The March saying goes, “In like a lion, out like a lamb” or “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” But what happens when it’s lion in and lion out? South Dakota weather can feel that way some days. Well before the snow melts, I’m looking for a small sprout or seed to plant, anything to green up the gray days of early spring. This year, I traded seeds for paint and plants for brushes, and using the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante as my inspiration, I renovated my bedroom. I painted it “Sea Glass” and bought a furniture set called “Summer Breeze,” tossing in a Tommy Bahama comforter for good measure. I bet you can guess what I was thinking: island retreat.
Short of an airline ticket, a nanny, and permission from my university, I’m not sure how else I’d get away right now. So I’m reading a lot of books in my new bedroom. Books have been my one-way ticket to all-inclusive delights for many years now. The blue-green paint and new bedding are just upgrades to my accommodations.
If you’re a college student, you might be lucky enough to take a spring break this month, and if you’re a teacher, you might be lucky enough to hear about one. I get to listen to all the exotic places my students will be traveling the next two weeks (and how their travel plans will be interrupting our normally scheduled programing). Sometimes, seven days just aren’t enough. I completely empathize.
In Passport to Murder, Professor Prather is about to embark on the spring break of a lifetime. Prather is traveling to Paris for the week with a group from the university. Unfortunately, murder ensues midflight, and a colleague’s death brings her back to Copper Bluff—and reality. However, Emmeline decides she doesn’t need a trip to Paris to lift her spirits. She has a mystery, her beloved Copper Bluff, and her dear friend Lenny Jenkins to make it a spring to remember.
Like Em, I dream of getting away but soon realize books take me just about every place I want to go. Right now I’m reading a steamy historical romance that takes place in 1806 Scotland. How much farther away from South Dakota could I really get? Which reminds me of a quote I recently discussed with my classes. Frederick Douglass wrote, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Although he wasn’t talking about fiction, he might have been, for it also has the ability to free you from so many things: tedium, circumstance—even location. All I have to do to escape the remains of South Dakota’s winter is open a book and go anywhere this spring break takes me, no passport required.
Do you have any plans this spring, readers? Let’s hear them!