Five Thousand Days Like This One is from an Italian toast and reflects the hope for legacy and whatever permanence exists these days. This memoir by Jane Brox is beautifully written, and it’s also a fascinating insider look at running an orchard and farm stand in Massachusetts Merrimack Valley.
This very slim book is specific to one family, and the history of textile mills. Yet it is also a universal story of losing one’s heritage – either that of a family’s or an industry or a region.
Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and its Family is an earlier book and also evokes the simple pleasures and the back-breaking rigors of farm life. Brox is a master of the telling detail; the satisfaction of growing things blue Hubbard squash, corn, blueberries and tomatoes.
The audiobook, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, read by the author, is bittersweet because he and the audience know his time is short. A computer professor who is aware that he has less than a year to live wants to leave his children and students a legacy of the principles, ideas and beliefs he has gathered over the years.
In this lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch is brutally honest about himself and his disease, yet he never loses his sense of humor.
Parenthood, marriage,education, science and Walt Disney are all examined. He is not falsely modest, and attributes his success to being able to learn from others and his mistakes.
It makes you wonder – what lessons you would impart to the next generation?