Going Off The Grid (A Little) For A Readathon

Starting tonight or tomorrow morning, Friday, April 17, 2020 at midnight, depending on how you look at it, I am joining Shanah of Bionic Book Worm and Justine of I Should Read That for their Off the Grid Readathon. The readathon runs through Sunday at midnight. As Shanah described it in her TBR post:

If you haven’t heard of the Off The Grid Readathon before, let me fill you in on the details. This is hosted by myself and Justine from I Should Read That and is a quarterly event. April’s edition will begin this Friday, April 17th as soon as the clock strikes midnight and will end at midnight on Sunday evening. That’s 3 whole days to read!

This is a really low key event. There are no challenges, no buddy reads, no reading sprints – just read when you can and as much as you can. The whole point of this readathon is to stop getting distracted by your phone, tv, etc. and read when you should/could be reading. If you only have 30 minutes of reading time then utilize all of  those minutes! Don’t scroll through twitter for 25 of those minutes and then realize you only have 5 minutes left lol. For more detailed information, check out the announcement post HERE.

I learned about this earlier tonight from Heather of Froodian Slip, who mentioned she was joining in so I thought why not? I think I will try to start at midnight, getting a little reading in then, with the emphasis on “little” as it will be for most of the weekend. As you may or may not remember, I have been making my way slowly through the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. I am near the beginning of The Return of Sherlock Holmes, which is near the end in the first volume of two volumes of a collection of all the novels and short stories.

I also picked up a book of poetry from 2019, Nebraska by Kwame Dawes that I found via the Free Library of Philadelphia this past week and am about halfway through that. I’m certain that I can finish that. As for the Sherlock Holmes, we’ll see how that goes, but I’m hoping maybe, just maybe, I can finish the first volumet too.

Also no danger of scrolling through Twitter here or Facebook since I don’t have either. I’ve also taken Instagram off my phone temporarily, because…well…I just need a break. It’s not you, it’s me! I feel like saying at this point, but really it’s true. I need to take care of myself mentally and getting away from Instagram for a little while, that word “little” again, helps.

I’ll be here throughout the weekend and will post periodic updates on how my “little” reading is going.


Zero reading.


9:30 a.m.: I finished my first book after a half hour of reading, but I already had started it, the aforementioned book of poetry. The following poem resonated with me, especially as we had about four to five inches of snow overnight here in northcentral Pennsylvania:


On long walks across the calming whiteness
of deep winter--the arctic air has walked in
and settled over everything--I dress
in dark colors, and venture out, breathing
what feels like a cleansing but is the grim
ritual of a man, constantly on edge
as if waiting for tomorrow's ill winds
to shatter the brittle calm. But to fledge
is all I want: to take flight off this icy edge.

It also seemed to fit the moment(s) this past week as I went out for a walk under a stay-at-home order here in Pennsylvania. I just want to fledge:


1:30 p.m.: Late this morning into this afternoon, I read two Sherlock Holmes short stories: “The Adventure of the Priory School” and “The Adventure of Black Peter.” I am about halfway through The Return of Sherlock Holmes and almost near the end of the first of two volumes of Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories.

My Lent 2020 Reviewed

In the Episcopalian tradition, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. As such, and because I am Episcopalian, today is that last day of Lent. So I thought it would be good to review my Lent.

Here is what I initially planned on doing for Lent:

  • Starting Lent with a day off from work on Ash Wednesday during which my wife Kim and I would attend an Ash Wednesday service at our church, pictured in the fea
  • Praying Daily Devotions both morning and at the close of the day.
  • Reading Lent Is Not Rocket Science: An Exploration of God, Creation, and the Cosmos: Meditations for 40 Days of Lent by W. Nicholas Knisely, the 13th and current bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.
  • Denying myself alcohol and soda throughout Lent.
  • Ending Lent by going to church that Saturday, Holy Saturday, or Sunday, Easter, depending on my schedule.

And here’s what I actually did:

  • Kim and I went church on Ash Wednesday. Photo above is the altar from our home church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Wellsboro.
  • I prayed Daily Devotions from The Book of Common Prayer.
  • I mostly denied myself alcohol and soda through Lent. We did “imbibe” wine for my wife’s 50th birthday, which was this past Monday.

After a few days of Lent Is Not Rocket Science, I decided that no, it really was not and instead chose a book recommended by Deb from the blog Readerbuzz: Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson. I also used A Mindful Year: 365 Ways To Find Connection and the Sacred in Everyday Life by Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh and Dr. Seth J. Gillihan. I either would use one or the other, or both, depending on the day and what I felt applied.

As for the last thing “ending Lent by going to church,” I will be doing that but not physically but virtually. But to be honest, I’ve gone to church more in the last couple of weeks than I did previously.

For the last couple of weeks, and yesterday for Good Friday, I have been attending Washington National Cathedral, which has been a balm for my soul. My wife and I also “did” Stations of the Cross at our home church.

Updated Sunday morning: I went to TWO church services, one at our local church and then this one at Washington National Cathedral. Highlights are at 49:26: Sermon by The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church, and then right after his sermon, at 1:06:23, with The Episcopal Church Virtual Choir and Orchestra.

Name one thing you’ve got going for you that is nice.

Still reading (ha)

So since I last left you, while as y’all know, everything has changed globally (say no more, wink wink nudge nudge, know what I mean?) BUT not much has changed here…

…on the reading front. Still reading The Return of Sherlock Holmes…very, very slowly, sometimes not at all. But that’s okay, because…

…on the homefront. Still spending time with my wife as she is off from work as a 911 dispatcher until April 9 (an earlier planned vacation) and we’re celebrating her 50th birthday, which is this Monday. Tonight we’re doing a drinkalong (watching a movie with friends online and drinking with certain rules about the movie) of A Fish Called Wanda for her birthday.

So at least we got that going for us, which is nice…

Name one thing you’ve got going for you that is nice.

To catch up with me on Instagram, you can find me here:

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Adapted my highlights to the times.

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Bewared/bewary after the Ides of March/ looking ahead to April

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE LINK IN COMMENTS, THANK YOU. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE SUNDAY SALON, I WILL SEE YOUR BLOG POST AS WILL OTHERS WHO ARE IN THE SUNDAY SALON. Sorry to shout, but some don’t seem to be getting the message I leave right on the top of the comment box.

Like all of you, my March has not gone exactly as planned, because of COVID-19. Yes, I wanted to continue reading the Sherlock Holmes short stories and novels, which I have. I also wanted to watch Jumanji: The Next Level, which I did with my wife earlier this week. But other than those two things, my plans have gone awry.

I had planned on taking a vacation day on Thursday, March 19, but on March 15, the library where I work, along with all the libraries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, closed until at least April 6. So I joined two social distancing (a term until my 50th year I was unfamiliar with) readathons and proceeded to set my sights too high on the amount of reading I could accomplish at first.

Then like some of you, I realized that I was/am having a hard time focusing on reading and I scaled my expectations back to reality. So now as a result, for the last couple of weeks, I have been reading a Sherlock Holmes short story or two a day and plan to continue that for the foreseeable future.

But as we all know, especially now, if we didn’t previously, that plans can change. So we will see…

In April, April 6 to be exact, is my wife’s birthday and she will be off from work (as a 911 dispatcher), starting Monday morning until April 9. We plan on catching up up on a few binge-worthy shows on her days off. We’ve already ordered some wine from Three Brothers Wineries and Estates too.

So at least we got that going for us, which is nice…

Name one thing you’ve got going for you that is nice.