@ Your Library 7.12.24

by Beverly Ewart

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast 

It is summer, a brief respite between winter and mud, when people want to take time off to navigate waterways, trails, and campgrounds.  However, the way in which you navigate any season is greatly influenced by your season in LIFE.  A young family has certain challenges to meet to keep everyone safe and happy in the great outdoors, and so does an inter-generational family with beloved elders in the mix. 

This all became clear to me just before my husband and I were to leave for a weekend getaway, and my 89-year-old mother, for no clear reason, suffered a medical emergency.  Once the dust was cleared, and she was safely back at home with us, we realized that our weekend getaway was going to take a bit more planning than people at our stage in life might typically need to consider. 

Roz Chast’s memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Has been a helpful look at the realities of this season of our lives, and my mother’s, with a lighthearted touch.  We are not alone.  She is not alone.  It is okay!  It is not easy.  But it is good.  We are navigating this together. 

Here is the publisher’s description: “In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the “crazy closet”–with predictable results–the tools that had served Roz well through her parents’ seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies–an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades–the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care”   


Don’t forget that the North Country Library System is complementing summer programming at our local libraries by launching a regional scavenger hunt for all ages.  Print an adventure checklist at ncls.org/summer, complete any 10 (of 66) activities, and return your checklist for a chance to win a bookstore gift card!  We have checklists right here at CFL in the foyer for your convenience. 


Our Summer Library Program is a month-long celebration of reading fun during July (and some of August) for ages birth-12 years.  Specific age-group programs happen weekly. We also offer programs for families, such as science shows, magicians, clowns, storytellers and musicians, as well as Books at the Beach and the annual Pet Show!   

The schedule for programs will be: 

• Newborn-17 months with a caregiver meet Tuesdays at 10:30am 

• 18-35 months with a caregiver meet at 10:30 am on Thursdays (registration closed) 

• 3–4-year-olds with a caregiver meet on Wednesdays at 10:30 am (registration closed) 
• 5–6-year-olds meet on Tuesdays at 1 pm (registration closed) 
• 7–8-year-olds meet on Tuesdays at 3 pm (registration closed) 
• 9-12 year-olds meet on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm (registration closed) 

There will be special all-ages events on Thursdays at 2:00 pm:  
• Children’s Book Reading and drawing with Corrina Lyn on July 18th in the library’s Paige Room 
• Books at the Beach with special guest, author Laura Lavoie on July 25th at Taylor Park 
• The Annual Summer Library Pet Show on August 1st at the First Presbyterian  
Church. Registration is required.  

Registration for ALL age group sessions, with the exception of the birth-17 month  
old program, is required because our space is limited. Please go to https://cantonfreelibrary.org/summer-reading-program/ , or visit the Children’s  
Room at the library to pick up a calendar. 


The Friends of the Canton Free Library are a volunteer group committed to active support and enrichment of library services on behalf of everyone in the Canton community and beyond. Check us out!  We’d love to have new members! 


Chess @ CFL! 

We welcome chess players of all ages and levels to partake in our weekly get-togethers! 
Chess Club – Saturdays | 12-3 PM 
Join us Saturdays from 12-3 pm in the downstairs Paige Room for Chess Club! All levels are welcome to join the Chess Club. Unlike Chess Free Play on Tuesdays, Chess Club offers instruction to those interested. 

Chess Free Play – Tuesdays | 4-6 PM 

Join us on Tuesdays from 4-6 pm for open chess! All levels are welcome for free play. 

For more details, contact Ryan at 315.854.6123. 

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS: Programming at the Canton Free Library (CFL) plays a significant role in providing literary opportunities for St. Lawrence County children and their families. All events are free. Some require registration. 

The following programs are also happening:     

Teens: Anime Club meets on Thursdays from 5 to 7. Join us to watch anime, both classic and contemporary. Ages 12-19, no registration required.  Contact Zach Woodley-White for more information. zwoodleywhite@ncls.org    

Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Canton Free Library and the St.  Lawrence County Youth Bureau.                                  

Questions? Need to register for a program?                                             

Contact Youth Services Specialist     

Valerie White (Ms. Val)  

(315) 386-3712 ext. 4                           


Curbside Service: If you are short on time, consider curbside service! Give us a call at 315-386-3712 (choose option 1 “Front Desk”) or send an email to canlib@ncls.org, and we will pack up your books, check them out, and hand them to you from the front door of CFL. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood to read, we can even choose some titles for you!  

MORLEY BRANCH is open on Tuesday 1pm-3pm; Wednesday 4pm-6pm; Thursday 10am-12pm. There is a computer available for your use, but it’s a good idea to call first to check on availability. Call for more details: 315-379-0066. 

RENSSELAER FALLS BRANCH is open on Tuesdays from 11am – 5pm. Children under age 10 must be with an adult. Call the library (315-344-4155) for more information.  

A great way to find out what’s happening at our Morley and Rensselaer Falls Branches is to check out their Facebook pages: 

Morley: https://www.facebook.com/MorleyBranchLibrary 

Rensselaer Falls: https://www.facebook.com/RensselaerFallsLibrary 

Canton Free Library’s Hours: 9am-6pm Monday – Friday; 10am-3pm Saturday. For more CFL news, stay tuned on Facebook, Instagram, or our website. Find new additions to our collection on our website: cantonfreelibrary.org. To renew your current checkouts, login to catalog.ncls.org; you may also renew via email at canlib@ncls.org, or by calling (315) 386-3712 (choose option 1, “Front Desk,” on the menu).