Books I’m Reading

Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H. McRaven, USN Retired. It was the subtitle: Little things that can change your life and maybe the world that drew me in. I went straight and downloaded the sample of the book onto my Kindle library and read the first of it. I was so captivated that I ordered it in hardback. Easy to read and identify with. You know, we tend to think some big admiral hero would not pay attention to the underlying factors of everyday life, but that is exactly where heroism comes from. My novels are all about everyday heroism. Sometimes making your bed is the springboard to saving a life, maybe your own.

My mother attempted to teach me to make my bed each morning. It was something of a lost cause. “Well, at least spread it up so critters aren’t apt to get in it,” she would say. What critters? I did reach the point of appreciating spreading up the covers, and these days I go weeks and months sometimes of making the bed properly before falling down on the job. To my credit, the reason I pass right by my bed is because I carry my cup of tea to the porch to read my Bible and contemplate and pray my way to sufficient courage for the day. Bible first, bed second. I’ll work on that habit.

The subject of making the bed brought to mind the scene in A Place Called Sweet Shrub by Jane Roberts Wood that I have long remembered because it reminds me so much of my mother and my hometown and how things were back in the day. I pulled the book from my keeper shelf and have started to re-read it. I take liberty to copy a bit of the scene.

“Uncle Jerry, we’re afraid that something bad has happened to Mrs. Walker,” I told him.

Bracing his back with his right hand, he slowly straightened up from the tomato plant he’d been staking.

“Well, now, miss. What makes you say that?”

“Mama walked by her house, and her bed’s not been made.”

Thinking of how making a bed held such place in life for my mother’s generation makes me realize why they call them The Greatest Generation. They knew the value of things, of hard work and orderliness, and self-discipline for both. The regard for these virtues was what made them strong.

I have now encouraged myself not only to the joy of reading two books but to making my bed.