Two things about me.

In responding to Jonquil’s post about Sherwood Smith’s new book Coronets and Steel a few days ago, I realized what it is I like about Sherwood’s books and a lot of my other favorites as well. Apparently, at least in fiction, I have a responsibility kink. I like books that feature what Sam Vimes called people “doing what they didn’t have to do” – and that’s exactly why I also like Same Vimes and Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany Aching. It’s not a saving the world thing per Harry Potter, though I don’t mind that either; it’s not quite the opposite, but maybe the micro-level of that. It’s throwing back one starfish (because it made a difference to that one), even if to do so you had to get sand in your sneakers and salt-water that dried and made your jeans uncomfortable the rest of the day. It’s Tiffany Aching sneaking out of a dungeon to cut an old woman’s toenails for her. It’s Dar Williams’ flinty kind of women chasing a flasher across the cranberry bog, and Sherwood Smith’s duchess who actually has to learn how to run a country and fix her own mistakes along the way.

I guess it applies in real life too; my new heroes are Manuel Gonzalez and ROberto Ros, the mine expert and paramedic who went down to the trapped Chilean miners, and Luis Urzua, the shift foreman who will be the last man out (the news made it sound like he insisted on it, as “captain” of the group).

I apparently have an inability to imagine different climates than the one I’m in. I can deal with other seasons – if I’m leaving a place in the throes of winter to go to a beach resort, I pack a maillot rather than a parka. (At least, I assume I would – I’ve never actually gone to a beach resort in winter. I did visit South African summer last February and packed OK except that I should have brought a tighter sports bra for the Land Rover rides.) What I don’t seem able to do is to conceive of a different climate in the same season, at least not one that goes against the Platonic ideal of that season (that is, summer=hot, winter=cold, spring and fall=cool). When we lived in Arizona and visited Ted’s grandparents in Northern California during summer, I never was able to convince myself that what I actually needed were warm clothes – I’d toss in a sweatshirt so I didn’t really freeze, but not actual appropriate clothing. Similarly with this trip; despite Ted telling me it was hot and knowing that temperatures were reaching the 80s F / high 20s C, I brought the lighter clothes I’d wear now in the Netherlands, not actual summer clothing. It was really hard to convince myself not to wear boots. Most of the shirts I took are lightweight but long-sleeved (I did manage two short-sleeved T-shirts, fortunately). I brought lots of tights and leggings, that are totally not needed, and didn’t think to bring shorts for when I’m hanging out with the movers, though I guess casual skirts will work well enough. Oops.