My snowy yard. 2004. Photo by me.

My mom looks at me and crosses her fingers this morning as we discuss her going home tomorrow from the hospital. Ever since she went to the hospital two weeks ago all she has done is want one thing and that is to go home. Tomorrow if everything continues on the track that was established over the weekend then she should get to go home finally.

Her return home will not be fast enough for her and for the family. The promise of her going home and having her own things around her and to sleep in her own bed have been the driving force behind her improvement over the last few days. Her going home will be a great accomplishment when just last week she appeared to be nearing the end of her battle against cancer. My mom is the strongest and most determined person in the world that I know of or about anywhere.

During her stay in the hospital I finished reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. When I started reading this book I never thought I would finish it or ever find anything redeeming hidden in it's pages. But I adjusted to the nonsensical nadst (teen) slang that the main character, Alex, and his droogs (friends) use throughout the novel. It was a difficult start and reminded me of William Faulkner but I overcame that and learned the nadst language unlike my attempts of ever liking Faulkner.

This difficult language serves as an additional character and adds texture to what might be an otherwise unchallenging plot. The story is of Alex a corrupt teen sentenced to prison for this various crimes from murder to rape and theft. The government attempts to rehabilitate Alex with a form of brainwashing via association of violence with physical sickness. So when Alex acts or thinks of violence or criminal activity he becomes ill and must act in a good and honorable manner to combat this illness. As a result Alex no longer has the ability to make choices in his life and this establishes the moral argument of whether he truly is a human since he no longer possesses free will.

Alex is returned to society in his rehabilitated state to a less than welcome embrace. Through his suffering he comes in contact with a subversive group that use him as a symbol to overthrow the oppressive governing powers. In the end Alex through natural progression is returned to his original criminal self. The story ends with Alex contemplating change and growing older. The reader is left with the hope that maybe he will finally be a happy and civil adult .

I enjoyed reading it. It was easy to read a few pages put it down and the next day pick up where you left off without having to reread anything. Never at any point did I feel compelled to keep reading and not close the book. Outstanding books have that effect and A Clockwork Orange is not one. It is okay at best.

Time to find a new book.

The weather has turned nice once again. It is one of those precious sunny and mild afternoons with the temperature hovering around 60 degrees under a never ending blue sky. It's a welcome change from the light snow and cold of four days ago. I can't say it enough, I love winter in the South. Even during the rare times that we experience crackling covered icy tree branches or creamy white snow blanketing the ground there is always the promise of a day like today.