Posted by: Nancy Keim Comley | February 18, 2015

When In Doubt, Read.


Bovril on a better day.

When unhappy, some people smoke, some drink, some do drugs – be they legal or illegal –  some run for miles, some eat chocolate. We all have a way of making difficult times a little bit easier. While I’m not averse to a nice bit of dark chocolate, especially when paired with an even nicer cup of hot tea, in really desperate times, I read.

We have a nine-month old Airedale puppy with whom the entire family is enchanted. Bovril has grown from a little black bear cub to a lovable goofball and last week was his day to get neutered. The surgery was slightly more complicated than normal but he came home from the vet and we expected a complete recovery.

On Saturday, three days after his surgery, we planned a fun Valentine’s Day dinner of bao buns followed by a family movie. Then my husband noticed a bloody discharge from Bovril’s incision and the evening ended with us driving through yet another snow storm to the emergency vet’s. There they found that his incision was badly infected and worried that the infection had spread.

They performed an emergency surgery on Bovril Sunday morning. At home, waiting for news, we lived in a tight little world of stress. The children played exercise games on the wii, my husband built something electronic and I read.

I have been reading Holly Black’s brilliant new novel, THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST, in small doses. It’s one of those books I want to devour – those are the novels I use as a treat. If I go on the elliptical machine – I can read, if I finish my word count – I can read. For the pleasure of just a few more pages I probably could have gotten myself to re-roof the house.

During that morning, as we waited to hear about the surgery, I petted our other dog Glitter and read the last seventy-five pages of an amazing book. It was a balm to my mental health.

(Just to let you know, Bovril came through the surgery safely and is now at home healing).

What happened to you?

What happened to you?



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