graphic and unforgettable education on the Holocaust.
It seems callous to change the subject from death and war to muffins, but Bye-bye Nesquik promises a recipe with every post, and she delivers. This week, it's:
Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins
As if blueberry muffins weren't good enough, these get sprinkled with a good quantity of sugar on top. I have heard that there are people who don't like eating anything too sweet in the morning, but I believe these people need to get help. If you've been around here long, you know how tirelessly I have worked to ensure that people's diets are sufficiently sugar-y. You're welcome.